Pick your deck material carefully; it can last over 20 years.

By Michael Haigley
September 03, 2002
Courtesy of AZEK

There are plenty of coastal locations where the new compositesmade by Trex and other companies would make intelligent deckingchoices. But on Nantucket, where a traditional look is preferred(if not required by code), we use only wood.

Even if you're using the new synthetics for the deck boardsthemselves, you'll still have to build supporting posts, beams,joists, and ledger boards from wood. So everything we've said aboutstructural stability and sealing still applies.

If you're using wood, don't consider anything that is notpressure-treated or naturally rot resistant. Pressure-treatedyellow pine is the most common decking material. Natural,rot-resistant woods such as mahogany, Douglas fir, and Brazilianhardwoods are expensive. But many of our customers prefer thembecause they are the most natural looking and they weatherbeautifully with little or no care.

You should expect 20 years of use from a deck properly plannedand built. And that's without applying special stains ortreatments. Some people love to see water bead up on treated decks,but I'm not a fan of unnecessary maintenance. You're paying forpressure-treated stock or for woods that naturally resist decay, sowhy spend Saturday spraying your deck with an expensive coating youdon't need? Take the money and play golf.