And the Fences Go Up

A Short Guide To Choosing The Right Decking Material

To the novice, all decks are the same. Yet, to the knowledgeable and informed homeowner, the decking material used for the project is what sets each deck apart. Do you know which material is best? While there are no clear best or worst choices, there are a handful of factors that all homeowners should consider when selecting their decking material to make the best, long-term investment.


Consider just how much effort you want to put into maintaining the appearance of your deck. If you are someone who enjoys taking on home projects, a high-maintenance material like pressure-treated softwood might be best for you. Yet, if housework is something you like to avoid at all costs, a composite decking material is a better choice, given that it requires less work. 

Keep in mind; owning a deck will come with some level of maintenance, but you can measure where you fall on the scale. Additionally, if you live in a climate that is prone to high moisture in the air, you should anticipate increased maintenance no matter which option you chose. 


In terms of safety and the longevity of the deck, it is always best to hire a professional deck installation company to perform the job. So, although you do not have to directly worry about the installation process, it is still something you should consider. How difficult it is to install the decking material will impact its cost and the amount of time it takes to complete the project.

For instance, softwoods are easier to cut than hardwoods, and hardwoods require pre-drilling whereas softwoods do not. Given these distinctions, hardwoods are more difficult to install.


It is always important to establish a budget beforehand, as the cost of decking materials can vary greatly. As you might imagine, the more convenient the option, generally, the higher the initial investment you can expect. 

For this reason, in terms of cost, given its low maintenance requirement and ease of installation, composite board decking materials often are more expensive. Let the contractor know your budget and what you want, and they can help you narrow your choices to the most suitable options. 

If you have additional questions about what type of decking material to use, it is always best to speak directly with a deck installer. Be sure to ask as many questions as you need to find the information you are looking for.