Understanding Decking Materials in Northern Nevada

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A DIY deck may or may not be a good idea, but you’ll need to consider decking materials whether you tackle the project yourself or work with a professional like Golden Eagle Builders. There are a surprising number of deck options on the market today, from common redwood and composite to less well-known options like vinyl and aluminum. Here at Golden Eagle Builders, we work with the first two materials for beautiful decks. Here’s what to know about how these decking materials perform in northern Nevada.

Natural Wood

When you picture a deck, you’re very likely thinking of a classic redwood or cedar deck. These durable materials are handsome in both color and appearance, and they offer some natural resistance to rot and insects. A properly installed wood deck can last 20 to 30 years in our climate, but that’s with regular maintenance. If you aren’t pressure washing and re-sealing every other year (or even annually), you’ll notice fading and cracking that can eventually impair the function of your deck.

Composite

Brands like Trex and Moisture Shield are synonymous with composite decking, which is made from a blend of recycled plastic and wood fibers. It’s a durable material that resists warping, rot and insects. It also comes in a wide range of colors and styles, including those that mimic natural wood. Unlike natural wood, composite decking doesn’t need to be sealed, sanded or stained unless you’re planning on changing the color. There are drawbacks, however. Dark-colored composite decking gets very hot in direct sunlight (so does natural wood) and the surface can be slick when it gets wet. Both materials have a similar lifespan.

Factors to Keep in Mind

Regardless of the board materials you choose for your deck, the underpinning is the same. Structural lumbar, most often pressure-treated Douglas Fir, will serve as the foundation of your deck. Since cost is often the first question asked, you’ll generally spend more on a composite deck than one made with natural wood. Another budgetary consideration is the deck build itself. In Reno, permits and engineering are required if a deck is attached to your home and a 30% grade above adjacent grade. That can add thousands of dollars to the project cost, so it’s important to keep that in mind as you envision a deck space.

The Takeaway

Decking material is an important decision to make, and it’s normal to have questions. Here at Golden Eagle Builders, we’re happy to help. Winter can actually be a great time to install a new deck or to get the conversation started at the very least. If you’re thinking of a new deck in 2024, contact the team at Golden Eagle Builders today and let’s discuss your options.