Choosing the best decking material for your home doesn’t have to be hard. Sure, there are a lot of options out there, but selecting the best one will depend a lot on your aesthetic and how much maintenance you want to do (or avoid).
We’ll state it right up front – we don’t design and install your basic pressure-treated lumber decks, so we’re not even going to include those as an option. It’s a budget material that’s highly prone to warping and splintering and needs yearly maintenance. Who’s got time for that?
Instead, we design and install beautiful decks using sustainable composite decking as well as exotic hardwoods. These decking materials give an upscale look to your outdoor living space and complement your home.
Composite decking first became available in the late ’80s and early ’90s. It’s made from a combination of wood and plastic for a weather-resistant and durable decking material. We use Fiberon and Trex® decking products, including planks, railing, deck drainage, and more. Both companies make high-quality products and offer some of the best warranties in the business.
Composite decking gives you the look of a wood deck, but it won’t rot, warp, or splinter, and never needs resealing or painting. It’s available in a range of solid and multi-tonal wood shades, including grays, beiges, and browns. These include decking that looks like tropical hardwood. You can also select deck railing with balusters that look like iron, or go for aluminum or cable rails.
Wondering what shades and tones would look best with your home’s exterior? Try the Fiberon Product Visualizer Tool to get an idea. And be sure to check out the style collections both manufacturers have to offer – European, Southern, Tropical, Rustic, and more.
High-end decking materials include the exotic hardwoods such as Brazilian woods Ipe (“ee-pay”) and Tigerwood.
Ipe wood decking is also known as Brazilian walnut. It’s known as one of the hardest, strongest, and long-lasting woods – up to 75 years! It is relatively low maintenance. If you want it to retain its color, we apply a UV coating. Otherwise, you can let it weather to a light gray.
Tigerwood decking is not quite as hard as Ipe, but it will perform well for 40-50 years. Tigerwood starts out a lighter shade and darkens as it weathers to an attractive amber shade. It is best suited for a deck location that is partially shaded because full sun will bleach Tigerwood.
If you’re set on having a wood deck, both Ipe and Tigerwood are excellent options. Both are more expensive than composite decking. For most of our clients, budget is not as big a concern as getting the look they desire. Which decking material is right for you depends on your personal taste.
Decks of All Sorts
We design and build decks of all sorts, including:
- Ground level or near ground decks
- Elevated decks with a patio underneath
- Multilevel decks
- Roof decks
We take your deck design ideas and turn them into reality using the decking materials you select.
RELATED READING: Building a Deck? Read This First
Dream It. Build It. Live It.
At LiveWell Outdoors, we build custom decks for homeowners throughout the Capitol region, including Maryland, DC, and northern Virginia. If you’re looking for a deck builder who can take your vision and turn it into reality, we’re your team.
Fill out the contact form to set up a consultation or call us at 301.720.1000.