Technological Advances in Composite Decking Make it Affordable
Adam Zambanini, president of residential products at Trex, stated that they’ve “…reimagined and re-engineered… [their] Enhance line [of composite decking] to introduce… a premium quality, low-maintenance decking option for budget-minded homeowners who may have previously eliminated composite [decking materials] from consideration due to price.”* In essence, Trex made a more budget-friendly composite decking option to increase their market share. (It’s good for them, and it’s also good for all of us because composite decking is made from recycled materials. That’s just an aside and one of the reasons we like it.)
Although the low maintenance aspect of composite decking has had an appeal to consumers for a long time, many have been put off due to the price differential between building with composite decking and pressure-treated wood.
With the advent of Trex’s new Enhance basic line, which design results in less material being used, the cost differential has been reduced. Trex did this by re-engineering their Enhance product. On the underside of the decking it is no longer flat. It is scalloped. As you can see in the image, this logically results in less material needed to be used in its manufacture. Trex has reflected this in its price making composite decking much more competitive with the pressure-treated wood alternative.
Wood decks are cheaper up front, but need ongoing maintenance
Composite decking still costs more upfront but when you take into account the cost of ownership and maintenance over time the difference reduces. Cleaning, sanding, staining, and sealing a wood deck has an ongoing demand for your resources. Composite decking maintenance involves simply cleaning with soap and water—a pretty minor commitment.
Your time is a cost too
Whether it’s just your time or the cost of hiring someone to do it for you, there is an ongoing cost to having a wood deck. At the very least, it is the cost of the materials you will need to buy if you do the maintenance yourself. And, if you don’t do it, it will result in a shorter lifespan for your deck which increases the cost/year of ownership. When you add in the fact that composite decks are known to give you more years of usable life than wood decks to start with, the big picture cost of ownership of a composite deck looks better and better.
Even if it does cost a little bit more, composite decking is resistant to scratching, mould, rot, fading, cracking, and staining. That alone makes it very attractive. But, with the new lines now available, you may find the phrase “Budget-Friendly Composite Decking” holds.
It’s time to consider a composite deck
So, if you are considering a new deck, consider looking at some of the composite deck lines available on the market today. Trex isn’t the only company re-engineering their product to make it a more viable option for homeowners. With products like Trex’s (and others) newly re-engineered more budget-friendly composite decking, the lifetime cost of ownership may be a lot closer to building with pressure-treated wood than you might think. And, you may also find that the enjoyment you get from your deck ends up being a lot more.
That’s all for now. Until next time we’ll keep Building it Right™.