Composite Decking vs. Cedar Decking: Learn the Pros and Cons Before Buying Building Materials in Seattle

Summer has a way of bringing about the big projects you had been putting off. This year, perhaps it’s your deck. The loose boards and wiggly railing has finally caught up to you, and it’s time to make a change. But you might find, as you start your research, that there are a lot of choices to be made, all of which will have lasting consequences for your family and home.

One of the major things you might be wondering is whether to go with a more traditional wood type or a modern composite product. It’s a tough choice with a variety of options on the market, but we can help! While there are many things you should consider before you start construction, let’s begin with learning the pros and cons of composite decking and cedar decking building materials in Seattle.

Composite decking

If durability and low maintenance play into your idea of a good decking material, composite might be for you. Composite is a wood-alternative made from recycled plastics or wood chips. While you might immediately shy away from the idea of a “plastic deck,” consider the fact that many high-quality options on the market are more realistic looking than ever.

This realism comes at a cost, however. Composite materials are typically more expensive than real wood options. But you may forgive the cost when you realize that, unlike a traditional wooden deck, you do not need to re-stain or weather treat your deck every year. With little annual maintenance, a composite deck will last many years without the need to replace components or boards. Also, unlike wood, composite decking is the same throughout, meaning there is no need to trim around knots or defects in the boards.

Cedar decking

There is just something beautiful about a well-built wooden deck. Despite all the benefits of popular composite options, cedar decking has a charm to it that cannot be matched by modern, high-tech materials like composites. Though cedar is less expensive on the front end of the deck building process, there is a substantial amount of work that goes into keeping it looking its best.

Whereas synthetic decking excels in the elements—like rain, snow and sun—and under heavy traffic, these are the worst enemies of wood decking. It’s important to know that cedar decking should be treated and weather-sealed every year or two. If maintenance is ignored, the deck will age much more quickly than it should, and could result in splinters and the need to replace boards. Because wood is an organic material, it does break down over time. And while its imperfection is also a part of its charm, these defects can mean wasted material during the building process and unexpected and inconsistent wear over the long term.

Now that you are more familiar with the differences between composite decking and cedar decking, the next step is to select the right materials. If you are planning a deck building project, then come on over to Stewart Lumber & Hardware Co., where you will find the highest quality building materials in Seattle!

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