Should You Build Your Deck with Wood or Plastic Lumber?

Is wood preferable, or plastic lumber best, when you’re building a new deck?

Wood has been the favorite for hundreds of years. But recently, DIY fans are becoming more interested in using plastic alternatives.

There are pros and cons to each choice, so let’s investigate if plastic really holds its own against wooden decking.

What’s Plastic Lumber Made Of?

This innovative type of lumber is normally made of single resin polyethylene, polyvinyl chloride or polystyrene. All three types are crafted from their base form in order to imitate the style and appearance of real woods.

It can be used for decking, garden furniture, and much more.

If you’ve got concerns about the environment, you’ll be pleased to hear that there are several types available which are made of recycled plastics.

There are a number of specialist plastic options which are safe to use in water. As it’s more durable and doesn’t rot, plastic is actually an excellent choice for private jetties and launch quays.

Comparing the Costs

Plastic lumber is more expensive than wooden boards. But demand is growing, so in the near future, its price is likely to sink.

In the meantime, you should note that plastic has another advantage. This is that it lasts far longer than wood. And you won’t spend money retreating and maintaining it over the years, as it’s pretty much a ‘lay and forget’ job.

The actual price difference will, of course, depend on which wood you’re thinking of using as an alternative. Tropical hardwoods are expensive but very resilient. So you’ll save money and time maintaining the deck.

Get quotes for wood and plastic if you’re unsure of which way to go.

Doesn’t Wood Look and Feel Better?

Well, the smell of sawdust certainly is a beautiful thing.

However, wood needs replacing quicker than plastic lumber. Plastic can last for years and years without needing much care at all. And while it’s in place, it needs far more maintenance to keep it up to scratch.

Plastic materials are harder to scratch, don’t splinter or warp over time. They also keep their color for longer, and can be molded in convenient shapes for your garden’s needs.

However, you might feel that there’s no substitute for the real thing.

Installation Time

Both plastic lumber and regular lumber can be cut and drilled in a conventional manner.

You don’t need special tools to work with plastic. So DIY definitely is an option.

One thing you should note is that wood is more sturdy than plastic where it is left to ‘overhang’ the edge of its supports. So you may need to insert extra support for a plastic project.

Making Your Mind Up

Hopefully, you’ve now got a better overview of wood and plastic lumber.

Now it’s up to you. Which would you rather make your deck out of? And are you going to DIY it or pick a reliable handyman to do the job for you?

Whichever route you choose, we hope your decking project is a real winner!