Building a deck used to just mean one thing, now we have ALL THESE OPTIONS.
June 21, 2012 5:46 AM Subscribe
To use composite decking
or not to use composite decking, that is the question.
posted by Medieval Maven to Home & Garden (19 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
That's seriously the question. We have a smallish backyard - it's always been kind of awful, first because the old owner had dogs that destroyed it, and then because it's just too shady to really grow grass.
It's also awful because we just are not yard work people. Someone comes to mow the grass every two weeks and that's more or less the best thing that we've ever done for ourselves.
SO. This very small yard is probably something like the size of our garage - an 80's 2-car garage. Essentially what we want to do is put a low deck (12-14" off the ground) over all of the yard to make it lower-maintenance than "grass" and more usable (right now we don't go out there at all). We're looking at both traditional decking and composite decking, but I have no idea what is the right thing to do. Keep in mind, we are not the kind of people who are going to put ONE MILLION HOURS into this once it's done. We are the epitome of "set it and forget it." If I had my way, I'd go back in time and buy a brick house with vinyl windows and soffits and pressure wash the house once a year and be DONE.
I'm reading now that composite decking isn't really low maintenance, that you have to spend a lot more time than advertised cleaning it and once you do it's going to start looking terrible really quickly, because the cleaners are harsh and wear off the finish. I'm a little skeptical that you "must" use these harsh commercial cleaners - I am reading elsewhere that you can clean up with dishwashing liquid and use deck brightener if you need to - I'd assume that vinegar would kill fungus on a composite deck anyway.
1. Do you have composite decking? How do you feel about it?
2. I'm assuming the commercial cleaners are a racket and you can just clean this stuff like a normal person. Correct?
3. Is there an actual maintenance advantage over traditional wooden decking, particularly considering we're not going to be that far off the ground?
4. I'm sure I'm overlooking something, so please tell me what that is.