Q:

How do the prices for PVC decking compare with wood?

A:

Quick Answer

All types of PVC decking are generally more expensive than wood decking, but the price difference varies depending upon which subcategory of each material is being used. Hollow PVC decking is cheaper than solid, composite PVC decking, whereas pressure-treated lumber is cheaper than redwood, western red cedar and tropical hardwoods such as tigerwood, abaco and camara. In terms of overall cost, wood decking requires much more maintenance over its lifespan than PVC or composite decking does.

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Full Answer

More expensive wood decking generally requires less overall maintenance. For example, pressure-treated lumber can be acquired extremely cheap but must be maintained yearly, and it suffers from a relatively short lifespan of 10 to 12 years. On the other end of the spectrum, expensive tropical hardwoods still require yearly treatment, but their high density and advanced durability can increase the lifespan of a deck by up to 30 years.

Cellular PVC is the most expensive synthetic decking option on the market, but it often comes equipped with a lifetime warranty and does not rot, fade or require yearly maintenance. Aside from complaints about price, one of the most frequent customer concerns with cellular PVC is that it looks relatively unnatural as a substitute for actual wood decking.

Websites such as ShadeFX and TimberTech feature in-depth analyses of differences between decking materials and various price comparisons between PVC and wood decking.

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