Your average deck installation will take approximately 2-3 weeks with permitting and proper inspections. Your best bet is have your contractor help in securing and getting all the materials to the site so that when install time comes, they are able to start right away. Larger decks and outdoor living spaces can exceed 3 months depending on the size of the project.
2) Is composite decking a lot more expensive than wood?
Yes, on most occasions starting with a composite deck and railing system is 50%-75% more expensive than wood. However, in the long run it is much more cost effective to choose a Low maintenance deck. Sealing and maintaining a wood deck every 3-5 years can be very time consuming and even with the best maintenance rot can still occur.
Also, your deck professional will still have to install your deck, framing and railings just the same as if it was a composite system so there is no real saving on deck labor cost. In fact, composite systems can at times, be easier to install than wood. When you have the option to spend 3800 on a deck boards and railings in wood or 7200 in composite, keep in mind your professional contractor will have the same amount of work.
3) Can’t we just reface my deck? I don’t want to pull down the framing….
Yes, there are times where we CAN in fact re face and repurpose a deck with very little effort. However, those times are far and few. Most of the decks that we see are 20-30 years old and do not meet today’s professional standards. In fact, many towns are now enforcing bringing the deck up to code as best as possible when a reface occurs. This can be very time consuming and a waste of money due to the fact we are repurposing and repairing older materials vs. just pulling down and starting fresh. We will give you our best opinion that protects your time and budget to be give you a lasting professional project.
4) I thought composite was maintenance free?
In a virtual world yes. However, we don’t live in that. We live with the beautiful outdoors and things like mold, mildew, sun staining and fading can happen. That is why it’s best to choose a deck with a decent fade warranty that will hold up to the elements. We recommend power washing your deck and using a soft Bristle scrub brush to get those pesky stains or mildew spots out.
5) Can I shovel the snow off my deck?
Of course, but use a shovel that is rated for composite decking. Never use a shovel with a metal edge or a shovel that is completely metal as your composite decking WILL scratch. Use a plastic shovel and possibly consider using a blower if the snow is light enough.
6) Does composite decking scratch?
Yes. Different manufacturers have different levels of toughness but one good hit or rub with something abrasive or sharp, and your deck will scratch or dent. There are repair kits available and most of the time on a RenoVista install, we use hidden fasteners that allow us to completely remove a board without wrecking the rest of the boards. So in a worse case scenario, we can come out and simply swap a board out for you in very little time.
7) What if I want to add a roof to my deck later?
Make sure you speak with your General Contractor about your future decking and outdoor living plans. Deck footings are NOT meant to handle roof loads and here in Massachusetts we have greater snow loads than many parts of the country. Your best bet is to share with your contractor early your plans for the future so they can put the proper footings in now and be compliant for future installs.
8) I’d like to grill on my deck. Is that ok?
Yes, cooking and grilling is just fine but do your best to keep your grill 12 inches or more away from your vinyl composite railings. A grill too close will melt and char the railings. Also make sure to use a spill, oil guard for your grill so that grease does not stain the deck boards.