Decking- Composite vs. Redwood
One of the many choices people face when designing and building a custom home in Southwest Colorado is what kind of decking material to use. Typically the choice comes down to either redwood or one of the composite materials like Trex, Evergrain or several others. There are advantages to both.
The biggest reason to use the composite materials is maintenance. Unlike redwood, with the composite material you don’t have to stain and seal the decking. It is virtually maintenance free. It is however not as strong as wood and for that reason we sometimes will use redwood to build rails. Another advantage is warrantee which varies among manufacturer but is something you don’t get with redwood. The material can stain however and if it does can be difficult to clean. The composite decking material is more expensive to install but for many people the lack of maintenance makes it more than worth it.
Redwood on the other hand is a natural material and when properly taken care of will remain beautiful indefinitely. Redwood is naturally resistant to decay so when it is stained it holds up very well. Staining is something that will need to happen on a regular basis though. Depending on the exposure to weather and sun you might need to re-stain the deck as often as every year. Redwood is a stronger material than the composite choices so it works very well for railings and usually can span longer distances so sometimes less framing material is needed. Redwood is less expensive than the composite decking.
In all, both materials work very well and there are good reasons to use both. Consider carefully when planning your next deck project and you will be able to enjoy the space for a very long time!