If you’ve ever seen a patio or a deck, you’ve most likely encounter one made from concrete, pavers or wood. Why are these three the most common decking materials? Because they are strong, durable and, most importantly, cost very little when compared with some decking materials like marcite or polymer/plastic decking.
So which decking material is best for your deck or patio? That can really only be answered after you answer the following questions:
Most patios and decks are attached to the home and have a door that leads in and out of the structure to take full advantage of both spaces. If the door that leads out of the home is only just a few inches off of the ground, it’s really going to be impractical to install a wood deck. Concrete and pavers work well in this case, but more often than not, concrete structures need to be covered with a roof or you can end up with a wet and soggy concrete patio that gets moldy, discolored and slippery. Pavers work just like concrete but allow water to easily wick away underground preventing staining that occurs on many open to the elements concrete structures.
Access to the Site
How are you going to get the materials to the building site? Concrete in large amounts needs to be premixed and delivered in a truck. If the large truck can’t access the site, then you’ll either have to pump the concrete to the site if you’re pouring a concrete pad. Additionally, wood and pavers are delivered by the pallet load and if the forklift truck can’t get back to the site, then you’ll have to leave the pallet load off at the closest point and deliver them by hand. Moving materials costs money and if access to the site isn’t available, moving these materials twice might end up costing more money in labor and time than wood.
Availability of Materials
While both coasts of America use wood materials for decks quite often, the east coast uses pressure treated yellow pine while the west coast uses redwood and cedar. Why the differences? Because wood costs a lot to ship, so the more local the materials the cheaper the price of the deck. Brick pavers and concrete availability can also affect its price significantly. By choosing a material that’s available in your area, you’ll save on the overall price of your deck or patio.
Main Features for Use
What are you going to do on the deck, porch or patio? If you’re going to use it for a simple retreat to bask in the afternoon sunlight, then a nice wood deck will work just fine. It won’t absorb the sunlight’s heat (or winters cold) like a concrete or paver patio or deck will. However, if you’ve got a portable grill or other mobile outdoor devices, installing a patio or deck made from pavers or wood is going to inhibit the movement of anything with wheels. Keeping your main features in mind when choosing your patio or deck materials can go a long way in getting the most out of your outdoor space.