Perhaps you’re thinking of building a new deck. When you decide which type of deck to install, one important question you need to ask yourself is how much time you’re willing to spend on maintaining it. If you consider the maintenance time and costs required, and the overall lifespan of the deck, you’ll find that the seemingly most cost-effective option — pressure treated pine — isn’t necessarily the best overall value for the money you’d spend.
If you’re looking to get the best overall value, and the best long term return on your investment, it’s also worth considering building your deck from low maintenance materials such as hardwoods or composite. These materials do cost more upfront, but they greatly reduce the amount of time and money you’ll have to spend on maintaining your deck. They also have the potential to achieve double the lifespan, as compared to pressure-treated pine.
Your deck’s lifespan will depend on many factors, including materials, your local climate and whether you consistently invest in giving it the amount of maintenance it needs.
On average, homeowners inland usually enjoy their pressure-treated pine decks for somewhere around 15 years. Composite decks often come with 25 year guarantees. Installation costs vary, but composite and hardwood decking does tend to incur higher costs in this area as well.
However, the upfront costs are more than offset by increased lifespan and lower maintenance costs in the long run, making composite decks and hardwood decks a better overall value for the money spent on them. Most homeowners are able to reach their full return on investment within a time period of about 4 – 7 years.
Wondering what maintenance considerations are actually involved? For pressure treated pine decks, you’ll have to stain and seal them periodically. Warping is a possibility you may have to contend with.
When it comes to decking materials, the old cliché is true. You really do get what you pay for. For homeowners who don’t enjoy spending time on maintenance, or want to avoid having to rebuild their decks again in about 15 years, low maintenance decks are worth considering. Make your investment count.