Three Most Popular Choices
A deck and fence from LCM (LCM General Contractor) not only increases your living area, it also adds value to your home. In order to make the best choice for your home and your budget, think about how the three most popular used materials (pressure treated wood, natural cedar, and composite) compare with cost, appearance, and required maintenance.
Pressure Treated Wood
In South-West Ontario (LCM General Contractor’s Service Area) most decks are built using pressure treated lumber. Out of the three choices we will discuss in this post, pressure treated wood is the least expensive. Pressure treated wood is treated with exterior chemicals that slow down natural decay and woodboring insects. Pressure treated lumber is moisture resistant, but not moisture proof. To give it a longer life, treating it annually with a moisture barrier is recommended.
You can find pressure treated lumber in two different colors, grey or brown. Often, chemicals used to treat pressure treated wood is made specifically for tree species in the area they are sold. If maintained properly this type of decking can last up to forty years!
To maintain a pressure treated deck, wash annually with a pressure washer using a fanned-out spray nozzle. A high-powered, direct water stream can damage the wood. Once dry, apply a water repellent. Throughout the year keep clean from dirt, debris and anything that might stain the wood.
As it contains a natural occurring oil that preserves the wood, Cedar is a great choice for decks and fences. The oil embedded in the wood gives off a beautiful aroma that repels boring insects. Cedar is a very soft wood compared to other choices, and builders love to use it. Because it costs more than other wood, typically 25% – 35% more, it isn’t used as much as pressure treated wood.
Due to it’s nature cedar fades quickly and needs to be protected. To maintain it properly you should wash it with soap and water every spring. Once dry it needs to be protected with a stain or sealant. Never use a power washer as it will easily damage the soft wood. If looked after properly, a cedar deck and fence can last as long as a pressure treated version.
Composite decking is made from resin and wood fibers. It can outlast all its competitors and even comes with a warranty often guaranteeing its durability for at least 25 years. Most people choose it for its maintenance free qualities. You never have to paint or stain composite decking. Simply hose it off when dirty.
Some composites are made to look like wood, but others are designed to look like stone or marble. There are hundreds of colors and designs to choose from. Although it takes a little more time to install, composite material will not splinter, crack, warp, or rot like wood does. It also doesn’t fade in the sun the way wood does.
Composite decking is by far the most expensive deck material. It can be 45% more than pressure treated. That is why it’s not used as a fence material. However, as it grows in popularity and more companies are making it, costs are decreasing over time. We may see it used more often in the future.
Choose LCM for Quality Results
Call LCM General Contractor if you need help deciding on a material to use for your deck or fence. They offer FREE no obligation quotes and are always available to discuss your project. When deciding think carefully about the time you have to maintain your deck and fence and what is involved in it. Just as important as the type of material is the quality of its installation. Getting an LCM built deck or fence guarantees you get a quality result. Contact them today as they are now booking for spring 2022.