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The Pros and Cons of Composite Decks vs. Wooden Decks

Which is the best decking material? Composite or Wood? These are questions you might be asking yourself if you have been considering converting your wood deck to a composite one (or even the other way around!). As summer has quickly approached, so has the need to address which of these outdoor living space options is best for you and your home. 

Whether you are curious about the average cost of a wooden versus composite deck, or the length of time that each last, you’ll be sure to find the information below relevant to your decision-making process. Read on to learn more about the ins and outs and pros and cons of these outdoor living space options. 

Considerations When Opting for a Wooden or Composite Deck 

Average Cost – Basics, Deck Maintenance and Repair

Cleaning. Painting. Staining. All of these services, whether preventative or necessary, understandably add up over the long run. Which is why you should consider these factors when opting for a wooden or composite deck option.

backyard composite deck

Some of the maintenance advantages of composite over wood decking include the amount of time you can expect to dedicate to cleaning your deck to prevent discoloring or problems related to mold or insects. Typically, you can expect to devote about 16-32 hours annually to these processes for wood decks compared to merely two to four hours for composite models.

Typically, you can expect to spend less for wood decking options in terms of up-front costs. But you should factor in ongoing and recurring expenses which add up, such as sanding, painting, power washing or staining throughout the year. 

Composite decking, on the other hand, tends to save you more over wood decking across its total lifespan. This is partially due to the fact that composite decking is manufactured by design to be more resistant to insects, decay or mold. 


Speaking of resistance to elements and wildlife, you can probably guess which option tends to fare better in terms of long-lasting durability. 

What are the maintenance procedures and precautions you should consider when comparing wood decking?

  • Sanding
  • Sealing
  • Cleaning
  • Staining
  • Painting

Generally speaking, you should expect to perform each of the items listed above every two to five years on average for wood decking. The exception to this is cleaning, which is typically only required semi-annually.

As you likely guessed, none of the maintenance areas in the list above are required for composite deck solutions except for cleaning (you can’t win them all!). Another major benefit with respect to durability of composite options includes their 50-year lifespan against insects, rot, scratches, warping, splintering, staining and fading from UV rays.

By comparison, wood decking selections come with a significantly reduced lifespan against the same conditions. On average, you can expect a wooden deck to withstand elements, infestations and fading for about 10-30 years. 

Other Factors – Miscellaneous Options

As a homeowner, we know that one of the most (if not the most) important items on your mind is what you can expect to gain in terms of return on your investment with a wood versus composite deck. 

These factors should paint a picture of  the tendency for wood decking to be coupled with several short-term expense advantages, like a lesser cost per square foot and several attractive options in terms of matching a wood to your personal style. However, composite decking costs less in the long run with respect to requiring less maintenance, needing less paint or fewer staining jobs. 

Benefits and Drawbacks of Wooden and Composite Decks

Depending upon your household’s own unique needs, challenges and style preferences, wood or composite decking might make sense for you. No matter what your choose, keeping it in a good condition makes it last for decades. Now that you understand more about the ins and outs, pros and cons, costs and benefits of wooden versus composite decking options, you shouldn’t hesitate to contact the experts at E&E Contracting!

Access testimonials from our loyal customers, as well as those who tried our service and were delighted on the first visit. Scroll through our gallery of high-quality exterior additions for your home to get a feel for which solutions fit with your style. 

Published by E&E Contracting

E&E Contracting is operated by Michael and Matt Esh. Michael is a detailed thinker and is the Field Manager for the company. Matt is the General Manager and the natural visionary of the team.