We have a twenty year old cedar deck here in Wisconsin and it needs repair, replacing and we are strongly considering going with a composite...one of our quotes for the 380 sq foot deck is for Azek, yet we are interested in Trex..Any advice for us?
It will help you in your selection process if you read about your options. List all the pluses and minuses. Things like: cost, life expectancy, weather conditions, sun exposure and others. There are many unbiased articles on the web, look them up.
Talk to homeowners who installed composite decks in your area, ask your contractors for references and actually go there to talk to them and see the decks. You'll see how quickly other homeowners will tell you what they think, praising or dismissing their decks. Don't just ask contractors - they are here to make a buck, and make it now.
From my experience living in a much different climate than you, composite deck break down fairly quickly. They stand no chance to the horrific UV rays in my area and they turn to dust, discolor, bend, in as fast as 3 years.
Azek and Trex Transcend are good choices but expensive. Just keep in mind composite decking are much heavier than traditional wood decking. Depending on how long your joist span is along with the height of your joist you may me creating a problem for deflection.
Lowes sells a composite product called ChoiceDek in three colors that have grooves molded on the bottom side. The grooves are to reduce additional weight and create air flow where the decking meets the top of the joist. You can get the product with or without the groove on the edges for hidden anchor clips.
Axek's a good product and so is Trex Transcend.The only thing I dont like about the Transcend it the composite materials encased in a thick colored skin with nothing to protect the exposed ends. Ive never heard of a problem with the exposed ends yet. I just think in the future there has to be some material breakdown....Thats just my opinion,,,not fact. Trex suggest covering the rim joist with a composite trim board that will hide the exposed decking edge.....I still think water will soak in the ends......