Chicago homeowners often have plans on how to improve the curb appeal of their homes. One of the obvious solutions is to landscape your yard, another one is to build a deck or porch. Inviting additions to a home, decks and porches give people a place to relax and have some fun times. However, prospective deck and porch builders need to be selective about the materials they will use for their project.



Material Choices


There are three main choices for materials for your deck or porch. First, there’s the old standby, wood. Used for centuries, the wood used for decks and porches are mainly cedar, redwood, and pine. There are more durable choices, mainly hardwoods, but these can have a higher price tag. Second, you can get plastic materials to build your deck or porch. They may not look natural but plastics fare well against the elements—plus, they’re stain resistant. Finally, there’s the middle ground between the two: composite materials. A combination of wood fibers and recycled plastic, they are often treated so that they look like natural wood, but they combine the best of both components.


Consider the Environment


The main factor when selecting among these materials is how they react to the environment. Your porch and deck will be exposed to the elements 24/7, all-year round, which will inevitably affect their lifespan and durability. There are also other factors that the environment can affect. For example, composites and plastics are tougher than wood, which can warp and rot depending on the conditions. However, these materials can get really hot when exposed to sunlight or heat unlike wood. On a hot day, a barefoot walk on a wooden deck is reasonably comfortable, while walking on plastic or composite can be painfully hot on the soles of your feet.


Ease of Installation and Maintenance Issues


Another thing to consider is how the materials are to be installed and how to maintain them. Wood is really easy to install. Contractors just buy piles of lumber then cut and measure on the spot. They are then directly used to build the porch or deck. Composites and plastic are a bit harder to install since they come in pre-set sizes. As for maintenance, plastics and composites need only a wipe down to be clean and a finish applied once year. Wood requires more attention since you want to identify any warping or mold.


Consult with Pros


Contractors that are experienced porch and deck builders like DAL Builders Inc. can recommend you what materials are best for your purposes. Listen to their advice and get their help in deck or porch building for the best results.



Decking Materials: Know Your Options, HGTV.com

Five Tips For Selecting The Best Composite Deck Material, Housing Zone

Choosing a Deck: Plastic or Wood?, Houzz.com

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