The last ten years have brought about some remarkable changes in the decking industry. From the new maintenance free products, to tropical hardwoods, to the traditional redwood, cedar, and treated lumber markets, it can become a bit confusing to most. Below we will give you our take some of the trends in our industry.
“Maintenance Free” Products:
Also known as composites, generally speaking these products are a blend of wood fibers and plastics. With some manufacturers, these plastics will be recycled, which has become a demand driven trend for more eco friendly and “built green” products. By far and away, the “maintenance free” market is our strongest suit. From day one, we have embraced this segment and encouraged our clients to explore the options when it comes to these products. That being said, it is still important to evaluate your choices thoroughly and ask the right questions when it comes to these products (See our Q&A section for more details).
We primarily recommend three products when it comes to
these types of decking. These are TREX decking, L.P. Weatherbest decking, and Tamko’s Evergrain line. Among these three, TREX is our most commonly installed product. As strong as composite sales have been, there has been an influx of new competitors to this market. Many of these new companies will come and go, the important question is which of them will remain to back their warranties and offer you ongoing support for your purchase.
Products in this category would include Ipe, Brazilian Redwood, Mahogany, Cumaru, and many others. Generally these products are harvested in South America. Few would argue that these products are among the most visually appealing of what is currently available. These products boast a density and resistance to scratching that most composites and traditional wood decking cannot duplicate. These products do not install as quickly as other alternatives, and also cost more from a material standpoint. In most situations, tropical hardwoods will be the most costly choice in comparison to their competition.
Reports on how these hardwoods fare in Colorado’s climate will vary as well, with some indicating that a wood species grown in such a humid and tropical environment does not age and weather consistently in our dry and arid climate we have here. As a category in general, our projects have very few installations of tropical hardwoods.
Traditional Wood Decking:
This would include redwood, cedar, and pressure treated decking. Tried and true, you will still find many of the tract home builders in the metro area installing these options. From a price standpoint, they will come in as your lowest cost per square foot. Many of our customers still indicate a demand for a “just plain old wood” deck. These products, particularly redwood and cedar, look excellent when installed. Whether they remain looking like this is ultimately up to the person living on them day in and out. If stained yearly, and sanded every few years, a wood deck will stay attractive, and have a long lifespan. If left unstained and neglected, they will quickly weather and deteriorate. When maintained properly and regularly, they are an excellent choice.
Decks Unlimited, LLC
Littleton, CO Phone: (720) 635-0418