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Composite Decking Extends Your Living Space

Aug 17, 2007
The busy lifestyles of homeowners along with a strong desire for outdoor living space has created a demand for new products that are low maintenance yet have a unique and natural wood-like appearance.

Increasingly, people have a new attitude toward decking boards and are breaking away from traditional wood choices, although wood decks are still very popular. This is especially true when people consider adding an outdoor extension to their indoor living space. They may want an indoor-like appearance and functionality in this new outdoor area. Others are more conscious of the improvement in their homes resale value and the durability of composite decking planks is a selling feature.

There are few types of home improvements that can equal the enhancing effect of wood or composite decking. For providing outdoor leisure and a break from the stress of everyday life for adults, or for creating a fun play area for children, decks expand your home living space into the fresh air space of your backyard. Pool decks, rooftop decks, and patio decks offer unique enjoyable outdoor living space for entertaining, relaxation, sun bathing, and even al fresco dining. Decking is an underappreciated home addition.

Many homeowners don't realize how these different types of decks can add to the quality of their family's lives. The offer a private area for teenagers who need a break from the crowded environment at school, where they can read or study and yet not feel confined in their small bedroom. For adults, decks allow a restful place to listen to wind breezes, and an elevated view of their property or the neighborhood, or just a spot to relax safely and comfortably by the swimming pool. Rather than dreaming about and funding that expensive trip to the cottage every year, you have an opportunity to create your cottage type atmosphere right at home. And, you'll be able to enjoy your deck at least one half of the year. It's an investment you'll get good use of.

The last few years have seen strong growth in deck building. Natural wood deck products are still being advertised and sold. Pine, cedar and spruce are the traditional choices for decks. Wood has strong acceptance as the ideal deck material and many people give little thought to a wood alternative. That is, unless the qualities of composite decking are discussed. Given the modern homeowner's preference for easy of maintenance and durability, wood decking may not be the best choice for them and the new composite materials have features they value.

This isn't to say that wood decking doesn't have its advantages. However, if a home deck isn't well-maintained, it will have to repaired and refinished and not many homeowners have the funds, time and energy to handle that project every couple of years. If you're considering deck building this summer or fall, give some extra time to studying the value of composite decks. It may just save you a lot of time during the years ahead and give you a deck that is clean, modern, and durable.

Composite Deck Materials

Composite deck materials are enjoying increasing demand despite the fact their price is higher than wood decking. Composite decking from leading manufacturers such as LP WeatherBest, utilize a composite of plastics and wood so that they look like wood decking, but don't require treatment. There's no need to stain, seal, or paint the decking lumber because the color is built in during the manufacturing process and runs right through the composite planks.

In terms of cleanliness, composite deck planks don't allow dirt and mold to take to get in and take hold like they can with natural wood. Composite deck boards have been tested for mold buildup, which you know is not good for your health, and especially your children's health, and the tests showed very little mold present. LP WeatherBest composite decks scored the highest rating for mold resistance.

Composite decks can be pressure spray washed without wearing off the finish. Wood decks may suffer from such washings and they'll need to be washed more frequently. When wood decks split or check, there are numerous areas where dirt can get trapped and it is difficult to wash it out. This adds to a deck's maintenance costs.

Cost of Deck Installation

Although the initial cost is somewhat higher than wood decking materials, you're probably making a serious investment in your deck, so you'll want quality materials. The installed cost of a large, multilevel deck, especially a raised deck, is high and maintenance costs would be high.

Composite deck planks have high density polyethylene creating a denser, stronger and more resilient material. That means there will be less maintenance required over time. The composite plank is manufactured with high pressure and high heat extrusion and the natural wood surface appearance is brushed on or embossed into the boards. Homeowners see a surface that is surprisingly attractive and has a rich, embossed appearance that lasts and lasts.

Composite planks also cut, nail and drill just as wood planks can be. You get all the benefits of real wood deck material but without the negatives such as splitting, checking, twisting, rot, mildew, mold buildup, and faded color. Premium decking packages are available and boards come in wood styles such as cedar, redwood, walnut and driftwood grey. There are two surfaces on the board; one a smooth surface and the natural-appearing roughsawn pattern.

Trends in Decking

Composite decking materials have a gained a 4% growth in marketshare over their wood deck competition. Sales of synthetic deck materials have doubled since 2000 and sales are expected to grow over 20% each year until at least 2009.

Major manufacturers of composite decks are; LP WeatherBest, Trex, Timbertech, US Plastic Lumber, Nexwood, Kadant, Universal Forest Products, Correctdeck, CrossTimbers, Kroy Building Products, CPI Plastics, Thermal Industries, Decklock, Bearboard, Procell, and PlasticBoards.

There is a huge range of products available and each comes with their own limitations and design issues. Along with a great composite decking product, you'll want to buy your planks from a reputable manufacturer that offers good post sales support and service. The warranty on these composite products is a great advantage to homeowners, but the manufacturer still has to honor the warranty as you would expect. LP WeatherBest is one of the dominant names in decking and deck railing products.

Deck Railings

There are providers of outstanding deck railings in the states of New York, Massachusetts, Vermont, Maine, Connecticut, Rhode Island and New Hampshire that you can rely on for premium deck building products and great support. Buy from lumber yards and retailers that carry products from reliable distributors.
About the Author
Boston Cedar is a distributor of composite decking , deck building products, deck railings , siding, and millwork products.
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