Composite or Wood Deck: Which Is Best For You?

One decision NOVA Build Pros customers seem to struggle with is whether to buy a composite or wood deck. Most customers know the drawbacks and benefits of each (durability, maintenance free deck, scratch resistant deck, cost of a wood deckā€¦).

Price of Composite vs. Wood Decks

Given the material cost difference between wood and composite decks, customers quickly realize that they can build much more wood deck for a particular budget when compared to composite deck. Don't get me wrong, we love building composite decks, but we also realize that price is a large part of customer satisfaction. Below, you can find advice on how to keep your new wood deck looking new for years to come.

Consider the Visual Impact You Want to Create

Here is an example of the great outdoor living space that a new wood deck can provide. We recently completed this beautiful wood deck in Loudoun County. It is built from pressure treated pine (both the frame and decking). The rails are pressure treated pine with powder coated aluminum balusters and Fiberon Ipe. Because balusters and rail caps have very little support, pressure treated pine will warp, twist and split if used in these areas. Also, the aluminum balusters are more narrow than wooden balusters. This smaller size and dark color create less obstructions to site lines and make for a larger, more open feel.

In Addition to Materials, Think About the Right Deck Design

Many deck contractors can build a deck. NOVA Build Pros has professional deck designers who are able to turn your vision into reality. If you aren't quite sure what you want, we can take your ideas and help to articulate them in practical terms. For this Loudoun customer, the results were exactly what was intended. The have a mixture of privacy and openness. They have a large deck for entertainment with a rail gate to ensure small children and pets don't wander off. They have room to grill and Adirondack chairs to enjoy the park-like back yard with a glass of wine. This particular customer wants to add a sunroom or screen room in the future, so we designed their deck for this eventuality.

Explore All Options, Including Trex and Wood, As Well As Materials Such as Fiberon

We are a local deck builder with vast experience building both composite and wood decks. Our customers are most familiar with Trex brand composite decks (https://www.trex.com/why-trex/industry-leader) and we install Trex decks all the time. Our customers are less familiar with Fiberon, which has products comparable to Trex but with more color options. All customs are familiar with wood decks (to an extent), but get hung up on the fact that wood weathers, stains, splits, warps, etc. There are a wealth of products that can be applied to a wood deck or fence after it has sufficiently dried out that will extend the life of the wood. To be most beneficial, the product you use should have a UV protectant as well as a water seal. If you try to apply these to a newly installed pressure treated deck, the wood may not be able to absorb enough of the chemicals because it is still saturated with the preservative. After a couple weeks (climate dependent), the surface of the wood has had time to dry out and the grain can hold the deck sealer.