When it’s time to decide what type of deck to build to increase your outdoor living space, you’ll have design and material options. Materials have come a long way over the years from when wood was the go-to product. Although similar in use, patios are different from decks. Contractors build elevated decks, while patios are built directly on the ground. Decks offer more benefits because they are built above ground and can utilize sloped areas of your property for entertainment. Patios are more expensive because they use pavers, stone, or concrete.
Outdoor Entertainment Area Considerations
Adding a deck is a big project with a large payout in entertainment value. You’ll have material options to choose from in a wide price range. You must consider the necessary maintenance required for each material before choosing from the extensive options. Builders must follow codes and pull essential permits. A licensed contractor will handle those requirements before breaking ground on your new deck.
Reasons For Choosing Deck Material
Gone are the days of a basic lumber deck designed for an outdoor table that seats four and a barbecue. Today’s decks have hot tubs, mobile BBQs, built-in seating areas, or a complete outdoor kitchen with running water. Your budget might require adding some of the items on your wish list in increments. Knowing your goals ahead of time will be instrumental in creating the appropriate deck using the materials.
It would be best to weigh the multiple material options before choosing the best one for your deck. You need to consider the climate, budget and desired deck size, and maintenance you’ll realistically have time for. The necessary maintenance for your deck ranges from very minimal to annual sanding and staining. Heavily consider this aspect before choosing the material for your deck.
Wood, Composite, And PVC Decks
You have options to consider if you want wood or the appearance of a wood deck. The most affordable wood is pressure-treated with potentially toxic chemicals to make it last longer. Natural wood requires the most maintenance. You’ll need to clean it and re-seal it annually, depending on your climate and its exposure. Cedar, Redwood, and Ipe are options. Ipe is from South and Central America and is a hardwood that resists bugs, splintering, rotting, and fire. It’s no surprise it’s the most expensive wood.
Composite decking material consists of wood and plastic fibers. It closely resembles natural wood and is resistant to wear and rotting. When installed, the hardware isn’t visible, unlike typical wood decks where you can see the screws. Composite material comes in various colors, and you’ll never need to paint or stain the deck. If mildew becomes present, a gentle wash is all the maintenance necessary.
PVC, or polyvinyl chloride, won’t rot, fade, or stain and is manufactured from 100% recycled material. It’s a very affordable option but is obviously made from plastic and can get extremely hot in sunny, hot climates. It also comes in many colors, and maintenance is negligible.
Attached, Multi-Tier, Detached, Or Rooftop Styles
Most decks are attached to the house and entered through the back door. A wraparound deck can have several entries and is traditional in the South. If your property is on a slope, multi-tiered decks add entertainment space to otherwise unused areas. Rooftop styles have spectacular views and are unique, but many properties may have zoning prohibiting a rooftop deck.
Choosing Material For A Pool Side Deck
Are you putting in a pool or refreshing an existing one? The deck material is a significant safety concern. Pool decks need a non-skid finish to reduce accidents and liability. Consult with your licensed contractor for recommendations on the best pool deck choices. No one wants anyone to get hurt or a resulting lawsuit. Certain deck materials are less slippery, reducing the possibility of an injury from a fall.
BMA Hardscapes can help you choose the best product for your new deck and schedule installation. Call now so you can start enjoying a great new outdoor living space!