If outdoor living spaces is a dream this season, nothing is better than a well-designed deck to add value to your house and create a transition between indoor and outdoor living.
What kind of deck should you have constructed in Southern Maryland? Your biggest decision is about the materials. Wood or composite decking are your choices. Wood decking is pressure-treated lumber, which are chemically treated to resist mold, rot and insect damage. Composite decking is a manufactured combination of wood and recycled plastic pressed into molds to create perfect boards. Since they are made with a lot of plastic, composite boards will not rot or suffer from insect damage.
Durability, appearance and cost are the three major material features:
Composite boards have these features:
Dense and water-resistant, so they never warp, crack or split
No sanding or re-staining
So your deck will stay in great shape for many years
Hosing the deck down is really the only maintenance needed.
Wood decks require all the above.
Many people find the natural good looks of real wood to be far superior to the plastic look of composite decking. Composite boards are typically only available in a few colors, and the brown tones can come off as flat or fake looking.
Pressure-treated lumber is by far the cheapest option, which makes it a popular choice but to get the final price you have to add in the annual or biannual maintenance of sealing, sanding or staining.
Composite decking is the most expensive, but a one-time investment since you will not need to seal, sand or stain every year or two.
The Bottom Line
Your decking materials choice will depend on your personal tastes, your budget and how much time you want to spend maintaining your deck. If you want maintenance-free living, go for the composite decking. If keeping costs down is your primary goal, pressure-treated lumber is for you.