Eco-Friendly Decking: Build a Beautiful & Sustainable Deck with Trex Decking
Are you thinking about building an eco-friendly deck? Look no further – using Trex composite decking materials will help you transform your outdoor space into something that is gorgeous, sustainable, and reduces your carbon footprint. Now who doesn’t like that?
Benefits of Eco-Friendly Decking
There are many benefits of installing an eco-friendly deck. First, let’s start with the most obvious: it is made with sustainable material with little detrimental environmental impact. Deforestation is one of the problems plaguing the earth right now, and using eco-friendly materials helps to combat that.
Building a deck from recycled materials or reclaimed wood, plastic, aluminum, composite decking, or bamboo is a great choice. That’s because these decking materials will lessen your deck’s environmental impact. Additionally, certain woods, like redwood, cedar, and Douglas fir, are excellent wooden deck choices because they’re often regional, some are fast-growing, and produce low emissions.
Ipê, or handroanthus, is a flowering tree found in South America. It’s a durable wood and resistant to insects, making it a potential option for wood decking. Though it’s imported, the sustainability and longevity factors from ipê and related wood products outweigh the shipping cost.
Things to Consider When Choosing Eco-Friendly Decking Materials
The FSC, or Forest Stewardship Council, is a worldwide organization that promotes responsible management of the world’s forests. FSC-certified timber and even some post-timber products, such as paper, inform consumers that the wood has been environmentally sourced according to FSC forestry standards. This is something to consider when choosing wood for your new deck.
Eco-Friendly Decking Options
Other decking options include aluminum, which has some positives, including the fact that it’s very low maintenance. Unfortunately, aluminum decking is expensive, but unless you can find recycled aluminum, it contributes to the emissions of greenhouse gases.
Plastic, or polyethylene, is a sustainable material. It’s lightweight and comes from post-consumer recycled materials but is less strong than natural wood. It does help keep plastic out of landfills! You would still need a wooden substructure. Plastic decking doesn’t splinter, which is an advantage over wood.
Bamboo decking is a relatively newer choice. Although bamboo technically isn’t wood, it is a strong candidate for decks. Bamboo is a type of tall, large, fast-growing grass. It can be morphed by strand-weaving into a solid, usable, eco-friendly deck-building material.
Why Composite Decking Is the Best Eco-Friendly Option
We’ve referenced some examples of eco-friendly decking options, but one choice stands above the others. What is this? Trex composite decking, made from wood fiber and recycled plastic, is an excellent choice. It has three advantages: strength, a long lifespan, and low maintenance. Additionally, Trex comes with an extended warranty. Homeowners should check out Trex when deciding which eco-friendly materials they want to utilize for their new deck.
Building a Trex Composite Deck
Trex eco-friendly composite has many benefits. It’s durable, easy to keep clean, rot-resistant, and looks amazing – all this can be possible for a long time. So before building your deck, there are a few things to consider (besides size). Will it be around a pool or patio? Will you have stairs? Components like these may affect your price and installation. Also, is it a DIY project, or is it time to get an assist from the pros? Either way, Trex is there to make your deck look great and help you be greener in the process.
Preparation Before Installation
Besides deciding what material you want for your eco-friendly deck, which we hope will be composite, you will want to determine when you want to install your deck. Winter, surprisingly, is an ideal time to install. This way, it will be ready for the spring! Also, building a deck in the winter is cheaper and often less wear and tear on the grass.
If you’re adding on a second-story deck, you may want to put an under-deck drainage system in place. This is so you can make optimum use of the space under your deck. In addition, it will keep that utilitarian area nice and dry, thus allowing you to have electronics, a relaxation area, or even a hot tub. Another thing to consider is the square footage for the under and above deck areas.
Another choice you will have to make is the color. Some colors look more like natural wood, some not quite as much. Trex has a wide array of colors from which to choose. Please be aware that darker colors can warm up very quickly if you live in a hot climate.
Now we get to the fun part! Building a deck can be an adventure, depending on whether you decide to do a DIY project or go pro. However, it is very rewarding to see – and use – the fruits of your labor.
Once you determine the type of deck you want and the size, estimate the cost of the materials and labor. For those who wish to install their own decking, it’s a process that usually doesn’t take longer than a week or two. A couple of important points: call before you dig and get all your permits in order.
A few pro-tips when using composite decking – hide your screws and use butyl tape above the joists. Speaking of joists, make sure they’re flat and balanced to avoid an uneven deck surface. Your decking boards will look much better and appear more even. Additionally, capping your ends with a material like PVC will go a long way to ensure your deck looks uniform and lasts an extended length of time.
Choosing your railings is a vital step. They give your deck an accent and can truly add style to your outdoor space. Composite railings are available and are a solid choice. Wire (powder-coated cable) railings give a contemporary look, leaving your views unencumbered; the same goes for a glass alternative.
Maintenance and Upkeep of a Trex Composite Deck
Another huge advantage of Trex composite decking is that it’s super simple to keep looking beautiful year-round. All you have to do is a yearly deck cleaning. Mild soap and a scrub brush are the tools that are needed. Get the stains out and check for any weak spots. Composite is one of the most sustainable materials for deck building.
Cost of Eco-Friendly Decking vs. Traditional Decking Materials
The cost of your deck greatly depends on which materials you choose. When you compare different types of wood, including pressure-treated wood, to composite decking and other decking materials, there is much to consider. Certain types of timber will be more expensive, including redwood and ipê. Other woods, like pine, are more common and, therefore, easier on the pocketbook.
The best value is composite because of its high performance, longevity, durability, and ease of use. In addition, the return on investment is quite high, around 80% of your initial expenditure. Composite material usually costs about $10 to $20 per square foot.
Deck installation can range from $20 to $50 per square foot, with the average deck often costing somewhere between $7000 to $8000. The type of deck you build, such as a floating or two-story deck, will affect the price. Any add-ons, such as stairs or a pergola, will increase your project expenses.
The deck installation will add value to your house and lend itself to many years of outdoor enjoyment. It’s one of the smartest things you can do regarding home improvement. If you’re trying to be ecologically conscious, pay attention to the manufacturing process of whichever decking material you decide. Then, of course, you want the one with the least environmental impact.
Can Eco-Friendly Decking Materials Be Used in Any Climate or Region?
Yes, especially composite decking. While most sustainable materials will hold up in all temperatures, composite is the most resilient, indestructible, and performs best. Trex composite decking, especially the later iterations of it, can withstand freezing winters with just a little prep for the winter.
Trex composite does well with UV rays; it is fire-resistant, too. One thing to watch is that the deck’s surface will get very hot on those warm, sunny days. However, with a small amount of care and routine maintenance, composite decking material will look great and be ready for outdoor fun.
Eco-Friendly Decking Materials Durability
We have examined several eco-friendly deck options, including wood, aluminum, PVC, and composite. Pressure-treated wood will last longer and withstand a wider range of weather than natural wood. Redwood would be an exception to this, as it’s a fairly rugged wood.
All of these have pros and cons, and most are quite durable. Composite decking is one of the most sustainable, with aluminum and bamboo as the runners-up. Trex is built to withstand even the harshest elements and will last for decades – and look attractive with the proper care.