Factors to Consider When Choosing Decking Materials

A deck is usually constructed outside the house and will, therefore, be subjected to adverse climatic conditions which are sometimes too hot or too cold. It is also a focus point to anyone coming to visit and even passersby as it will be the first thing that they will see when they get into your compound. You should, therefore, ensure that the deck will present a good image of your house and creates a homely atmosphere. A deck is place where you unwind after a hard day at work and will need careful consideration before you begin the construction.

Below are some of the factors you should consider when selecting decking materials:

  • Location: consider the place you intend to locate the deck before you buy the material. It could be at the back of the house where there is a lot of exposure to the sun or a place where there is shade.

A deck that is exposed to sunshine will be exposed to massive heating and will need a material that will not get very hot to make a person stepping on it barefoot get burnt. Such a deck will also be prone to fading or even warping as a result of the heat. A wooden material will be the ideal choice for a deck in this location. It should be painted with a light color that will not absorb a lot of heat.

If the deck will be placed in an area with a lot of shade, it could develop moulds or even stains and will need cleaning several times. You can choose a composite material for this location as it is not easily stained, warped, and hardly rot.

  • Maintenance cost: Every deck will at one time need cleaning which is usually done annually. A wooden deck will however require re-staining and also prepped after every two or three years. To eliminate fading, wooden decks also require annual finish application which is not the case with composite decks. This makes wooden decks more expensive to maintain than the composite decks.


  • Cost of purchase: A composite deck is more expensive to construct than a wooden deck and will also require a lot of structural support during construction.

Composite decks are long lasting and have less maintenance cost and will therefore be ideal if you intend to stay in that house for a long time. If you intend to shift after a few years, you would go for a wooden deck.

  • Pest infestation: wood is usually prone to destruction by carpenter bees which could even drill the wood to make nests. Composite decks are safe from such pests as they cannot penetrate through the hard material.
  • Aesthetic appeal: Personal preference is also a consideration when selecting decking materials. If you prefer to go natural, you would go for wood; for a person who loves a more finished look, he would go for composite.

Choosing materials for building your deck is mostly driven by personal preference and the budget you have allocated to the deck construction. Consider a choice that will cost you less to maintain and one that will best suit the location of your deck. Do not use untreated wood that will be prone to pests as this will make your deck last for a short time and you will have to incur a lot of costs to repair. You should also choose a location that will provide a relaxing atmosphere where there is neither too much sunshine nor too much cold.