8 reasons to choose a vinyl deck
For outdoor entertaining, a deck is hard to beat. It is also an excellent project in terms of return on investment when you sell your home. For many years wood was the traditional deck material: redwood, cedar, and pressure-treated pine were the most common choices. Nowadays you have the choice of vinyl deck materials that can have the beauty of wood without the drawbacks.
Popular deck designs and vinyl color choices
Deck shapes can range from a simple square or rectangular flat surface to geometric or curved shapes and multi-level designs with staircases, railings, benches, and built-in lighting. The size and shape of your deck is dictated in part by the layout of your home and yard. And the more complicated the design, the higher the cost. Octagonal decks with a gazebo roof lend themselves well to certain types of architecture such as Victorian or colonial, and multi-level decks make the most use of space if you have a two-story home. You can choose your vinyl deck material to mimic stained wood, or you can pick a color that complements the color of your house. The most widely available colors are white, grey, and tan. Different manufacturers offer many variations of these colors with their own proprietary color names.
8 reasons to say 'yes' to vinyl deck material
Without even considering its amazing affordability, a vinyl deck has a long list of advantages over wood:
- no splinters
- no periodic sanding and repainting
- no slippery surface to cause accidents
- easy to work with and requires less installation time than wood
- resists fading, mildew, rot and insect damage
- warrantied by the manufacturers, some for 20 years
- only maintenance: occasional sweeping and hosing
- spills clean up easily with commercial cleaner and brush
For durability and ease of maintenance alone, it's a worthy contender for your deck project.
Purchase and installation
Vinyl decking material is available at most major home improvement and hardware stores, or can be purchased from a distributor. The ballpark material cost is $4 to $6 per square foot. If you do not have excellent carpentry skills, you should consider using a contractor to install your vinyl deck, particularly if it is a complex design. The contractor will know the local and national building code requirements for stringers, railings, stairway width and treads, and other components. He will also know load factors if you want to install a hot tub or other heavy equipment on the deck. Use the form on this page to find suppliers and contractors in your area.