In recent years, the demand for homes with decks has soared, with over 22 percent of all single-family homes started in 2018 incorporating decks in their design.
Installing a deck can have significant benefits. Not only does this project significantly add aesthetic appeal to your home, but it also provides a place for you and your family to relax. Building a deck can also dramatically increase your home’s resale value.
But when you’re spending $14,360 on a new deck, you want to get everything right. That includes choosing the right material for the job. Hardwood decking is one of the most preferred decking options in the country.
Of course, this type of decking does face worthy competition from other materials, especially composite. So, why should you opt for a wooden deck instead of a composite one? Once you’ve installed your hardwood deck, how can you maintain it properly, so it performs at the highest level for a long time?
These are just some of the issues we discuss in this comprehensive guide. Keep reading to learn more.
What Makes Hardwood Decking So Desirable?
Why do so many American homeowners prefer hardwood to other materials when installing decks? The simple answer is that hardwood decking planks have certain characteristics that make them ideal for your decking project. These include:
1. Hardwood Decking Is Highly Attractive
Real hardwood has an authentic aesthetic appeal that no other decking material can rival. Consider the honey blonde color of the Garapa wood, for instance. The allure of this shade is irresistible, making this wood the number one choice for homeowners looking to boost their homes’ curb appeal.
With time, the honey blond color of Garapa wood starts to turn to an attractive silver shade. Of course, you can choose to retain the honey blonde shade by applying a sealant to prevent the shade from changing. However, many homeowners find the silver shade quite appealing and choose to let their decks turn to the color.
2. Hardwood Decking Has a High ROI
There’s no question that any type of decking will boost your home’s value. But a hardwood deck’s ROI is significantly higher compared to that of other decking materials, including composite.
Once you invest in Garapa or IPE decking, you can be sure that you’ll recoup almost all of the cost when you sell you home.
3. This Decking Option Is Eco-Friendly
Another huge selling point for hardwood decking is that the material is renewable and sustainable. The production of a deck board also entails very little waste. Less energy is consumed when these deck planks are being produced, which means less carbon footprint.
By contrast, the manufacture of composite lumber involves mixing plastic, wood, and binding agents. As you can imagine, this process results in more carbon emissions.
4. It’s a Less-Expensive Decking Solution
Despite numerous desirable features as a decking material, wood is surprisingly affordable compared to composite. Of course, the difference in price tag depends on what type of hardwood you choose, its cut, finish, and so on. But in general, composite lumber costs more than hardwood.
But what makes composite more expensive than wood? Well, there’s generally more work involved in creating every composite board. Putting together wood fiber and recycled plastic requires specialized machinery and more time.
When it comes to hardwood, all that’s required is the cutting and sawing of the wood before it’s sold.
5. Hardwood’s Surface Temperature Stays Lower in Summer
Historically, hardwood decks have always had an advantage over their composite counterparts during the summer. A composite deck can get uncomfortably hot during the day compared to a Garapa decking.
Walking barefoot on a composite deck in the sweltering heat of the summer can cause blisters on your feet.
6. Hardwood Decks Don’t Fade Easily
The majority of engineered decking products fade when exposed to UV rays from the sun. The sun’s powerful rays break down the colors of the decking material at an atomic level.
Within the first 3 to 6 months of installation, first-generation composite decking starts to weather and fade. Second-generation composite decking performs much better. However, you’ll still need to repaint it several years down the line to bring back its aesthetic appeal.
Hardwood decking does not have this problem. Once you’ve installed it, you can expect decades of service life before the wood’s color starts to lose its allure.
Tips for Maintaining Your Hardwood Deck
A hardwood deck is a big investment, and you want to make sure you get the biggest bang for your back. One way to keep your deck performing at its highest level is to invest in a good maintenance routine. Here are a few deck maintenance suggestions.
Always Use a Professional
There are countless home upgrade tasks you can do yourself, but deck installation isn’t one of them. Unless you have the necessary skills, it’s best to leave the job to a licensed professional. Any mistake during the installation process could lead to costly maintenance tasks in the future.
Pre-Finish the Hardwood Lumber
Before you begin the actual installation of the hardwood decking, it’s a smart idea to have it prefinished. The purpose of pre-finishing is to block UV rays and slow down the acclimation process. The lumber can thus acclimate consistently, not just on the surfaces.
Keep Your Hardwood Decking Clean
Cleaning your decking is one of the easiest and most effective deck maintenance tasks. Yet it’s also one of the most overlooked tasks. Dirt, pollen, leaves, twigs, and other debris can leave your deck looking unsightly.
And while hardwood is naturally resistant to mildew and mold, it isn’t immune. That’s why you need to set apart time to regularly clean your deck. Be sure to give your deck a deep clean whenever required.
Invest in Professional Hardwood Decking
A hardwood deck is a great addition to any home. Not only does it make it possible to enjoy your outdoor space better, but also significantly enhance your home’s value and visual appeal. To keep your hardwood decking in top shape, remember to maintain it well.
Are you interested in top-notch hardwood decking solutions for your home? Please contact us today.