Comfort, elegance and living space make a deck one of the best home improvement investments you can make. According to the annual Remodeling magazine “Cost vs. Value Report,” you’ll get back nearly 75 percent of what you pay for a deck if you sell your home within the first year after the deck is built. That investment can vary widely, depending on materials and the intricacy of your design. An array of new decking options can make all that effort and expense last longer and cut down on maintenance during its life. While pressure-treated “green” Southern yellow pine still goes into 80 percent of all decks, there are several alternatives even within the pressure-treated lumber category. Other choices include exotic hardwoods and a variety of non-wood products, such as engineered vinyl systems and plastic-wood composites. And there are the different shapes, widths, grades, colors and treatments within categories.
|PRESSURE-TREATED LUMBER||$16-18 per sq. ft.||10-15 years||High-maintenance: annual cleaning, sanding & sealing|
|CEDAR & REDWOOD||$20-25 per sq. ft.||15-20 years||High-maintenance: annual cleaning, sanding & sealing|
|COMPOSITE||$28-30 per sq. ft.||25 years||Low-maintenance: hose down as needed|
|IPE||$43-48 per sq. ft.||30-50 years||Low-maintenance: can be oiled annually to keep the rich color (does not influence durability)|
* Costs may vary.