Choosing cedar vs composite decks  

Choosing cedar vs composite decks  

One of the most important parts of building a deck is making sure you choose the right material. A deck will add significant value and last for years, so you want to make sure you love it. While natural wood decks, like cedar, might be the traditional choice, you can’t rule out the benefits of composite wood either. So then, how do you choose?

Raw Contracting in Calgary is an experienced deck builder that offers landscaping services too. They share the differences between cedar and composite so you can choose which is right for your new deck:

Composite decks

The biggest benefit of a composite deck is its durability and long lifespan. Composite itself is composed of recycled plastics mixed with wood chips. The result is a material that looks just like real wood but without any of the main downsides. Composite never needs to be stained or treated and won’t fade, warp, or crack. It can, however, be stained to change its appearance for aesthetic reasons. The average lifespan is also much longer than natural wood as it easily lasts upwards of 50 years.

However, the price of a composite deck can easily cost twice as much as wood. The added cost of a professional installation is another cost to factor in with a composite deck. Overall, the right budget is a major factor, but keep in mind that it will also pay for itself within a few years. Without future maintenance or repair costs, that initial investment will be the only cost.

Cedar decks 

For a natural wood deck, cedar is one of the most popular species to choose from. Among natural wood species, it offers the best longevity and value. Cedar is naturally incredibly durable, even against rot, decay, and insects. Despite being wood, it is also resistant to moisture absorption, so there is little risk of warps or cracks. Visually as well, cedar is highly attractive and will vary in colour depending on the species. For example, western red cedar is the most used wood species and ranges in colour from a light red to a rich, dark brown. Given the right care and proper installation, a cedar deck can last between 15-20 years.

Like any natural wood, cedar does need regular maintenance and more care. It must be stained and resealed every few years to protect the wood. If left unsealed, cedar eventually fades to a silvery grey. Cedar is also a softer wood, so while comfortable on bare feet, it is more easily damaged from scratches caused by deck furniture and barbeques.

Which is right? 

Both types of decks are excellent choices that will benefit any home and boost overall value. According to Remodeling Magazines’ cost vs value 2021 report, a wood deck addition will recoup 65.8% of the cost. A composite deck addition will recoup 63% of the cost. To decide between one or the other, look at your lifestyle and preferences.

If you love the touch and smell of natural wood and don’t mind the maintenance, choose cedar. It is less expensive than composite, and nothing beats the timeless beauty of natural wood. However, if you want a long-lasting and low-maintenance deck, then composite is the best choice. Budget and costs will also play a deciding role, as composite does cost more to install. In the long run, though, that cost will pay itself and make a great investment.

Deck Builders in Calgary

Raw Contracting can help you enhance your outdoor living spaces. They are experienced and skilled deck builders and can create a custom plan for your deck addition that best suits your needs. They also offer landscaping services including landscape installation, artificial grass, and paving services. If you want to improve your Calgary property and lifestyle, the professional team at Raw Contracting can help.

Contact Raw Contracting today!

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