As temperatures rise, the dreams of Wisconsinites turn to backyard barbecues on their patio or deck—or to building a deck for their next cook out. If your summer dreams revolve around inviting friends over for brats and burgers and a night out under the stars on your new deck, start by researching your options for decking materials.
The main advantage of pressure-treated wood is price; it’s the lowest-cost of the three decking materials. Pressure-treated wood is long lasting and can be stained whatever color you want. Pressure-treated wood does need maintenance to keep up the look and durability. Depending on the quality of the pressure-treated wood, it can possibly warp.
Cedar is soft, rot-resistant, and does not absorb water. Cedar costs more than pressure-treated wood, but has a rich look and long-lasting quality that makes it worth the cost. The main disadvantage is that cedar needs maintenance. You have to reseal it throughout the life of your deck. Because of the softness of cedar, you are also more likely to get scratches and cuts in the wood in high traffic areas.
Composite decking has come a long way over the years, in terms of appearance. Composite decking is maintenance-free over the life of your deck, but has a higher cost for that very reason. Composite comes in all colors, but is cool to the touch (and feet) because of the material.
Once you’ve chosen your decking material, make your vision of summer cook-outs a reality.