Patio Deck Building Material Options

Adding a patio deck to your outdoor space can be a great way to not only provide your yard with more function but also to add value to your home. Choosing the right kind of material is an important part of the process and the following information can help you decide what material is best for your deck.

Types of Deck Building Materials

There are several types of deck building materials available:

  • Wood – While wood was once the only choice in decking, it has since been replaced in popularity by materials that are better able to withstand weather and moisture.
  • Aluminum Decking – A great alternate to wood that won't rot, rust, or splinter.  Unfortunately, it gets very hot to the touch in direct sunlight.
  • Vinyl – Simple and easy to install; won't rot, rust, or splinter.  More expensive, however, than other choices, and only available in limited colors.
  • Composite Decking – The newest category of deck materials, composites approximate the look and feel of wood while maintaining the long lasting durability of vinyl and aluminum.

Choosing a Deck Material

Your choice in material will be a highly subjective choice; depending on your budget, your personal tastes, and the look that is right for your house.  A low maintenance vinyl deck might be nice to contemplate, but it wouldn't really go with a rustic cabin by the lake. A deck is also a significant investment, so it's important to make sure you choose the right one.

Answering the following questions may help you determine your need:

  • How much traffic will your deck get?
  • How much exposure to the sun will your deck have?
  • Does the side of the house where the deck will be tend to have more peeling, chipping paint than the rest of the home?
  • How harsh are the winters in the area you live in?

By understanding the wear and tear your deck will be facing, you can determine how much work the upkeep will be if you choose a lower end material like wood versus a higher end material like a composite.

Installing Your Deck

Regardless of your material choice, be sure that the components of installation you choose are of the highest quality. Use stainless steel wood screws or bolts to attach the pieces of your deck. If you do use wood, choose a pressure treated, weatherized wood for extra endurance. Finally, check with the local ordinances where you live for building regulations and permit requirements.