What's the BEST side of the house to build a deck on?
Updated: Aug 6, 2021
Choices, Choices, Choices! Prior to the early 1980's, the choices for decks was rather limited. Today there are several choices for long lasting decks that can bring elegance and increased comfort to your home. Deck materials come in many forms- Wood, Vinyl (PVC), Composite, and Aluminum are the most common building materials. How do you know what is right for your home? Lets take a look at all these options:
The price of lumber has increased the need to look at alternative building materials. While lumbar has been the traditional building material to provide that natural outdoorsy look- the other 3 choices have stepped up to provide many options with a selection of colors, wood grain patterning, and even a feel similar to traditional lumber.
Looking at cost* alone of the 4 above options: In the example of building a 12x16ft deck, composite decking leads the options in cost of building, followed by Vinyl, Aluminum, then Wood. The cost of maintaining these options are similiar for Composite, Vinyl and Aluminum which do not require sanding, sealing, staining, painting for an estimated cost of $200 per year. Wood requires more maintenance with sanding, sealing, staining, painting at least every 5 years, or more depending on exposure to the elements and direct sunlight exposure.
Considering the lifespan and durability of these materials- Aluminum is the best option, followed by Composite, Vinyl, then Wood. Aluminum is said to last up to 100 years. Aluminum also has the least options for color and shouldn't be painted since they are typically powdercoated. Vinyl and Wood offer the least in lifespan but offer lots in color options. Vinyl also has many options for patterning to make your deck look like anything from wood to marble. Composite offers many different color options and wood grain patterning but is strong in terms of lifespan and durability. Composite is also a great eco-friendly alternative that uses between 80-100% recycled materials depending on manufacturer.
Conclusion: While you are deciding what material to use to design and build your deck, I'll answer the question: What's the BEST side of the house to build a deck on?
Answer: The Outside :)
*Cost varies depending on material manufacturer, availability of materials and labor cost.