Last edited 20 Apr 2017

Composite decking vs timber decking

Renovating a garden with the intention of adding value to a property can be a lengthy and daunting process. What is a reasonable budget? How long will the renovation take? What materials should be used? Premium materials such as composite decking and cladding can often be substituted with cheaper materials such as cedar and larch but when weighing up cost vs durability vs aesthetic, is it worth spending a little extra for added peace of mind?

However, when EcoscapeUK asked 100 people in garden centres and building merchants what was most important, 81% said they would be prepared to spend more if it guaranteed a durable and sound investment.

So, what is best to use and why?

Composite decking:

  • Low maintenance: It can be cleaned using soap and water and can have any metal fixings used with no risk of chemical reactions or staining.
  • Durability / longevity: It can last up to 5 times longer than timber decking.
  • It is resistant to weather, insect and fungal decay damage.
  • It is hard wearing.
  • It is available in any colour.

Timber decking:

  • Cheaper than composite decking, it is a good option for those with a small budget, landlords with rental properties or possibly first time home buyers.
  • It requires regular maintenance: Specialist cleaning materials are required.
  • Stainless steel is the only metal that can be used as fixings. any other metal will cause reactions within the wood. This is usually stain damage.
  • It requires preservation / safe guarding treatment against the weather, insect damage and decay
  • It can be stained to any colour.

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