Are you searching for an article that explains everything you must know about composite decking in Melbourne? Then you’ve landed at the right page.
We have crafted this article intending to uncover every secret that there is about a composite deck. From its meaning to benefits, mistakes during installation, and trendy ideas – we covered it all. So, without any further ado, let’s dive into the topic.
What Is Composite Decking?
First of all, the composite material used for the decking is a man-made product. Made with a blend of equal amounts of recycled plastic and wood fibres, the composite material can last long and doesn’t rot or warp like in the actual wood.
When you use the composite for a deck, you can overcome the disadvantages in the wooden material. Whether it’s longevity, sustenance, or maintenance – composite scores the point in all the cases. And the best part is, it looks and feels like the real wood, so you don’t have to compromise on aesthetics.
The History of a Composite Deck
Till the late 20th century, that means till the 1990s, no one knows about composite as it was not invented. All residential and business owners relied on pressure treated wood for building decks. Though wood is classy and timeless, there are certain disadvantages in terms of longevity and sustenance. People had to spend a lot of money on repairing and restoring the deck, making the wood a high-maintenance product.
So, researches have been done to invent the product that can last long, sustain, and requires low-maintenance. And the result was composite material – a blend of plastic and wooden fabrics.
The resultant product was water-resistant and more long-lasting while looking as good and timeless as the wooden decking. It’s designed in a way to give the appearance of the natural wood.
Though invented in the late 1990s, the popularity of the composite increased in the next decade, gradually. People started seeing the composite as a potential alternative to wood. And from then on, there’s no looking back for the composite.
Like in all other inventions, there were some early challenges in the composite. One of them which was critical is in the installation process. You can’t use traditional screws and nuts method to fix the boards. Because of the plastic used, composite material produced the mushroom effect which happens when the plastic blooms around the head of the screw.
To rectify this problem, multi-diameter screws were invented. These screws fastened the boards without giving the mushroom effect. It seals off the mushroom neat and clean, and the boards appeared sleek and levelled.
The new evolution: capped composite decking
The next stage of evolution of the composite deck happened in the year 2008, called capped composite decking. The researchers and the composite lumber companies worked on producing a very strong outer layer to sustain the bad impacts.
They used a process called co-extrusion to evolve the composite deck. It acts as a cap on the traditional composite deck boards, and hence the name was given: capped composite decking.
This evolved product offered more advantages than the traditional composite boards. It showed resistance against the mould and mildew growth, water, scratches and stains, and many more.
This made the capped version of composite the most popular material in the world. And till now, there was no other issue and the composite material remained the top option for decking among many homeowners.
How A Composite Deck Benefits You?
The composite deck is not just about the beauty but it serves your real purpose too. It will make the worth of your time and money you invested in constructing the deck. It will give you pride as a homeowner that you build the deck to your heart’s content. Some other benefits you can have from this deck are:
– Long-lasting deck
People began to use the composite material as it’s designed for the long-lasting use. If you are a homeowner who is planning for a durable house and structure, then composite is the right material choice.
Over time, you will see the wooden boards warping, fading, contracting, expanding, or even splintering due to various circumstances. This is true in the case of wooden boards but not in the composite material. As artificial substances are also added while manufacturing the composite material, the resultant material can last long without any premium maintenance.
– Maintenance is not a hassle anymore
The best part about having a composite deck is that you don’t need to seal, paint, varnish it, or oil it. It doesn’t need the supreme maintenance that you’d have to give to the wooden deck. Low maintenance which includes soapy water and mopping the surface is enough to get your deck going for many years. Even if you spill or the surface is stained with other marks, you can remove easily provided you are cleaning it immediately. You don’t have to struggle a lot to keep the deck in upkeep condition.
It’s particularly useful for 24*7 busy people. Amidst the hectic schedules and a very little time for yourself, you can’t spend the time cleaning chores. Instead, you’d want to enjoy a peaceful evening which is what the composite deck will give you.
– Adds elegance to your home
Imagine your house with a deck and without it. Which do you think adds more elegance to your home? Certainly, the one with the deck, isn’t it? And the best part is, you can customise the deck space to your liking.
Whether you want to add your favourite furniture or add accessories and décor items or growing your favourite plants – the best deck or pergolas in Melbourne can be your refugee.
Also, you can paint the deck matching your home architecture, add balustrades for security, and construct glass panels around for a modern look, or a roof for protection, and many more like that. Depending on your taste and style, you can make the deck a part of your space and heart.
– Can sustain in any weather
The composite material is designed to sustain any kind of damage from weather elements. Whether its scorching heat in summers, cold in winters, or heavy downpour in rainy season – composite can sustain them all.
This property is the main advantage over the wooden. As the wooden material reacts immediately to the extreme weather condition, you have seal, paint, or varnish the deck. You don’t have to do this if you choose the composite material. You will not only save the installation costs but also maintenance costs.
As composite is prepared by mixed with plastic and wooden waste, there’s no wastage in the production. The plastic used is recyclable and the wood is collected from the by-products of polishing the actual wood.
So, composite material is made from the recyclable materials, so there is no harm to the environment. Also, you don’t have to worry about the plastic used in the composite.
As the deck lasts up to a longer time, you can retain the plastic in the product without dissolving in the ground.
– Increases the value of your home
Whether you are constructing a new home or renovating an old building, adding any aesthetic structure increase the value of your home. One of those structures is a deck. And if you choose the composite material for it – then the value increases two-fold, as it’s a long-lasting material. You can demand the fair price during selling.
Even if you are not looking to sell, you can enjoy the long-lasting composite deck without investing too much on repairing and restoring, as you’d have to do in the wooden deck.
Reading all the benefits, you can answer the question: Timber or Composite Decking – Which is best? If you are indeed thinking to install the composite deck, then you must know the following topic. It’s about the potential mistakes that you might commit while building the deck. We have pointed them all and also the ways to avoid those mistakes.
Mistakes That You Might Commit While Building a Deck
Humans make mistakes. It’s inevitable. But it doesn’t mean that we can’t learn from the experience of other persons and dodge the most commonly committed mistakes while building a deck. So, to help and forewarn you, we’ve uncovered the secrets of the mistakes that most of the homeowners may commit:
1. Not planning properly
After construction of the deck, depending on its location, it becomes a focal point of your house. It attracts compliments from your visitors, envious smiles from your neighbours, and much more. All of this can do down the drain if you’ve started building with poor planning.
Your deck may not look as beautiful as you thought, the deck boards may not be straight, and the colour you picked may not complement well with your home. Ultimately, your invested time and money may have been for nothing.
So, how not to do this? Simple, by making proper planning. Once you have decided to build the deck, from taking legal permissions to selecting the deck material and the design you want – be thorough in every stage. Set your options right and choose the one that suits your lifestyle and budget.
2. Laying the wrong foundation
Whether it’s constructing a building or a deck, laying the strong foundation is a must. Without the strong base, you can’t expect a structure to withstand the pressure, in this case, foot traffic.
Unfortunately, this is the mistake most of the homeowners do. They don’t take as much care as they have to put in laying the foundation. Don’t commit this mistake while you are building your own.
Find out what kind of foundation is needed for the deck size you selected. Know the soil type and its hardness and make sure you did thorough research on the foundation. Or you can consult the professional deck builders and take their help before proceeding further.
3. Using the wrong materials
Using the wrong materials for the deck will be as bad as picking the wrong partner. It will end up looking bad or will not be as functional as you would want.
First of all, pick the material on how long you want the deck to last. Is it for 5 – 10 years or more than 15? If it’s less than 10, then composite might not be an option for you.
As composite lasts for more than 20 years, select it only if you have long plans. For temporary options, choose wood or vinyl material for the deck. Before choosing, study the advantages and compare with each other to know what the right material for you is.
Apart from the material, you have to take care of the colour, price, boards, etc. while building the deck. If you are not sure what the right materials are, never hesitate to speak with the experts who will open the correct doors for you.
4. Improper installation of deck boards
Are you installing deck as the DIY project? Then you have to take care while installing the deck boards.Make sure that each board is fitted with others and there is no tilting or mismatch of the boards. If you don’t care of this, there is a 90% chance that your deck collapses. You certainly don’t want this to happen.
To avoid this, use galvanised screws instead of typical ones. Use the correct hardware and tools to make the installation right. If you are stuck somewhere, watch the online videos, search Google, take help from friends, family, etc.
Whatever you do, make sure you do the process right on the first go. Because after poor installation, you will regret not only your time but your money as well.
5. Ignoring the manufacturers’ instructions
To not make mistakes while installing, it’s imperative to follow the manufacturer’s instruction before you commence the work.
DIY can be a great idea but if you are doing anyone mistake, the whole project goes awry. So, it’s don’t forget to read every instruction twice before proceeding further.
Now that you got full information on the mistakes that you need to avoid, let’s see the budget needed and the composite deck designs that you can build to blend in with your lifestyle.
The Budget Needed To Build a Trex/Composite Deck
The three main factors that contribute to the budget required for building the composite deck are labour, materials, and size.
The first one, labour, is the primary cost factor that you must consider while building the deck. You can cut down the labour expenses if you have decided to build the deck yourself. Or you can appoint a professional builder in the off-season. You can get the right builder at a fair price.
The second labour, materials, depends on how you want the deck to be. As you’ve already decided to choose composite, the other materials that you have to buy are the accessories or the décor to beautify the deck. If you are on a low budget, then it’s better to not include any extra items that spike the budget.
And the last one, the size, is another cost factor that determines the final budget. It’s directly proportional to the size of the deck you want. So, depending on your home and location you are constructing, you can determine the size and thus the total budget.
Budget saving tips:
- When you are selecting the designs, choose for straight-angled decks. The decking boards are readily available when compared to the complicated curved designs.
- Use designing tricks such as mix and match and minimalistic designs to save the cost on overly intrinsic patterns and designs.
- Look for the deck designs that give you outdoor storage options than the ones that do not. You don’t have to spend extra on building storage systems.
- Focus on the designs that are more functional than aesthetic, which means, look for the deck design that gives shade in the mornings, enough privacy, and the easy access to sceneries, etc.
Awe-Inspiring Composite Deck Ideas
The basic idea of a deck is to have a relaxing place. Whether you want to unwind in a lounge chair with a glass of wine or have pleasant dinners with your family – a deck is a perfect spot. So, to explore your functionality, we’ve crafted here a few ideas where they help you in choosing the right design.
- Add a coloured rug and canopy
Elevate your composite deck with a rug. A rug placed at the right place can be a focal point, attracting the attention of your visitors. To complete the look, you can add a canopy or a sofa to relax the pleasant morning and romantic evenings.
- Deck with a swimming pool
If you have a swimming pool or planning to construct in the future, don’t forget to extend the deck to your poolside. A deck near the pool can act as a relaxing space. You can sit, lounge, play with your family, keep containers for storing towels and napkins, arrange a table with an umbrella to enjoy the wine, and many more.
- Deck with outside fire pit
Why confine a fireplace to your interiors. Bring warmth and colour to your deck by constructing an outside fire pit. It is a perfect idea for the homeowners who experience chilly weathers all year. You can spend time outside on the deck with the fire providing you with enough heat.
- Paint the composite deck
Don’t keep your composite deck plain and brown. If you are a fan of colours, the highlight your deck with warm hues or cool shades. You can do the painting matching your home architecture or the one that complements with your house. For extra colour, you can match furniture and décor as well.
- With a picturesque view
This idea is related to the location. If your house has a wonderful view of nature, then build a deck facing the view. Every time you sit and relax, you can get lost in the mesmerising view of nature or other scenic views.
- A multi-layered deck
A deck on a deck. This multi-layered deck is for the multi-functional people. You can use the lower deck for one purpose and the upper deck for others. For instance, on the lower layer, you can place pots, shrubs, etc. and on the upper, you can arrange dining furniture to enjoy refreshing dinners amidst greenery.
- A deck with many plants
A deck is not the only place for relaxing but for decorating as well. If you are a plant lover, you can use the deck space to grow your favourite plants. If you have a layered deck, you can use one part of the deck for growing plants and the other part for dining and relaxing.
- Modern and trendy
A typical deck resembles a classic area with wood coloured deck boards. But if you are a modern person, you can turn the décor to your liking. Add glass panels around the deck and paint the decking in sleek colours. A modern and trendy deck will be ready for you.
- Build a roof or frame a bench
A deck is an open structure. That doesn’t mean you can’t make it an enclosed space. You can add a roof over the deck in your favourite style. It not only provides shade but also protects your furniture. Additionally, you can also add a bench for increased functionality.
- Add a swinging chair
Who doesn’t love a good fly in a swinging chair? And if you add that in your deck, it would be an amazing place to enjoy the scenery in perfect solitude.
What do you think about these ideas? We are sure they are amazing, functional, and aesthetic. So, don’t wait anymore. Add these accessories to your deck and make it blend with your lifestyle.
Don’t think anymore. Go for the composite deck.
Whew! That was a long blog you had to read. But hopefully, we covered every secret about the composite decking in a clear format. If you are still hesitant about the composite blog, we advise you not to think too much. We are sure that you will be beyond satisfied once you have built the composite deck. You can do it either yourself or by hiring professionals. Whatever method you choose, we guarantee that the resultant deck structure will make you happy.
Ariana Mortenson, a professional writer and blogger. I write on various niches in a way that it’s understandable and appealing to the people. I aim to achieve a difference through my writing which allows you to make informed and valuable choices.