Your home’s deck is an extension of the living space. When building a deck, choosing the right decking material can be an overwhelming task. To make the best choice, you’ll need to consider the cost, availability, and upkeep of materials. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of the most popular decking materials on the market.
Pressure-Treated Wood is the Most Common Choice
Of all of the decking materials on the market today, pressure-treated wood is the most common. Pressure-treated lumber is cost-effective for decking. This material usually runs around $1.50-$2.50 per square foot. Since the wood is pressure-treated, it withstands many types of weather conditions and is resistant to wood-destroying insects. On the downside, pressure-treated lumber has a tendency to crack and warp, and it should be painted or stained regularly.
Aluminum Decking Materials
Aluminum is becoming a popular choice for decking materials because of its durability. It’s lightweight and easy to cut with the right tools. It won’t rot or mold and is fire- and insect-resistant. Metal decking is strong and long-lasting, but it does become slippery when wet. Aluminum is costly, too; you can expect to spend around $10 per square foot for the materials.
Redwood and Cedar are Popular Decking Materials
If you are looking for a more natural option, redwood or cedar may be right for you. These materials are rich in color and offer your deck a pleasing natural hue. Cedar and redwood are lightweight and can be found at any home improvement store. The naturally occurring oils in these woods make them resistant to insects and rot. Natural woods will easily take stains.
On the flip side, redwood and cedar are more expensive than pressure-treated lumber. On average, expect to spend anywhere from $3.75 to $5 per square foot. The higher the grade of wood, the more expensive it will be.