As spring gets closer and the piles of snow begin to melt, it will be time to look at how your deck held up from last year. Your deck handles a lot of wear and tear throughout the year and is also exposed to the elements – like record snowfall, freezing temps and wind. It’s important to get into the habit of regular deck inspections to keep your deck viable for years to come and to keep those that use it safe.
Maybe you did that last year and already determined that your deck was in need of repair OR you decided last year it was time to look into adding a deck but ended up delaying your project due to high costs. Due to a national lumber shortage, material prices in 2021-22 were at an all-time high; if you delayed your project, you are not alone.
Good news, while composite decking is still priced higher than a wood deck, treated lumber and cedar prices are falling. Here’s a guide to help you consider your deck options; now could be a great time to consider re-bidding those deck projects.
Treated lumber is one of the most popular types of decking material. Lumber is pressure treated with a chemical that prevents mold, mildew, rot and various insects. This type of decking often needs to weather for a season or two and then needs to be sealed and stained. Treated lumber decks require the most amount of maintenance, such as power washing, sanding and regular re-staining. By performing regular maintenance you can extend the lifespan of your deck.
Cedar decking is another popular deck material. Cedar is a higher quality wood than treated lumber and typically costs more. Cedar has a natural protectant that prevents rot, decay and infestations. Like treated lumber, cedar decking does require regular maintenance to maintain the life of your deck.
While composite decking is the most expensive of the three main options, it is more durable than wood. Composite decking is made from recycled materials so many consider it the most eco-friendly option. In addition, the materials are resistant to rot, infestations and weathering. Finally, one reason many choose to use composite decking is because it is maintenance free. Even though the composite decking doesn’t require power washing, sanding or staining, we still recommend inspecting it to ensure safety each year.
PVC decking is made of poly vinyl chloride – which is high quality plastic. PVC is the most premium of decking materials and the costliest. While composite decking typically still looks like wood, PVC decking does not. Like composite decking, PVC materials are resistant to rot, infestations and weathering and requires little to no annual maintenance.
Pricing your next deck project
As we’ve noticed, in the current market, anything goes. What we might see as a decrease in pricing on materials one day could increase two weeks later. If you wait too long on an exterior home project, the pricing may change depending on materials, time of year and the supply chain. We encourage our customers to re-bid projects if they were put on hold earlier in the year or ask us about possibilities for a material change or other updates. We will provide you with options and education around materials, price and timing. Have a question about your potential deck project? Grab some time with us and let’s talk.