While well-designed outdoor spaces continue to gain in popularity, more and more people are choosing composite decking because of its low maintenance and its latest advancements in material and accessories.  Composite decking is made of equal parts of wood fiber and recycled plastic mixed with pigments, ultraviolet inhibitors, and borate preservatives.

Today’s options offer less fading, staining, or breeding of mold and mildew than a few years ago.  Multiple brands, numerous colors and beautiful exotic hardwood looks as well as textured surfaces give consumers many more design options.  Some ideas include colorful borders and fun shapes like a sunrise pattern.

A prime benefit of composite decking is a lack of need to stain, paint, or seal like wood decking.  The only maintenance required of composite decking is to clean off dirt and debris.  Most manufacturers offer matching railing systems and accessories.

Disadvantages include being more expensive than wood decking, a slippery surface if there is no texture, and a sizzling hot feel with darker colored planks.  Prices range from $1.50 to $5.50 per linear foot.

If considering a new deck this year, check out what’s available in composite decking.  Be sure to contact your local building department for requirements, such as architectural standards and if the material is approved for use in your city.  Also, ask for the “Evaluation Service Report,” ESR, that is required of each manufacturer showing test results for moisture absorption, abrasion resistance, fastener spacing, allowable spans, stresses, etc.