If you're considering a new deck, you have a lot of choices to make. One of the biggest and most difficult is the choice of material. There are many options to choose from. Two of the most popular are wood and composite decking, but only a cedar deck offers the best value for homeowners. Keep reading to find out why.
The Advantages of Cedar Decks
The biggest advantage of cedar decks in comparison to composite is price. Cedar, on average, is a better value than composite decking for the same size deck. If your budget is a primary concern for your deck project, cedar will always be a better value than composites.
Plus, cedar decks can hold their value better than composite decks do. Adding any deck can improve your home's value, but there is virtually no return on investment difference between the value of a cedar deck and a composite one. In other words, cedar costs less than composite but still adds the same amount of value to your home.
Along with being a better value than composite decks, cedar decks are stronger too. Composite materials have come a long way from their early days, but they still aren't as structurally strong as wood.
In fact, almost all composite decks still have a wood support structure holding them together. However, the deck frame actually needs to be stronger for a composite deck since the material itself is weaker. This includes closer spacing of support beams and different fastenings for the deck boards.
The mixing of wood and composite also creates another problem - in extreme temperatures wood and composite boards contract at different rates. Composites contract more, which can cause their fastenings to work loose faster and compromise the strength of the deck. However, with a cedar deck all of the wood contracts and expands at the same rate, allowing the materials to stay strong for longer.
Unlike composite decks, cedar decks are easy to repair in the event of damage. Wood is a forgiving material, and it's not difficult to repair or replace damaged pieces yourself.
In contrast, composite decking almost always needs to be repaired by the manufacturer. Indeed, you probably won't even be able to get individual pieces of composite to match your deck anywhere else. This can make repairs expensive. Plus, composites need to be replaced more often, including when they fade over time. Unlike cedar, most composite decks can't be painted or stained to regain their original appearance. Replacement is the only option.
Cedar also beats out composite deck in terms of environmental impact. Many composite deck manufacturers like to point out their products are made with recycled plastics and PVCs. However, these compounds are not biodegradable like cedar is. While old cedar decks decompose naturally after being torn down, composite decks pollute for generations.
Composite decks also require homeowners to use harsh chemicals in order to keep them clean. These chemicals are bad for the environment - and they also gradually degrade the appearance of the deck. Compare this to cedar, which can be maintained with natural or low-impact oils and stains to minimize environmental damage.
In the end, the biggest advantage of a cedar deck over a composite deck is trust. People have been building decks, homes, and other structures from wood for thousands of years. The oldest composite decks are less than 30 years old, and we still don't know how much longer they will last. One thing is for sure, though - they certainly won't last "forever" like manufacturers said they would.
In the end, a cedar deck is one of the best investments you can make for your home. They are beautiful, durable, and budget-friendly, and they make an excellent addition to any property. To learn more about how your home could benefit from a cedar deck, contact us today!