Home>Discussions>EXTERIORS>Builting New Deck. What material should I use?
7 posts / 0 new
Last post
Builting New Deck. What material should I use?

I live in Apple Valley Minnesota and it can get to 100 degrees in the summer and down to -25 degrees in the winter. I am currently demolishing my old 20 year plain deck made from treated lumber. The deck is 12 to 24 inches above the ground. And I have several questions. The supporting structure is surprisingly sound. Should I not take a chance and remove the supporting structure and start from scratch? I also want the decking to be low maintenance as possible, or no maintenance. I am looking at composite decking and plastic decking. I have heard some composites will mold. The deck will be getting more shade than sun and our cold winter weather concerns me, with respect to the plastic decking. What is my best option for decking material in Minnesota and last another 20 years? The deck will be going into an area that is 22 by 25 feet but the new deck design is not set and probably will be smaller.
I think I am a pretty good handyman and will be installing the deck myself. What are the critical areas that I should be concerned with?

Re: Builting New Deck. What material should I use?

I recommend Trex Deck

Re: Builting New Deck. What material should I use?

I don't have personal experience living with the plastic products. I have installed them for others and they seem to have held up for those folks. We are in mid-atlantic area, so temps go from 0degF to 100 degF. They do say they are hotter to walk on in bare feet than the PT deck boards.

As far as the support structure goes....
Are the posts buried or anchored at the ground level to the cement footers? If they are anchored at ground level I would be more inclined to replace them at his point.

If the posts are buried, I would look real hard at them and hopefully they would be in good enough shape so I would not have to dig new post holes which I am guessing in your area would be about 4'-5' deep!

If they didn't look so good during daylight hours I might even inspect them again after it got dark! :D:D:D

Re: Builting New Deck. What material should I use?

I have done some research on composites and several of them have had problems with mold, Trex being one of them. This was back in 2007 and I would assume that they have changed the manufacturing process to correct the problem by now. Does anyone know if this is true? I am leaning toward the PVC plastics.

Re: Builting New Deck. What material should I use?

I have Weatherbest on a smaller deck of mine, and seems to be just fine. I did just power wash it and it cleaned up nicely. THere was an advisory on Weatherbest decking manufactured during a specific date-range, but believe those were resolved in 07. THere are many brands, and some believe that if you're going with composite decking you should decrease the space between the floor joists due to bounce/flex.

The stuff is pretty darn expensive, but I would go with composite...and if your frame is PT and still in good condition, and would keep it and just redeck. If the deck has been there and hasn't moved during winters (no heaving), I would trust it's installed correctly.

Re: Builting New Deck. What material should I use?

Just wonder if the Weatherbest or the other plastic decking will eventually outlast a good solid wood deck. How long do they tend to last? 10 years +?


Re: Builting New Deck. What material should I use?

Why dont you try go to this website http://www.weatherwisevinyl.com/index.html for your concerns? There are lots of great stuff there. I hope I helped you. :)

TV Listings

Find TV listings for This Old House and Ask This Old House in your area.