Everybody’s been talking about composite decking — and for good reason. It’s an exciting development because it allows so many visual effects to be achieved, while giving homeowners the coveted benefits of low maintenance and a longer overall lifespan. Much like tile that mimics stone or natural wood, composite is seen as a savvy way to invest in hassle-free outdoor decking.
But there are a few drawbacks, and homeowners should be aware of them when they sit down to make a decision. Here are three of the most common complaints people have about composite decking. They may not be enough to dissuade your from going with composite, but they’ll definitely give you a better perspective on what to expect.
1. It’s more expensive up front
On average, composite decking does cost a little more per square foot than natural wood decking. This makes sense when you consider the many benefits that composite decking brings. The most desirable natural hardwoods usually hover around the $20 per square foot mark, installed. When you look at composite, you see average rates around $35 per square foot. This increased up-front expense is obviously something that needs to be taken seriously. But when you consider that composite decking can give you an extra 10-15 years of lifespan with hardly any maintenance, the case for spending more grows stronger.
2. It gets hot in the sun
One complaint that homeowners often have after they install composite outdoor decking is how hot the surface gets in the sun. Let’s not forget that part of what makes composite so “impermeable” to the elements is that it contains elements of plastic inside. Without that plastic, you wouldn’t have the amazing longevity of composite decking. But plastic materials also get hot in the sun. On those sweltering summer days, many people complain about not being able to enjoy their deck with bare feet. Umbrellas are good way to offset this problem and keep the deck shaded. It’s also worth pointing out that natural hardwood also gets hot in the sun.
3. It lasts a very long time
This may not sound like a drawback — and if we’re honest, it’s not. The great longevity of composite decking is part of what makes it such a revolutionary development in home improvement and outdoor decking in particular. But what if you grow tired of the appearance? What if you don’t want your outdoor deck to last that long? In some cases, homeowners might go with a natural hardwood deck simply because the longevity is good enough for them, and they prefer natural materials to composite, which is actually a mix between plastics and wood fibers.
Getting the right perspective
Look for a certified deck installation and repair specialist in your area who can give you real advice on what kind of decking would work best for your, and what your expectations can be. By sharing what you know with experts, and gleaning information from them, you’ll be in much better shape when it comes to making the right decision for your outdoor deck project.