Although cedar and composite decking both have their own unique features and benefits, for many homeowners, a composite deck may make a lot more sense. When choosing a decking material, it’s important to understand the innate benefits that composite decking offers and to consider whether those features would make composite a better choice for your home than natural cedar.
Many people don’t fully realize the differences between composite and cedar decking when it comes to maintenance and upkeep. As a natural, organic material, cedar is susceptible to the elements and will naturally begin to break down over time. To delay the aging process, cedar decks need to be stained or sealed. Composite decks, on the other hand, will never need to be sanded, repainted, stained, or sealed, and are easily cleaned. If the cost and effort of regular maintenance is not feasible, you may prefer composite decking.
Just as cedar decks are subject to surface degradation from seasonal weather, they can sometimes fall prey to insect damage, structural rotting, and warping. In contrast, composite decking will never warp or crack and will often last several times longer than full wooden decking. Composite decking is also very resistant to moisture and insect damage.
Composite decking is composed of recycled materials, and its longevity and minimal maintenance requirements help reduce resource consumption and waste. If you are looking for environmental benefits like reducing the amount of lumber harvested for decking, consider composite decking for your outdoor project.
A professionally installed fence or deck can last your home a lifetime. Use the maintenance tips from these resources to preserve the long-term beauty of the cedar:
- This ConsumerReports.org resource assists homeowners with helpful fence mending tips.
- Learn more about Western Red Cedar (Thuja plicata) in its natural habitat with this informative summary.
- WRCLA.org provides a comprehensive introduction of cedar’s properties and the advantages of building with it.
- Find out what makes aluminum such a great building material by visiting About.com Chemistry.
- This DoItYourself.com article identifies the advantages a security fence brings to your home.
Using the right wood for outdoor applications is a great way to make the most of your home improvement money. This video from the DIY Network explains the benefits of a cedar deck used for entertaining.
“Build A Deck” host Jeff Wilson explores a home that features an immaculate cedar deck. Watch to see how the builder has combined the durable deck with a versatile screened-in porch for decorative cohesion.
Adding a new fence is a great way to boost your home’s curb appeal and protect your property from intrusion. Read on to learn more about the factors involved in this multi-faceted home improvement:
- Primary Purpose: The considerations you make when installing a fence should start with a clear understanding of the barrier’s main function. The intended use of the fence will have a huge impact on which materials and fence styles will best fulfill your purposes. A fence installed primarily to secure your property, for example, is best constructed from damage-resistant materials. Alternatively, homeowners desiring a fence for noise reduction should focus on privacy-boosting materials with good sound absorption.
- Material Durability: Homeowners should also research which building material best fits their performance needs. Wood fences offer an appealing mix of beauty and privacy. Certain species of wood, like Western Red Cedar, are naturally resistant to rotting and warping. As a result, homeowners can enjoy the natural beauty of wood without the excessive maintenance needs associated with weaker softwoods. Metal and vinyl fences also offer high levels of durability and damage resistance: Aluminum fences are an especially good choice for securing your yard, while vinyl fences are unbeatable when it comes to ease of maintenance.
- Community Impact: Homeowners should investigate the exact nature of property boundaries before putting up a new fence. This precautionary action will make it easier to avoid complications that might lead to the need for reinstallation. Be sure to research the zoning laws and building restrictions enforced by your local government, and identify the location of underground utilities. In addition, talk about your fencing plans with your neighbors and try to be sensitive to their concerns.Taking the time to perform this preparatory work will likely save your household time and money.
Few building materials offer the same visual appeal and service life as red cedar. Learn more about this smart decorating investment with the following summary of the benefits of cedar surfaces:
- Long-Wearing Decks: The undeniable luster of cedar in itself makes this wood a perfect choice for a new home deck. Furthermore, a variety of hardy properties make cedar a great choice for outdoor application. Natural resistance to both UV light and moisture help cedar resist long-term fading. This durability allows decks to retain their full beauty long after installation. Additionally, cedar’s unique visual patterns add a characteristic visual appeal to decks that can’t be imitated by other decking materials.
- Sturdy Furniture: Versatile cedar provides an equally beneficial set of qualities when it comes to furniture. The most notable of these features is its natural insulating properties: Cedar wood holds small pockets of air that disperse heat so it can maintain a comfortable temperature during even the hottest summer days. Furniture made from cedar also boasts insect, bacteria, and erosion resistance, due to the natural oils contained within the wood. These qualities are matched with a robust sturdiness that’s perfect for outdoor furniture.
- Beautiful Fences: Homeowners who install cedar fencing enjoy its minimal maintenance needs and reliable damage resistance. Just as it does in furniture, the presence of cedar’s oils serve as a natural deterrent against insects and rot. Cedar fences also resist warping and cracking over time. Each of these qualities provides cedar fencing with a wide advantage over rival softwoods like pine and spruce.