A deck is an extension of your living space. It’s the transition from indoors to out. It allows you to enjoy the great outdoors without stepping in mud or tracking in grass.
However, a wooden deck requires upkeep. Trex and Azek are alternative materials that require little to no maintenance and last much longer than wood.
What Is Trex?
Trex is a composite material that has the traditional look of natural wood. Some other composite or PVC materials have an extremely uniform look. At first glance, you might think that you prefer the tidy appearance. However, when you put those boards together to build a deck, the result is an artificial-looking area.
Trex has a more natural appeal. The design on the boards mimics the subtle imperfections found in real wood grain. The material adds an air of quality to your home.
Its durable outer shell resists scratching. That means that when you push your chair out from under the table or let your dog out onto the deck, the material won’t become damaged.
Finally, Trex is environmentally friendly. It is made from 95% recycled materials, including recycled sawdust, and claims to be the most eco-friendly decking material on the market.
Trex comes in three different varieties. TrexTranscend Composite Decking is considered the highest quality option. It has the widest range of colors. TrexEnhance and TrexSelect are also high-performance options that are backed by the company’s warranty.
What Is Azek?
Azek is a cellular PVC material that’s made using weather-resistant technology. The core contains no wood fibers. It won’t absorb moisture or be susceptible to rot. It is also resistant to termites.
The Alloy Armour shell contains UV protection and is scratch resistant. It won’t fade under the harsh sun or become damaged with use.
Trex And Azek Make Building Easier
Both of these types of alternative decking have complementary products so that you can design the deck of your dreams. You can keep your current wooden structure and just replace the planks on your deck. You can also build a new deck from scratch, complete with hardware, decorative trim and railings.
The materials are easy to cut and assemble. They can be manipulated just like wood.
Why Not Wood?
Although pressure-treated wood may initially seem like an affordable decking option, you’ll end up paying for it over time. According to Azek’s website, the approximate cost of upkeep for a wooden deck is more than $20K over 20 years. The cost of maintaining a composite or PVC deck over 20 years is less than $10K.
Wood absorbs moisture. Over time, the absorption of water weakens the structure of the wood. It can splinter, becoming a danger to anyone who walks on it. Even high-quality cedar can rot, posing a hazard to you, your family and your guests. Pressure-treated wood comes in a few different varieties. Expect to pay top dollar for wood that isn’t full of knots and moisture, according to Family Handyman. However, it will still twist and warp over time.
You can delay structural problems by staining and sealing a wooden deck regularly. This will help keep moisture out. However, it’s a lengthy process that can become expensive over time.
Azek and Trex can simply be washed. Pressure washing can eliminate tougher stains. However, you can clean a deck made from one of these alternatives with soap, water and a sponge. Get great tips on how to care for your deck and patio each season.
Winter snow can damage a wooden deck. Using a shovel or ice pick can mar any decking material. Because moisture from the snow can’t seep into Azek or Trex, you don’t have to worry about shoveling (unless you need to clear a path out from the door).
According to RemodelingCalculator.org, the average return on investment on a composite deck is about 68%. A deck can improve the resale value of your home without the cost of adding an interior room.
Should you add a lavish deck onto a modest home? Sure, if you are going to stick around long enough to enjoy it. However, the general rule of thumb is that your deck should be no larger than the biggest room in your house.
If you live in an area that has beautiful summer weather and lots of perfect days for spending time outside, it’s worth it to have an ample deck that’s large enough to be practical. Take advantage of today’s technology and build a deck that will last as long as your home.