Composite decking has gained huge popularity as an alternative to regular timber for backyard decks. Below we’ll look at some frequently asked questions about composite decking to help you decide whether or not it’s the right choice of material for your Wappingers Falls, NY and area home.
What is Composite Decking?
Essentially, composite decking is a synthetic decking material that consists of recycled wood chips and recycled plastic. Composite decking has been around for going on thirty years. During this time, the technology has seen drastic changes and improvements. The first generation of composite decking of the 1990’s appealed to homeowners because of its durability and low maintenance, but offered little variety in terms of aesthetic. In fact, the first composite decking was a rather boring, uninspiring grey. Much has changed since then and now composite decking comes in a range of colors and styles as vast as that of real wood. The appearance of composite decking is now almost indistinguishable from real timber as well.
What are the benefits of composite decking compared to regular wood decking?
Although the initial outlay is slightly higher than regular decking, the advantages of composite decking far outweigh those of regular decking. To start with, because composite decking is manufactured from up to 95 percent recycled material, the weight and volume of each deck constructed from composite material is that much less wood and plastic left to waste space and cause pollution in a landfill, making composite decking one of the most eco-friendly backyard building materials.
The high level of plastic in composite decking makes it extremely durable and highly resistant to rot and infestation of wood boring insects. Composite decking will also not splinter like regular wood and because it has no lateral grain, it will not warp or twist. Most composite decking is also surface treated to prevent stains and fading. Time and cost spent on maintenance is therefore drastically reduced. In fact, most composite decks will require little more than the very occasional hose down.
Overall, composite decking is a structurally sound, low-maintenance and long lasting building material that serves as a sensible alternative to traditional wooden decks.
Should I invest in composite decking or concrete hardscaping for my backyard patio?
The decision between composite decking and hardscaping is one of structural suitability, stylistic requirements and personal taste. Decking is undoubtedly cheaper than hardscaping and also more versatile in terms of what kind of terrain it can be built onto. Decking also allows for more variation in level. Of course, hardscaping is also highly desirable as it provides a permanent feature and comes with its own set of aesthetics.
As a middle option, a combination of hardscaping and decking has become fashionable in contemporary designs. Composite decking provides a method of easily extending existing patios while creating an interesting interplay between the aesthetics of wood and stone. In fact, modern architecture favors this contrast as a way of creating visual interest without the need for additional decoration which causes clutter.
With composite decking, extensions that defy the structural capabilities of your original patio can be made, while complementing the original design.
Composite decking can also be used in creating walkways across uneven terrain, railed walkways through fragile or protected shrubbery and footbridges over large water features.