Good materials for constructing decks include several types of wood – cedar, redwood and tropical hardwoods – along with pressure-treated lumber and composite, or synthetic, materials such as fake wood, plastic and even aluminum, according to Popular Mechanics. Like other types of construction materials, decking materials vary in price and longevity, as well as achieve different looks.
Many people enjoy the look of wooden decks and choose pressure-treated, or PT, lumber for constructing or redoing a deck. PT lumber refers to any type of wood that undergoes a treatment process before use. This process makes the lumber resistant to several environmental threats, such as bug infestations. However, PT lumber does not protect against warping, cracking and fading, which plagues traditional wood.
Natural woods, such as cedar, tropical and redwood, make good choices for decks too. These woods yield a longer lifespan than PT lumber and naturally resist destruction from bugs, warping and cracks. However, people usually pay more for these woods than they do for PT lumber.
Composite materials, such as recycled plastics, also make popular decking choices. These partially synthetic woods have a long lifespan, are weather-resistant and do not succumb to environmental problems like warping and cracking. They can develop mold and mildew, however, which necessitates some maintenance.
Lastly, aluminum is another deck option. Aluminum is light in weight and very strong. It is weatherproof, resistant to bugs and warping and deflects heat, say authors at HGTV. However, it generally costs more than other decking materials.