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Composite or Wood?

The use of composite materials for building decks and porches has recently exploded. There are many reasons for the switch from using wood versus composite decks and in this article we will outline the main differences between these two types of materials.

Wood decks and porches have been around for years and wood continues to be a very high quality material for these projects. Natural wood comes in a variety of quality (just as any type of building material), and wood will last you decades if maintained properly. The price of natural wood varies by quality as well as the type of wood. For instance, cedar will cost you much more than oak. In addition, wood will give you that natural wood look but as far as maintenance, you will have to stain and seal your deck or porch every few years to maintain longevity. For cleaning, powerwashing should be avoided as it may strip the wood stain and sealer. Instead, use a soft brush and mild detergent to clean your wood deck/porch.

Composite decking on the other hand, has been around for decades but the quality has increased significantly over the past 10 years. Many homeowners are now switching to composite for a number of reasons. There are different qualities of composite materials just as with wood, and you should always opt for the higher quality product if possible. Since composite is primarily made of plastic it will last for an extremely long time, and in many cases longer than wood. The cost for composite is slightly higher than wood but the longevity, durability, and upkeep makes up for the higher cost. Cleaning composite is much easier than wood because you can powerwash the entire deck or porch. In addition, you don't need to stain or seal a composite deck.

Both wood and composite are fantastic choices for deck and porch materials. The look of the materials are much different so it's worth visiting your local home improvement store to see samples of the different types of products, which might make your decision easier. As with any home improvement project, be sure to contact multiple contracting companies to get the best price if you plan on hiring someone for the project.

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