A deck being built with composite decking on pressure treated lumber

Choosing the Perfect Deck Material for Your Replacement Project

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So, you're ready to replace your deck? Whether you're gearing up for summer barbecues or envisioning a serene oasis right in your backyard, one thing's for sure: the deck material you pick will make all the difference.

Feeling a bit overwhelmed by the choices? No worries, we've got your back!

In this guide, we're diving deep into the world of decking materials. From timeless wood to sleek composite and PVC, we're here to break it all down for you. We'll talk durability, style, and everything in between, helping you make the best choice for your deck replacement. Let's get started!

Assessing Your Needs and Goals

Before diving into the world of deck materials, it's essential to take a step back and assess your unique needs and goals for your deck replacement project. Here are some things to ponder:

1. Budget - What's Your Magic Number?

Let's talk about the elephant in the room - your budget. We all have one, and it plays a pivotal role in determining your deck material. So, what's your magic number? Different materials come with varying price tags, so it's essential to have a clear budget in mind.

Remember, though, that your deck is an investment. Spending a bit more on quality materials now might save you on maintenance and replacements down the road.

2. Climate - Mother Nature's Influence

Mother Nature plays a significant role in your deck's well-being. Take a moment to assess your local climate. Are you in a region known for harsh winters, scorching summers, or heavy rainfall? Your climate can substantially influence how your deck performs and how long it lasts.

For instance, in the Pacific Northwest, where a wet climate demands extra care for long-term deck maintenance, many homeowners opt for PVC or composite materials. These choices alleviate concerns about staining wooden decks due to moisture, which can lead to rot and increased slipperiness.

In areas prone to extreme weather conditions, prioritizing durability and resistance to the elements is crucial. After all, who wants a deck that buckles under the first snowfall or wilts in the summer heat? Protecting your deck investment begins with considering your local climate.

3. Aesthetics - Finding Your Style

Aesthetics matter, right? Of course, they do! Your deck isn't just a functional space; it's an extension of your home's style and your personal taste.

Some materials offer a traditional, warm wood look, while others exude a more contemporary vibe. It's all about what makes your heart skip a beat when you step onto your deck.

4. Maintenance - How Much TLC Are You Willing to Give?

Let's be real about maintenance. Some of us love the idea of staining and sealing our decks every couple of years. For others, the less maintenance, the better.

Different materials have different maintenance needs. Wood, for example, typically requires regular staining or sealing to protect it from the elements. On the flip side, some materials are practically maintenance-free, requiring nothing more than an occasional hose-down.

Traditional Wood Decking

Wood deck

The timeless beauty of wood! Wood decking has been a favorite for homeowners for generations, and for a good reason. Here's what you need to know:

1. Variety of Species - Finding Your Wood Soul Mate

Wood offers a variety of species to choose from, each with its own unique look and characteristics. From the rich tones of cedar to the durability of pressure-treated lumber, there's a wood for everyone.

If you're a fan of that classic woodsy feel, this might be your go-to. Just remember, though, it does come with a bit more maintenance.

2. Maintenance - The Price of Beauty

Beauty often comes at a price, and with wood, that price is maintenance. Wood decks typically require more TLC than their composite or PVC counterparts.

You'll need to stain or seal your deck regularly to protect it from the elements. Think of it as an opportunity to give your deck a little love and keep it looking fresh.

Composite Decking

Composite Deck

Now, let's talk about a game-changer in the decking world - composite decking. It's a blend of wood fibers and plastic, and it's gaining popularity for several good reasons:

1. Low Maintenance - The Dream Come True

Raise your hand if you're not a fan of regular deck maintenance. If that's you, composite decking might be your dream come true. No need for staining or sealing; a simple wash now and then keeps it looking good.

2. Durability - Stand Up to Anything

Composite decking can withstand the elements like a champ. It won't rot, warp, or splinter. So, if you live in a climate that throws everything at your deck, this material is a real trooper.

3. Aesthetics - Style on a Platter

Style-conscious homeowners, rejoice! Composite decking comes in a wide range of colors and textures, allowing you to achieve the look you want without sacrificing durability.

PVC Decking

PVC Deck

Another fantastic option to consider is PVC decking. Made from 100% synthetic materials, PVC decking has its own set of advantages:

1. Moisture Resistance - Waterproof Wonder

PVC is virtually impervious to moisture, making it an excellent choice for areas with high humidity or near water, like pool decks.

2. Durability - Stands Strong

PVC decks are incredibly durable and resistant to scratching, staining, and fading. They're built to withstand the trials of time and weather.

3. Low Maintenance - Hassle-Free Living

Like composite decking, PVC decks require minimal maintenance. A quick clean is usually all it takes to keep them looking pristine. More time to relax, less time scrubbing!

Other Decking Materials

While wood, composite, and PVC are the most common choices, there are other materials to consider:

1. Aluminum Decking - Durability Redefined

Extremely durable and low-maintenance, aluminum is an excellent choice for a long-lasting deck. It's also a fire-resistant option, adding an extra layer of safety to your outdoor space.

2. Vinyl Decking - Waterproof Wonder

Known for its waterproof qualities, vinyl decking is perfect for elevated decks or those exposed to heavy rain. It creates a dry space below your deck, so you can enjoy the outdoors even during a downpour.

Budget Considerations

Let's talk budget. Your budget is a significant factor when choosing a deck material. Here's a rough breakdown of how different materials compare:

  • Wood: Generally the most budget-friendly option upfront, but remember, ongoing maintenance costs can add up over time.
  • Composite: A mid-range option with slightly higher upfront costs but minimal maintenance expenses over time.
  • PVC: Slightly more expensive than composite upfront but offers similar long-term savings due to low maintenance needs.

Climate and Maintenance Factors

Your local climate plays a crucial role in determining the ideal deck material:

  • Wet Climates: If you live in a rainy area, consider PVC or vinyl decking, which is highly moisture-resistant.
  • Harsh Winters: For regions with harsh winters, composite and PVC are excellent choices as they don't warp or crack in extreme cold.
  • Low Maintenance: If you prefer low maintenance, composite or PVC are the winners here, requiring only occasional cleaning.

Sustainability and Environmental Impact

Many homeowners today are conscious of the environment. If sustainability is a priority for you, here are some considerations:

  • Wood: Look for sustainably sourced wood options certified by organizations like the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). It's a great way to enjoy the beauty of wood without harming the planet.
  • Composite and PVC: Some composite and PVC decking materials contain recycled content, making them eco-friendly choices. Plus, their longevity means fewer replacements and less waste.

Making the Final Decision

Choosing the perfect deck material for your replacement project is a significant decision, and it's worth taking your time to weigh the pros and cons. Here's how to wrap up the decision-making process:

  • Assess Your Needs: Revisit your needs and goals. Which material aligns best with your budget, climate, aesthetics, and maintenance preferences?
  • Research Thoroughly: Dive into detailed research on the materials you're considering. Learn about their pros and cons, and don't hesitate to consult with a trusted decking company in Marysville, WA, for expert advice.
  • Consider Sustainability: If environmental impact matters to you, factor in the sustainability of the material you choose.
  • Get Professional Input: If you're still unsure, consider reaching out to a decking contractor. They can provide valuable insights and even offer material recommendations based on your specific situation.


So, there you have it, dear homeowners – a comprehensive guide to choosing the perfect deck material for your replacement project. Remember, your deck isn't just an outdoor space; it's an extension of your home. Take the time to pick the best material that suits your needs and preferences, and soon you'll be sipping lemonade on your beautiful, brand-new deck.

If you're in Marysville, WA, and need some expert guidance, don't hesitate to reach out to our decking company for a helping hand. Here's to your future outdoor oasis!