Wood vs Composite: Which is Better When Building A Deck?

If you are in the market for a new deck, you have likely asked yourself, “which is better, wood vs composite decks?” Well, today is your lucky day because you just found an article that takes a deep dive into the difference between wood vs composite decks. You’ll then have the confidence to choose the right material for your new deck project.

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Wood vs Composite

The deck-building experts at Deck Guardian will lay it all out for you and give you an honest overview of the pros and cons of wood vs composite decks.

Read on to learn about the major difference between these 2 popular decking materials and why one will help you achieve the deck of your dreams.

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Material Comparison: Wood vs Composite Decks

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For centuries people have used wood as a material to build things. From houses to sheds and docks to decks, wood has been the material of choice when building a solid and durable structure.

Fast forward to the modern day, we have become smarter and more innovative in the materials we use to build lasting structures.

Similar to how we no longer use oil lanterns to light our homes, we have migrated to using better, longer-lasting materials to build houses and other important structures. Wood is still used to build things, however, it is now pressure-treated to help with preservation.


Wood Decks Pros and Cons

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Pressure-treated wood is first stripped of moisture. Then fire-retardant preservatives are applied through a pressure process. These preservatives not only protect from fire, but they also help protect the wood from insects, rot, and fungal decay.

When building a deck from wood, the best deck builders in New Jersey choose lumber that has been pressure-treated to have a longer-lasting deck. Types of wood commonly used to build decks are pressure-treated Yellow Pine and Douglas Fir.

Some woods have natural protection, like red cedar, and don’t require additional preservatives, and these woods are pricier than pressure-treated woods.

The pros of using wood to build a deck:

  • Easy to find material (wood is available at most lumber yards and hardware stores)
  • Traditionally wood is cheaper than composite (however, with the ever-changing economy, wood prices have been fluctuating steadily)
  • Wood is easy to cut with proper tools
  • Wood comes in a variety of lengths and styles

The cons of using wood to build a deck:

  • Natural wood can splinter, warp, and rot over time
  • Wood attracts natural enemies like insects and fungus
  • Wood requires upkeep (staining, painting, and sanding)
  • Limited types of wood used to build deck (as some woods are too soft or not appropriate to use as decking material)
  • Wood decks have a lifespan of 10-15 years with yearly maintenance (a wood deck not properly maintained could require replacing before 10 years)


Composite Decks Pros and Cons

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Composite decking material has come a long way. The experts at Deck Guardian only use the best composite decking by Trex and Deckorator.

Composite decking can give you the look of real wood without maintenance. That means no painting, sealing, or staining; steps that are required to keep natural wood looking its best.

The best composite decking offers high-performance and eco-friendly material that can withstand the elements and beautify your outdoor living space for years or even decades.

The pros of using composite decking:

  • Made out of recycled materials and manufactured in an eco-friendly way
  • It looks just like natural wood without the maintenance
  • Weather-resistant
  • Easy to keep clean
  • It has excellent warranties for structural, stain, and fade replacement
  • Superior durability (lasts decades longer than wood structures)
  • It comes in a variety of colors and styles
  • Insects do not infect composite material
  • Does not splinter or rot and requires minimal upkeep
  • Newer composite materials have increased traction, making for less slippery surfaces
  • It has a 30-year lifespan (yes, 30 years!)

The cons of using composite decking:

  • Typically more expensive than wood
  • Higher rate of expansion and contraction than natural wood (although the best deck builders in New Jersey will know how to accommodate for this when building a deck)
  • Some types can be slippery when wet
  • Can’t be refinished or stained

It becomes clear that there are positives and negatives for both wood vs composite decks. The material you go with will be based on the qualities you find to be most important. However, don’t discredit composite purely for budget reasons. Calling Deck Guardian to speak to our customer service representatives can help you find an option for the best composite decking that works for your pocketbook.

Composite Deck vs Wood Cost

When it comes to the cost of decking, there are several factors to consider when determining composite deck vs wood cost.

Factors that contribute to deck vs wood cost:

  • Type of wood used (yellow pine vs cedar can range from $23-$35 per square foot, including material and installation for composite deck vs wood cost)
  • Quality of composite material used (ranging from $30-$60 per square foot, including material and installation)
  • The need for railing, benches, and/or stairs for composite deck vs wood cost

Typically, composite decks cost more because of the process it takes to manufacture them, and the compromise is you pay more upfront to get a longer-lasting deck that requires less upkeep than a natural wood deck.

Some people may have an aversion to composite material because they believe it can’t compete with the beauty of real wood. However, the best composite decking technology has come a long way, and composite deck boards can easily be indistinguishable from actual wood planks.

In fact, when you choose the best composite decking, you can select the look of exotic woods that you’d never be able to use the real thing in an outdoor space in New Jersey because of the elements. Exotic and softwoods that would never hold up in their natural form as decking material. That is the joy of using composite.

When deciding between composite deck vs wood costs, you have to really think about the look you want for your outdoor deck and patio and whether or not you’d like to have a deck that requires little to no upkeep vs a deck that is cheaper but there will be work to do to maintain its strength and beauty. Your decision between wood vs composite decks will be based on deciding which is more important to you.

If your budget is holding you back from choosing the best composite decking, you’re in luck! Deck Guardian works in partnership with Home Improvement Loans (HFS). They can present you with a ‘no equity’ loan to build the deck of your dreams! HFS can do a soft credit check to see if you are quality- without affecting your credit. So why build a basic deck when you can get financing to build a maintenance-free deck that will last you decades?

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Best Deck Builders in New Jersey

When you hire Deck Guardian to build your deck, you are getting the best deck builders in New Jersey. Not only do our deck builders have years of experience working with both wood and composite materials, but they also spend the time to really listen to the needs of their customers.

All customers have a different vision of what they want in a deck, patio or covered porch. We provide customers with answers to all their deck-building questions about wood vs composite decks. We’ll help our customers select the best option for their yard and budget.

Deck Guardian is the best deck builder in New Jersey because they are willing to work with customers to find a solution for their deck needs. No challenge is too big for Deck Guardian.

Our best deck builders in New Jersey build:

  • Small decks
  • Oversized dream decks
  • Pool or hot tub decks
  • Above-ground pool decks
  • Ground-level decks
  • Second-story or raised decks
  • Multi-level decks
  • Covered decks
  • Screened porches
  • Patios
  • Octagonal decks
  • Best composite decking
  • Natural wood decks
  • Old deck resurfacing
  • Gazebos and pergolas
  • Stairs, benches, railings, etc.

No matter what type of deck you are looking to build (wood vs composite decks), Deck Guardian has the skills and know-how to get it done.

You dream it; we build it!

Wood vs Composite Decks: Your Choice

Depending on the type of deck you’d like to build, there are wood options and the best composite decking options that can fit your needs. Deciding which material you’d prefer will be based on some of the factors outlined in this article.

Whatever you decide, Deck Guardian will build your dream deck for you. We’re booking up fast for spring, so call today to reserve your spot and get a free consultation.

Best Deck Builders in New Jersey: Deck Guardian

Choosing between wood vs composite decks may be a tough decision, but choosing the best deck builders in New Jersey certainly isn’t. Deck Guardian will build you the ultimate deck, no matter the material you decide on. You might also find it useful to check out our post How to Avoid These 7 Common Mistakes When Building a Deck

If you’re in the market for a new deck, don’t waste another moment, as the best deck builders in New Jersey book up fast! Give Deck Guardian a call or fill out our online form to save your place in line!

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