Composite decking is the new go-to material of many homeowners nowadays. It barely needs any maintenance and is extremely durable plus it is made to look like wood.
With that said, if you’re considering building a deck, you must look into composite decking and its costs below.
Here is the definitive guide of what you need to get it done:
#1 Cost Per Square Foot
You can divide the cost between material and labor. A decking board can cost about 7.3 times more than a regular board. As a rule of thumb, the material for a deck will always cost 7 times more than the regular material. It all really depends on what you want. Find out your why. If you’re an investor what kind of demographic are you trying to sell it for? Will they or won’t they value composite decking? Make a list of the pros and cons. Depending on where you live the cost and go up or down. If you’re a homeowner and you’re in a neighborhood where it makes sense then why not? If it’s worth the return on investment then go for it. If you have an emotional attachment to your place then do it. Maintenance is low and it will last for years to come. If you know what you’re looking for, this is a real option.
#2 Cost Factors For Composite Decking
The material is the biggest one. The other costs involved are when you put the boards together you can’t use regular screws, but fasteners and depending on the material it depends on the fastener. These are more costly than regular screws. Also depending on how big you want the deck will either cost you more or less. Keep in mind that the standard size is 16 feet so if you wanted it to be 18 feet it will cost you more. With labor costs, the risk is that the contractor only gets one chance to get it right. Because of this, the price of labor can be high. Most of the people that we have created decks for ask for an aluminum railing which is what we recommend unless the homeowner specifically asks for something else. It’s custom made and is expensive to that adds to the cost as well. But remember that this material will last for years to come. Then if you want to use it at night you would need lights and furniture. Perhaps you want a second floor or a screened porch, or an outlet to hook up a television. Even a fireplace. So you need to make sure you have a plan.
#3 Benefits Of Composite Decking
Low maintenance and a long lifetime. Usually around 30 years. If you keep up with the maintenance it will last you. Composite is very durable and it won’t crack or be stained. Maybe every other year is when you would need to clean it. Composite decks will not splinter and if it were to crack, it would be covered by warranty. Composite decks cost about 5 to 6 times more than pressure treated lumber but the benefits are worth the peace of mind. You don’t have to deal with it on a regular basis, and it looks better. Really vivid colors and smooth surfaces with high endurance. This is especially appealing with the elderly that don’t have to deal with the maintenance.
#4 Drawbacks Of Composite Decking
The cost. While we’ve explained the benefits, all of these benefits come at a high cost. If you’re not really going to be using a deck than the cost wouldn’t be worth it and the ends wouldn’t justify the means. It would be ideal for high-end properties or properties on a lake. And while you wouldn’t have as many problems with composite as you would a regular deck, when you do have a problem, it’s harder to repair. All the components have to come together to make a solid structure and if just one of those components is off, then the entire thing needs to be restructured to get at the problem. Also, the weight of the composite is much heavier than regular lumber. So it’s more complicated to repair and replace. Delivery is more expensive and if you want to change the color you can’t. You have to replace the whole thing.
#5 Budgeting For Composite Decking
It depends on your house. You’re dealing with so many different variables. The best thing would be to hire an estimator to look over your property to tell you how much it would cost. Most contractors don’t want to deal with this type of material because if they make a mistake it will cost them dearly. The entire deck would be custom made so if an error is made regarding a measurement it’s expensive to go back and fix it. That’s why planning is key.
#6 Tips For Saving On Deck Costs
If you want a deck that’s 12 to 16 feet it will be easier to deal with because that’s the standard size. Anything more than that and you’re adding to your cost of labor for cutting boards.
Work with a renovation company that is actually effective. If the company can do it in two days versus two weeks, the price will be vastly different. Find someone that knows what they’re doing and have the logistics to deliver everything you need.
Most customers wait until summer but we recommend you don’t. That’s when prices are higher because everyone is doing it. Between fall and winter is the best because business starts to slow down, at least the labor costs will.
#7 Composite Deck Maintenance
If you’re working with a company that leaves behind a post-construction manual, you picked the right one. It’s always important for a company to leave behind some information about who to call, warranties, and the do’s and don’ts of maintaining the deck. For oil and grease stains, clean as soon as possible. All you have to do is wash it. If you want to pressure wash the deck never go past a pressure of 1500 psi. Most chemicals we recommend letting it settle into the stain and then soft-rinsing with water. And just for regular cleaning, it would be about twice a year, especially if you live around trees. Improve the drainage of the deck when you can, maybe a secondary collecting system so the water doesn’t settle. Even for this material, water can be powerful.
#8 Find A Pro
That is the most important thing. We’ve been doing this for ten years, and in that time we’re always looking for the most efficient systems and newest technologies which are way better than just a guy with a truck. Trying to get the job for cheap can end up costing you more. It just depends on your peace of mind and can you really nickel and dime something like this. Look for references, and for previous work. Just because the price is low doesn’t mean they can do it. Imagine spending a lot of money on this material and the guy who had lined up can’t get it done. You would have to reorder everything to have a deck you can do yourself. Leave composite to the pros.
I hope this information was useful to you and your needs. Now that the gears are turning in your head, you’re already planning on the next family get together. Just make sure to get it done in the fall so the prices go down.
That you’ll be ready for the summer. Although watching the leaves fall from the aluminum railing you’re leaning against doesn’t sound bad either.
Take your time, and make sure to do your research. Especially with the professionals, you want to hire and you shouldn’t have any worries when it comes to creating a new experience for you and your loved ones.
Watch MOG’s Home Renovation Made Simple show latest episode about composite decking costs: