It’s summertime, and for many homeowners, that means spending time outside on the deck. If you’ve got deck-envy and are considering adding a new outdoor deck (or deck resurfacing for your existing deck), one of the first decisions you’ll need to make is what material you want to use. The choices are seemingly endless, but they generally fall into two categories: Natural wood or composite. So which one should you choose?

Pros and Cons of Natural Wood

Natural wood decks provide a classic look and guaranteed longevity if they are installed right. The price of a wood deck varies greatly depending on which type wood you choose. Pressure treated (PT) lumber is the most affordable, particularly varieties like pine. Tropical hard woods such as ipe and mahogany represent the high end of the natural wood spectrum for outdoor decks. Cedar is often considered a middle-of-the-road option between these two extremes, at least where price is concerned.

The most obvious downside to a natural wood deck is that they require more upkeep. Natural wood will need to be sealed every few years to keep it from chipping and splintering. Additionally, wooden decks should never be cleaned with a pressure hose, as it can strip the wood. Instead, they should be washed by hand with a soft bristled brush and a mild detergent. Over time, wooden boards can warp, and may require additional treatment.

Pros and Cons of Composite Materials

A composite deck is made from modern materials that contain some combination of plastic material and wood particles. The most important advantage of a composite deck is the lack of required maintenance and upkeep compared to natural wood decks. You’re likely to need to spray or scrub down a composite deck once or twice a year — but other than that there isn’t much work involved.

The fact that they don’t require much maintenance doesn’t mean that composite decks will look new forever. Although the material is strong, it can scratch and fade over time. If your deck will be in direct sunlight for most of the day, or if you have pets that will use your deck, you may want to consider paying a bit extra for UV protected or scratchproof boards.

Starting at about $7 per square foot, a composite deck can be a relatively budget friendly considering how long it can last. Just like with wooden decks, composites can be prone to warping with changes in weather. This is especially true of composite decks made from hollow boards that collect water. For this reason, it’s recommended to have a professional build or resurface your composite deck to ensure the boards are properly spaced.

Finding a Qualified Deck Specialist

If you’re not sure which type of deck makes the most sense for you and your family, consulting a qualified a deck specialist for advice is always a wise decision. Whether you’re building new or resurfacing, an outdoor deck is no small investment — so it’s worth the extra time and effort to find the most qualified and skilled deck specialist out there.

Client Testimonials

J.Widener from Newton, NJ

“Outstanding team. Very impressed with the whole process and the most with my new beautiful deck!”

S.Long from Franklin Township, NJ

“The deck looks FANTASTIC. I still can’t believe that Deck Guardian was able to resurface my old, ugly deck. Our neighbors have stopped by to comment on how great the deck looks. The attention to detail, work ethic and professionalism set this company apart. I highly recommend Deck Guardian!”

M.Lewis from Fleminton, NJ

“We have received numerous compliments from Neighbor’s and friend’s who think that the finished project looks terrific. Not only do I appreciate the “quality job”, but I really appreciate the professional manner Skip handled all the details!”

L.Cohen from West Orange, NJ

“When I came home yesterday, I could not believe how amazing my newly resurfaced deck looked. Crew did an amazing job. It was also a pleasure to work with your salesperson, very professional and knowledgeable!”

S.Smith from Chester Township, NJ

“I’m completely impressed. I have dealt with my share of contractors as I have been updating my home for several years. Deck Guardian gets the gold medal. Deck Guardian restored my 10 year old deck & fence to a brand new condition. I am amazed!”

P.Tang from Westfield, NJ

“Deck Guardian Team did a good and pleasant job to give us a professional service and a beautiful new deck, without replacing it. We love the color and the way it feels like. Highly recommended!”

Kathryn Barchi from Piscataway, NJ

“My husband and I had recently moved into a new home and quite quickly we learned of so many things that both us and the home inspector missed prior to the purchase; the deck being one huge item. We quite desperately wanted to use our deck and know that it was safe for us, our kids, our pups, and our guests, which in the original state, was definitely not the case. Deck Guardian to the rescue! The Deck Guardian team, from the free estimate to the point of project close, were quite wonderful to work with entirely. They even pointed out additional things we had missed with regards to the safety of our deck. Of course, best of all, the Deck Guardian team was able to work within our budget, while giving us back our deck with a new lease on life. Deck Guardian far exceeded our expectations and for that, my husband and I can not thank them enough!!!”

Jessica Ravitz from Skillman, NJ

“Deck Guardian completed an amazing deck replacement project for us in less than 2 weeks after we signed our contract. Not only did they provide an extremely competitive price, we got a beautiful deck that so greatly exceeded our expectations! Everyone at Deck Guardian is wonderful – from the estimator, the crew and the administrative staff – very friendly, professional, meticulous and hard working. We are so pleased and give the highest recommendation!!! Thank you Deck Guardian!”

Paul Cichello from Bridgewater, NJ

“I contacted Deck Guardian and was given an estimate the very next day. The representative was very knowledgeable and fair. The workers were polite and professional. We are satisfied with our new deck and would recommend Deck Guardian to anyone who wants quality work.”