The Value of a Welcoming Deck for Your Home
When the weather warms up, homeowners find their thoughts turning to how best to enjoy outdoor living. A warm, inviting deck appeals to families and guests, offering comfortable outdoor fun that is hard to beat. A new deck broadens the space you have for entertaining, cooking and relaxing, and can add value to your home for years.
Our team gets many questions about what deck materials are best for Minnesota homes. What you use to build your deck can impact your budget, comfort, features, upkeep and more. Here’s what you need to know as you consider what deck material is ideal for your dreams of luxurious outdoor living.
Begin Deck Installation Planning by Asking the Right Questions
As you research the best deck material for your home, there are several things to ask yourself:
- What do you desire from a new deck — space to entertain, a private oasis, etc.?
- Do you desire a high-end design that pulls out all the stops?
- Do you prefer a functional deck that fits into a modest budget?
- Are there special features you have your heart set on, such as a brick oven or built-in furniture?
- How much maintenance are you willing to invest in ongoing upkeep?
- Do you need repairs to an existing deck, a deck replacement, or a brand-new deck installation? If you’re not sure whether your existing deck is in good shape, inspect it for common deck hazards.
Our Handy Checklist Can Help
It’s worth taking the time to assess what you need before you begin designing your deck. This list of questions to ask yourself before building a deck will help you narrow down your goals so you can choose the best deck material and design for your lifestyle.
Deck Materials to Choose From
Homeowners today have several appealing choices for their deck installation. To help you make your decision, here’s a closer look at common materials available to Minnesota homeowners.
Composite decking can mimic the look of wood without the maintenance natural wood requires. Available in laminate, plastic, and vinyl options, composite decking is a popular choice.
- Doesn’t splinter
- Environmentally friendly
- Lasts 10-25 years
Adaptable to any architectural style—Craftsman, Arts & Crafts, Bungalow, Mission, Tudor and more
Homeowners we’ve worked with in the Twin Cities area love the natural look and benefits of composite decking. When you want high-performing, sustainable decking material, then composite would be the best choice.
Classic, traditional, naturally beautiful — wood is an attractive option for a new deck. There are many types of wood to choose from, depending on the look, quality, and budget you have in mind.
- Redwood — Attractive and affordable, redwood looks gorgeous, but can tend to scratch and fade.
- Cedar — Cedar is a distinct investment. It fades over time but also is easy to restain. On average, it lasts around 20 years.
- Pressure-treated pine — With its classic, bright appearance, pine lasts 10-15 years.
- Mahogany — This hardwood is highly prized and not always easy to obtain. Its robust red shade offers eye-catching beauty.
- Bamboo — Bamboo stalks replenish quickly after being cut down, making it an eco-friendly decking material.
- Ipe — This Brazilian hardwood is prized for its rich color. It’s resistant to scratches, and lasts 30-75 years.
- Traditionally beautiful
- Can be restained to create a fresh look
- Needs regular maintenance to protect from weather and rot
- Can attract termites and other pests
- Wood can crack and warp, causing splinters
- Costly board replacement
- Certain wood surfaces can become very slick with frosty mornings
Anodized Aluminum Decks
A modern choice, aluminum can be very appealing as decking material. It looks great with contemporary architectural styles, is virtually maintenance-free, and runs a budget-friendly $6-15 per square foot.
- Doesn’t rust or rot
- Resists mold and mildew
- Stays cool in hot temperatures
- Textured surface adds traction for secure walking
- Corrodes when exposed to saltwater
- Not ideal for beachfront and coastal homes
This modern manmade material is used in a variety of home exterior designs, from siding and doors to windows and more. When used for a deck, fiberglass offers unique aspects that homeowners appreciate.
- Highly weather resistant
- Doesn’t rot or corrode
- Available in attractive looks
- Ideal for roof decks and coastal homes
- Can be pricier than other options
- Requires expert deck installation (it’s not a DIY material)
For homeowners who desire durability and are conscious of their budget, cement and concrete decks are appealing. And this option can be more stylish than you might expect.
- Very affordable
- Withstands harsh weather
- Can be tinted or stamped for a unique decorative appearance
- Easy to maintain
- Heavy material that requires proper support
How to Select a Deck Builder
Once you have decided on what you want in a deck, it’s time to choose a deck builder. Here are a few tips to help you narrow down your selection.
- Reputation — Find out what others say about the deck builders you’re considering. Online reviews, friends, neighbors, Angie’s List and the BBB all are helpful sources.
- Expertise — Look for home contractors with experience working with homes like yours. Find out if they have won awards or obtained other notable achievements.
- Customer service — Consult with 3-5 deck builders and consider what they’ll be like to work with. How well do they explain your options? Do they respond quickly to you? Do they show up on time?