When it comes to building or redoing your deck or patio, you might assume classic wood is your best bet. The fact of the matter is, while classic wood is natural, strong and looks great, it’s also prone to rotting, warping and discolouration. If you’re looking to stray away from the traditional, check out these five alternatives.
Pressure treated wood.
This is an economical choice, and also the most popular building material when it comes to decks. The appeal is plain: pressure treated wood is affordable, readily available and easy to work with. The downside: routine maintenance is absolutely necessary to prolong the life and look of the deck, because much like classic wood, pressure treated wood is susceptible to cracking and warping with time.
Exotic imports, such as Massaranduba, cumaru, tigerwood, red tauari, ipe, and Philippine mahogany are dense and extremely durable, lasting something like 25 years, and are resistant to decay. Con: they are difficult to work with due to their density.
Redwood and cedar.
Redwood and cedar are naturally rich in colour and contain oils and tanins that make them conveniently resistant to decay, rot and insect infestation. To avoid the depletion of the colour to grey, be sure to properly stain the wood.
Composite wood is made by a blend of plastic and wood fibres. Due to the plastic elements, the planks won’t splinter and don’t require staining or painting. Also due to the plastic elements, this type of material is prone to mildew buildups and must be cleaned regularly.
This is a pricier option, but is has it’s perks. An aluminum deck won’t rot, rust, warp, splinter, catch fire or crack, in addition to be weather, mold and pest resistant. And, in case you needed one more reason: it’s totally recyclable.