A deck around the house or pool is a common feature in many homes these days, and when it comes to building a deck, there are plenty of materials to choose from – from the classic timber with its warm, natural look, to the imitation-timber composites, hardwearing fibre cement and tiles, and the lightweight, durable powder coated aluminium.When it comes time to build your deck and choose your materials, plenty of homeowners, builders and specifiers immediately think of short-term costs – material and installation costs spring to mind, and it is true that these are an important factor. However, there are other factors that must be taken into account: factors which affect the long-term value of your deck.
To make sure you get the utmost value out of your new deck, think about how it will stand the test of time, how much it will end up costing you over your lifetime – and how it will look down the track.
How much will it cost to maintain?
When choosing your decking product, going for the cheaper option may seem like a good idea at the time, but over a long period of time the cracks will begin to show. Low-cost timber alternatives such as composites fade rapidly in the sun, while even timber itself needs regular staining and oiling, and still needs replacing after 5 – 10 years in spite of this maintenance. By choosing a high-maintenance product, even if it costs less initially, you may end up paying significantly more than you bargained for. Alternatives such as powder-coated aluminium and fibre cement, however, need no maintenance other than cleaning. DecoDeck’s Super Durable ™ powder coated aluminium decking is a low-maintenance option with a 12-year warranty (in accordance with AS3715) that retains that timber aesthetic without the hassle of staining and oiling.
How safe is it?
It doesn’t matter how much you saved on your deck if it ends up being unsafe – you could end up paying for these cost-savings with injury or damage to your home. Products that burn easily such as composites or timber put your home at risk, especially if you live in a bushfire-prone area with a BAL 40 or BAL FZ rating. You also need to consider the slip-resistance of your product – if it’s slippery when wet, you could risk injury or breaking objects or furniture. Composites and tile decking do not perform well on slip-resistance tests, meaning that when they get wet, you could be going down on your face. For a decking option that is both non-combustible and slip-resistant, DecoDeck delivers.
It's all about the look
As well as considering practical factors, builders and homeowners want to think about the aesthetic appeal of their deck. Timber is a favourite choice of decking material for a reason – its warm, natural appearance is an attractive feature in any home – although it can rot and warp over time, losing its beauty. Many other decking types try to imitate timber’s beautiful, warm look without its ongoing maintenance needs – but some options such as composites can look fake, while others such as fibre cement don’t look much like timber at all. Sublimated, powder-coated aluminium decking such as DecoDeck replicates the beautiful timber aesthetic many homeowners love, without the risk of taking on a faded or rotted appearance after exposure to the elements. DecoDeck’s Super Durable ™ powder coated finish will help it retain that natural timber beauty for years to come.
Want more information on decking materials and how they stack up? Download our latest white paper: Thinking Long Term: Evaluating Decking Materials, for a concise, easy-to-understand comparison of decking materials and an overview of considerations for building a deck.