Care is taken to design and construct around specific functional issues. Wherever possible, wood grain is aligned perpendicular with the traffic pattern to reduce the opportunity for splinters on bare feet. If a hot tub is planned, a multitier design is often recommended for aesthetic appeal and ease of access to both the tub and control panels.
The question we hear in 2010 more often than any other is “What is the best composite decking material? The answer is that it really depends on what you are looking for.
As a Do-It-Yourself builder you will only get one chance to get it right. Most homeowners are drawn to composites because they are considered low maintenance.
We feel that you should approach choosing a composite decking material as a process of elimination. This way you can reduce the 100 or more products to a manageable list of choices.
Composite decking materials truly have improved over the last decade. Most old problems like mold and mildew have improved. Nevertheless it is important to find a product that has a good warranty in case of a problem. You can find the details and lengths of the warranties on all of the products webpages or from the lumberyard where you purchase the materials.
The appearance of the material is a very important and personal decision. There is a wide range of colours, textures and installation systems available. Find out if the colours will fade or if the surface will easily stain or scratch. Getting your hands on some samples at this point might be helpful.
Another consideration is installation. If you are building the deck yourself you will want to know how easy the material is to work with. You should review the instructions before making your decision.
The final factor is cost. Once you have narrowed your search you can begin to locate suppliers on the manufacturers website to see what is available and how expensive it is. Remember that composite material will be 1.5-3 times the price of wood. But before suffering from sticker shock you should consider that you will be saving the time and expense of staining your deck every year. Most estimates show that the costs even out after about 4 or 5 years.