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How To Figure Out Materials for Building a Deck

It’s important to figure out what type of material you want to use before starting a deck. This guide will help you decide what material is best for your decking project.

How To Figure Out Materials for Building a Deck

Building a deck is a great DIY project. It can add functionality to your home, as well as value. But how do you figure out which materials should you use to build it? There are many options out there, but not all of them will last as long as others. This guide will help you decide what material is best for your decking project.


Wood is a great choice for building a deck because it’s easy to work with and relatively inexpensive compared to other materials like composite decking, which makes it an ideal choice if you’re on a budget. It’s also durable and will last for many years. Plus, the natural look of wood offers a unique aesthetic that gives your deck a natural look and feel compared to decks using plastics or other non-wood materials. The best part is that there are so many different types of wood available. So, you can choose one that suits your taste while still getting the durability and strength needed for your deck.

Wood decks are very popular in the construction industry because they offer so much variety in terms of appearance and color options. They can come in shades such as redwood (which has reddish grains), cedar (which has yellowish grains), cypress (which has dark greenish grains) or pine (which has light brownish grains). If these colors aren’t quite what you’re looking for then there are also composite boards made out of recycled plastic fibers mixed together with resin binders.

Composite Decking

Composite decking is an excellent option for people who want the look and feel of wood, but don’t want to do the maintenance required of a wood deck. Composite decks are made primarily out of recycled plastic and wood fibers, which are then bound together with resins. These materials are molded into boards that look like planks, which allows you to design a deck that looks just as authentic as traditional wood decks. Composite decks tend towards neutral colors like browns but come in many styles ranging from traditional wooden-grain patterns all the way up modern designs resembling tile flooring.

The biggest benefit of composite decking, like that from Trex and ModernView, is that it lasts much longer than traditional wood decks. In fact, some brands may last up to 25 years or more! They do require more of an investment than a traditional wood deck. But if you’re looking for a low-maintenance material that will last for years without needing any special care or maintenance (other than sweeping away leaves, etc.), composite decking could be the best choice for you—especially in Wisconsin where moisture and seasonal changes can damage wooden structures over time because composite material does not absorb water and resists seasonal swings (unlike real wood). All of which means you can spend more time enjoying your new outdoor space instead of maintaining it.

PVC Decking

PVC decking is another great option for those who want a low-maintenance deck with lasting performance and beauty. And while it’s generally placed under the category of composite decking, a PVC deck like that from TimberTech differs from a composite deck in that it’s made of 100% engineered polymer material. So, there’s no wood filler in the core or cap that can compromise performance. Making it more durable and resistant to extreme weather conditions like we have in Wisconsin.

PVC decks also come in a variety of styles and colors with the look of a wood deck, are easy to clean and require very little in the way of upkeep. Making it a great option for families with children or pets that tend to get messy.  PVC deck is more of an investment, but like composite decking, can be ideal for those who want to spend more on their deck instead of maintaining it.

Pressure Treated Lumber

There are many reasons why pressure treated lumber is a popular choice for building decks. Because it’s inexpensive, durable and easy to work with, it can be used for joists, decking and railing. As a downside, pressure treated wood isn’t as durable as composite or PVC materials. And it tends not to look quite as good due to its visible grains sometimes being darker than those found in treated pine planks.

But if you want lasting durability, it is best to build a deck out of composite material, PVC or pressure treated lumber. These materials can also be installed over concrete due to their moisture resistance, which is perfect for a backyard patio.

Conclusion on Deck Materials

Wood for decking is a solid choice if you’re on a budget and don’t mind the maintenance that comes with it, plus it’s easy to work with and install. If you’re looking for more durability than what traditional wood offers and still want affordability, consider pressure treated lumber.

Composite and PVC decking are ideal if you’re looking for an investment that will last decades and require very little maintenance.

At the end of the day, it is important to take into consideration design, usage, weather exposure, time you’ll own the deck and budget to best figure out what type of material is right for your decking project before starting it. To learn more about the advantages and disadvantages of each option, and what would be best for your new deck, contact or stop into your local Chase Lumber and talk to one of our decking experts.