So you are considering adding a maintenance free composite deck to your older home. As a carpenter for over 30 years in the metro Atlanta area, I have been slow to come around when it comes to using composite decking on older houses. When I build an addition onto a 80-year old stone cabin I wouldn't clad it with aluminum siding?
Still, I recently had cause to rethink my position. The reason for the change of heart had less to do with the advancement but for the poor quality of lumber during at one of the big box home improvement stores. I was building a deck for one of my recent clients and it became a very tedious process. I had to sort through numerous stacks of decking board to throw out the material with obvious defects. Among those that didn't have major defects such as cracking, chips or splintering, a large portion had warping on one or all edges. After 50 minutes, the pile of rejects was two times as big as the pile of keepers. I found myself very envious as a home owner and his wife strolled by with perfectly strait decking planks. All of which were smooth and straight–no inspection required.
I decided to walk over and look at the composite decking and as expected as I got closer the quality of the product became evident. The big stores typically only carry what I think of as entry-level composite decking, which more closely resembles cardboard than wood. There are high grade composites that look and feel much closer to real wood, however the expense can be 2-4 times as much. I am willing to use whatever the material that the customer wants, however I think the lure of not having to maintain a wood deck should not be the determining feature. I will be on another job, however the client has to live with the choice for years to come, no matter what that choice ends up being. Contact Steve Hill for your Free Estimate and have a conversation about what is the best product for your needs.