Composite decking means you can forgo the annual staining and sealing rituals that go along with wood. Though composite makeups differ—various types of plastics and strengthening fillers such as wood flour or flax fiber are used—all require less follow-up work than wood. The Geodeck
boards used for the deck shown here are made from a mix of polyethylene, purified wood fiber, and other minerals. They won't rot, and they'll never need refinishing. What they do require is occasional cleaning. "The oak leaves make black marks if they sit for a long time," says homeowner Dan Smith. "But if I keep the deck swept and hit the occasional stain with a power washer, they come right off."