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Cornerstone Construction Group

Your Remodeling Experts

Phone 302-864-7527     Fax 302-349-4183

Your Perfect Deck

Whether you're grilling, entertaining, or just enjoying a cold drink, your deck is a place where you can unwind. When choosing a decking material, there are many things to consider, including appearance, maintenance, and price.

Decking Materials

You can select from an array of natural and manufactured decking materials. Pressure-treated softwoods, such as yellow pine and hem-fir, are popular choices. Other common choices include composite lumber, typically manufactured from a combination of wood byproducts and recycled plastics, and synthetic materials, such as hard vinyl, aluminum, and plastic lumber.

Maintenance Requirements

Although natural woods tend to carry a lower price than their manufactured counterparts, the total cost of owning a wood deck almost always exceeds that of a composite or synthetic deck because of ongoing maintenance expenses. Natural lumber usually requires an annual or biannual pressure-washing, sanding, staining, and sealing to preserve a like-new appearance. Synthetic and composite materials, on the other hand, demand little more than a periodic deck cleaning with soapy water, though some composites benefit from an occasional staining or sealing. If you plan to use your decks for several years you will see a payback on your investment in composite materials.

In order to properly design your deck you should ask yourself these questions.

What will I use the deck for? Will it be used for entertaining, eating, children playing, barbecuing, working/reading, sunning, pool parties?

  1. How often will it be used? Will it be used daily, primarily on weekends, or just for entertaining? This answer will help you to budget high priority items.
  2. How many will be using the deck? What is the size of your household? How big will the groups be that you entertain? This will help in determining the size.
  3. What features would I like to include? Do you want room for a patio table, a outdoor living room, a barbeque or outdoor kitchen, planters, lighting, speakers, built-in hot tub or pool, a screened-in area or gazebo? This will help in planning the layout.
  4. What material would I like to use? Pressure treated lumber, Cedar or other wood, composite decking, fiberglass, aluminum, vinyl or possibly steel. Do your research and then weigh the pros and cons of different material options relative to your climate, your budget, the design of your home and the level of maintenance you're comfortable with.
  5. What kind of railing would I like to have? Wood, composite, glass, vinyl, wrought iron, plastic lumber? Do you need privacy screening? There may be part of your view you want to keep and part that you would like to block.