One of the most important yet least addressed concepts of deck building is longevity. People want to know, what decking material lasts the longest?
Unless you’re Scrooge reincarnate, you like the idea of other people being able to enjoy your deck. The surprising thing is that you can build a deck that will last for longer than you think.
It’s also important to acknowledge that there is a great deal of difference in the price of these materials, which will be included. The price influences and limits what people choose.
However, being mindful of this information will put you in a better position to move forward, as failing to plan is a sure-fire plan to fail.
This exotic hardwood is going to be difficult to source and expensive. However, the properties of this wood set it far apart from other wood materials.
The natural oil, the weather, pest resistant qualities, and density give it the longest life of any wood material.
A deck built from ipe wood will cost you around $20-25/sq foot. It will last between 30 and 75 years. Consider this for a “generational” build.
Abundant in the United States, especially on the West Coast, this wood is more affordable than ipe. Still, it will boast some of its longevity characteristics.
This wood is selected predominantly for its beauty and natural grain. Appealing as it is, this hardwood doesn’t stop there, not by a long shot.
This decking material will easily see you through the next 30 years, with adhering to proper maintenance practices. The cost is around $4-6/sq foot.
You might be more familiar with aluminum as a siding, roofing, or furniture material; however, as technology has developed, more and more uses are found for this versatile material. Therefore, you won’t mistake this for a natural wood deck.
Still, when you compare the availability, price, longevity, and aesthetic of using this material, you’ll be able to overlook that one inadequacy. This material is going to be flexible when considering its aesthetic appeal, as you can paint it every season if you wish to do so, to convey a certain atmosphere.
The initial setup will cost around $6-15, depending upon availability and the utilization of powder coating to substantiate its longevity. As this material is far less expensive to maintain than any natural wood deck, its 30-50 year lifespan should be a component for you to consider.
Yes, you could call this a patio, albeit a material most won’t ever consider in deck building. Concrete can last the lifetime of a house, given proper measures are taken from the onset to discourage cracking and weathering.
This cannot be prevented, but the fact of the matter is that there’s a reason this material is used in foundations and pillars for tall structures. It’s readily available, economical, and durable.
The initial cost will be $1-6/sq foot, but you’ll likely have minimal upkeep, and it will last the lifetime of your home.
If you’re going for unique, this may be your material. Although pavers will have to be replaced seasonally, depending upon exposure to extremely cold weather, we’re talking about the material used to create the material mentioned above, concrete.
This stone endeavor will provide flexibility in design as you’ll be able to shift the material if you’d like and as often as you’d like. Most likely, it too will last the lifetime of your home, with an initial cost between $3-15/sq foot, depending upon the specific material you select.
This is another hard-to-find hardwood, as beautiful and resilient as ipe and redwood. It’s worth considering if you have access to it.
It will stand up against the elements as long as you’re dedicated to preserving it with proper maintenance. It also rivals other woods with its natural beauty. You can add a splash of creativity with specific stains and treatment.
However, the cost is a little up and down as this wood is also difficult to source, $8-30/sq foot, and the longevity, even if properly maintained, maxes out and demands replacement around year 15.
Pressure Treated Pine and Cedar
Pressure-treated pine is a great, cheap material. It’s readily available and inexpensive. You should be able to source this material between $2-3/sq foot.
It’s the perfect wood material to exhibit a classic deck look and feel, and you’ll be able to express yourself a bit more with some color as it’s not a wood you’d want to just stain.
Cedar is another good choice for a less expensive classic look. $ 17-20/sq foot might seem a bit pricy though, since both of these materials will ultimately only last around 20 years.
Bamboo-relatively new on the scene, this incredibly malleable material has begun to be utilized because of its sustainability. It can be regrown and replaced in a matter of a few years.
Although, it has yet to be on the market long enough to judge its longevity in the application.
Composite plastic (PVC) and rubber – these materials are the most sustainable and eco-friendly as they are entirely made of recycled waste. If that’s your game, look no further because any other material will satisfy your itch to be eco-friendly.
These materials have proven, in other applications, to hold up well against mother nature and heavy use. You’ll have to source this longevity through the manufacturer to get pricing and expectations. They can vary from one to another.
Building a deck is a great way to extend time with family and friends to the outdoors. There’s not many things more relaxing than watching the sunset with a nice, cool lemonade.
Check out Lee Roy Jordan’s decking service page to get information about the decking materials we provide.