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Non-wood Material Options for Denver Decks


July 27, 2016

What decking material is best? There are numerous factors to evaluate before making that decision. You’ll want to ask questions like: How will the deck be used? Is it in a shaded or sunny area? How much maintenance will it need? Here at Kona Contractors, we are aware that most decks these days are still being constructed of wood, however we want to offer you some non-wood decking information too. We are your full-service Denver contractors, qualified to deliver and maintain impressive, functional, and enduring outdoor environments – to include your new or renovated deck.

Although the price for non-wood decking is usually more than wood, the actual cost over time is a good deal-closer, because wood decks require more maintenance with time. Thanks to an explosion of composite lumber and plastic decking options, your choices have grown over the past several years. It wasn't long ago that the only choice in decking materials was wood – which came in perhaps two or three species.

Composites
Most composite products are made from polyethylene or polyvinyl chloride, and come in a wide range of colors. Composite decking and its cousin, plastic lumber, represent the fastest-growing decking materials sold today. Composites are typically composed of wood fibers and recycled plastic. The result is an extremely weather- and stain-resistant board that won't splinter, warp, rot or split.

Plastic lumber is made from 100% plastic; it contains no wood fibers. It too is highly resistant to staining and decay, and is free of knots, cracks and splinters. Plastic lumber can be made of virgin or/and recycled plastics.

Both composites and plastic lumber come in sizes similar to wood decking. Composites are typically less expensive than plastic lumber. Most composite decking and plastic lumber manufacturers also offer a line of handrails, balusters, fasciae and other decorative trim.

Composite decking and plastic lumber do have certain advantages over wood. They're extremely low-maintenance and never need to be sanded, refinished or stained. However, they aren't maintenance-free. Mold and mildew can grow in shady, damp areas of the deck, and some composites can eventually show signs of decay, which makes sense, since they contain wood.

Aluminum
Aluminum decking won't rot, rust, warp, splinter, or crack. It's extremely weather-, mold-, and slip-resistant. Its powder-coated finish lasts virtually forever, and it'll never peel or blister. It can't catch fire, wood-boring bugs hate it, and it's cryogenically strong – meaning it doesn't get brittle in extremely cold weather. It's also totally recyclable.

When compared with wood, composite and plastic lumber, aluminum decking is three to four times lighter, yet two to three times stronger. It can be cut with the same saws and blades used to cut wood.

Most aluminum planks have interlocking edges, which create gap-free, watertight decks. Built-in, self-draining channels collect and dispose of rainwater. Provided you can keep the channels debris-free, this feature is particularly useful for second-story decks, since the space below stays dry.

And you might be surprised to learn that aluminum decking actually stays cooler in the sun than most other types of decking because of the metal's superior heat-dissipation properties. The only disadvantage to aluminum decking is its expense; it is more expensive than either composite or plastic.

No matter what materials you decide to use for your deck, contact us now to begin the process and talk with our team about your vision, because at Kona Contractors, we can customize designs to your exact specifications. We serve the Denver Metro Area and surrounding areas in Colorado, and we're here for you to offer support throughout the deck building process, making it as simple, easy, and stress free as possible. Call us directly at 720-935-4922.
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