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Old 04-14-2011, 06:34 PM   #1
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Default Anyone have experience with composite decking?

My deck at my new house is on its last leg and in need of some repairs. Rather than even ripping out some warped/rotted 2x4's, I'm thinking about just getting all new composite decking and making a go of it so I don't run into warping/rotting down the road. Menards has a brand called UltraDeck on sale for $0.99/ft. This would be a lighter shade than what would be ideal, but I could more than live with it at it being half the price than the higher priced stuff. Any words of wisdom about choosing to go with composite?

http://www.midwestmanufacturing.com/...posite-Decking
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Old 04-14-2011, 06:37 PM   #2
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Default Re: Anyone have experience with composite decking?

Less maintenance, no rot or warp, no splinters. I recommend it!!!!!
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Old 04-14-2011, 07:03 PM   #3
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Default Re: Anyone have experience with composite decking?

that is a very good price for composite
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Old 04-14-2011, 07:20 PM   #4
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Default Re: Anyone have experience with composite decking?

My folks have had composite wood desks for 5 years and they love it. Only maintenance they've done since installation is pressure wash them.
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Old 04-14-2011, 07:28 PM   #5
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Default Re: Anyone have experience with composite decking?

Just for grins, I'm going to get the tape measure out tomorrow hopefully and measure out the pieces I'll need to minimize the amount of scrap since it comes in 8-20' even lengths, and I'm almost certain I can do it without having a seam anywhere on it due to how it's designed.
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Old 04-14-2011, 08:00 PM   #6
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Default Re: Anyone have experience with composite decking?

Good price. Go for it!
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Old 04-14-2011, 08:10 PM   #7
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Default Re: Anyone have experience with composite decking?

$0.99 a board seems really cheap....my folks spent $25 a board from HD.

Could it be too good of a price to be true?

EDIT: just looked at the site and this board is hollow....I wonder how much weaker (if at all) it is compared to solid composite boards.
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Old 04-14-2011, 08:21 PM   #8
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Default Re: Anyone have experience with composite decking?

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Originally Posted by jmsremax View Post
$0.99 a board seems really cheap....my folks spent $25 a board from HD.

Could it be too good of a price to be true?

EDIT: just looked at the site and this board is hollow....I wonder how much weaker (if at all) it is compared to solid composite boards.
$25/ft? Probably more like $25 for a 12' board. This stuff is normally $1.49/ft, so a 12' board would be $17.88, getting it a lot closer in the ball park. It's easy to hit $2-2.50/ft if you want to go with much richer colors, but I'm guessing I'm going to need about 2000+ feet just for the deck surface alone-that doesn't even touch new posts, rails, caps, etc.
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Old 04-14-2011, 08:23 PM   #9
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Default Re: Anyone have experience with composite decking?

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$25/ft? Probably more like $25 for a 12' board. This stuff is normally $1.49/ft, so a 12' board would be $17.88, getting it a lot closer in the ball park. It's easy to hit $2-2.50/ft if you want to go with much richer colors, but I'm guessing I'm going to need about 2000+ feet just for the deck surface alone-that doesn't even touch new posts, rails, caps, etc.

$25 a board.....I can't imagine spending $25/ft. For that price I'd want heated boards so I didn't have to shovel the snow. I meant to say $0.99/ft.
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Old 04-14-2011, 08:28 PM   #10
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Default Re: Anyone have experience with composite decking?

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$25 a board.....I can't imagine spending $25/ft. For that price I'd want heated boards so I didn't have to shovel the snow. I meant to say $0.99/ft.
Yeah, so regular price, this is about 25% less with some darker stuff available on sale at $1.49/ft (normally in that $2/ft range). That has me stretched a little tighter than I'd like to do it cuz the extra $1000 can add up on the posts/rails pretty quickly.
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Old 04-14-2011, 08:40 PM   #11
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Default Re: Anyone have experience with composite decking?

Quote:
Originally Posted by forgop View Post
Yeah, so regular price, this is about 25% less with some darker stuff available on sale at $1.49/ft (normally in that $2/ft range). That has me stretched a little tighter than I'd like to do it cuz the extra $1000 can add up on the posts/rails pretty quickly.

Ah, regular price is $2. I hear that about the posts and rails.....I think they spent more on that than the composite wood, but after painting all the posts and rails a few times they said it was worth it. Good luck with the project....it's a lot upfront, but it's practically maintenance free.
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Old 04-14-2011, 09:04 PM   #12
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Default Re: Anyone have experience with composite decking?

Here is a thing to think upon...

Don't forget to replace the 4x4s that support the deck also.
Alot of people replace the wrotten deck boards, but fail realize the supporting boards can be wrotting/wrotted just as well. They make composite 4x4s too.

But 99cents a foot isn't bad at all.
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Old 04-14-2011, 09:19 PM   #13
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Default Re: Anyone have experience with composite decking?

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Originally Posted by thebayratt View Post
Here is a thing to think upon...

Don't forget to replace the 4x4s that support the deck also.
Alot of people replace the wrotten deck boards, but fail realize the supporting boards can be wrotting/wrotted just as well. They make composite 4x4s too.

But 99cents a foot isn't bad at all.
That was going to be the plan.
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Old 04-16-2011, 04:21 PM   #14
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Default Re: Anyone have experience with composite decking?

Ok, so I think I've decided against the composite decking options. Seems there are too many complaints about mold/mildew and bad discoloration issues.

I may just go with cedar. I love the look, but now I'm curious what I'll have to do to keep it looking nice over the years.
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Old 04-17-2011, 06:44 AM   #15
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Default Re: Anyone have experience with composite decking?

i had a composite decking on the back porch for about 5 years. only problem is it gets slipperyer in the winter with snow ice on it.you just have to power wash every year .no discoloration issues yes its well worth the money. very low maintenance. no staining no replacing warped boards or rotted wood its great.


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Old 04-17-2011, 07:47 AM   #16
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Default Re: Anyone have experience with composite decking?

I grew up in a family that owned a lumber supply company so take this with a retailer's grain of salt.

Cedar is beautiful, so is Mahogony, but be prepared to pay dearly for it and have to maintain it every year.

Trex (just the brand I have the most experience with) may not be the most attractive option but as stated before you will never have to do anything but power wash it, it will outlast the pressure treated lumber you use to support it and you will never have to dig a piece of it out of your foot. It was originally deisgned for use on piers and ocean bordwalks. A lot of the mildew problems are caused by incorrect installation or areas that don't get any sun (which would make wooden decks have similar problems).

Save the cedar for railings and ballusters if you want that look but I would not put any natural wood down as the actual part I am going to walk on.
I see decking like I see roof shingles. People pay dearly for fancy architectural shingles and the last time they actually notice them is the first day the roof is finished. Decking is something you are going to walk on, it's not crown molding.

Just my
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Old 04-17-2011, 11:32 AM   #17
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Default Re: Anyone have experience with composite decking?

Seems as though Trex and a number of other companies producing composite decking are paying out in class action lawsuits for material that people just cannot get rid of the mold/mildew (whatever it is) due to the wood content in it. I've read a number the DIY's/gardenweb types of forums where people have run into the "big box store" materials in this segment and it's only a matter of time before the material seems to become brittle or have the mold/mildew issue that they can't seem to shake. Perhaps a lot of it has to do with the conditions (shade/sun) and such, but I'm just quite leery of taking a plunge of sinking $3k into something that seems to be a nightmare to a lot of people that have purchased this type of stuff. To get the much higher end that seems to have better reviews, I'm up to $5k+ just for the decking, not even getting to rails/benches and that's going to be too much.

The one thing I've been researching a bit but haven't received pricing on yet is Azek, which is all PVC. Not subject to the discoloration, scratching, and mold you'll get with composites. Yes, it's PVC or whatever and won't look as nice as wood, but still delivers the maintenance free results I'm looking for.
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Old 04-17-2011, 11:50 AM   #18
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Default Re: Anyone have experience with composite decking?

Azek is good stuff but its even more pricey then Trex. Timbertech also makes PVC decking so make sure to check them out. I used to sell timbertech when I worked in that industry and I have nothing bad to say about it.
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Old 04-17-2011, 12:19 PM   #19
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Default Re: Anyone have experience with composite decking?

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Azek is good stuff but its even more pricey then Trex. Timbertech also makes PVC decking so make sure to check them out. I used to sell timbertech when I worked in that industry and I have nothing bad to say about it.
TimberTech seems to get the most favorable reviews of anything I've read about in the composite world, but you're approaching that $3/ft mark at the lower levels quite easily from what I've seen. (I think listed at $2.79/ft on sale).

Now, if I could just buy about 1800 feet of it wholesale, I'd seriously consider it.
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Old 04-17-2011, 12:31 PM   #20
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Default Re: Anyone have experience with composite decking?

Lisa wanted composite for our deck. It's four times the cost of b grade pressure treated (which I wouldn't use).
Personally, I think it's a senseless waste of money. If a young family has kids, it makes great sense to use it for the deck and pickets to save splinters. Aside from that, so long as a deck gets good traffic and is UV treated/stained when it needs it (not months or years after it needs it like most guys do it), it makes no sense at all.
A properly cared for deck will last forever if a person puts one weekend a year into caring for it. It just gets better looking as it ages, too.
This is said provided the deck is built right. Cups down, drilled/piloted and screwed-not nailed, extra foundation support, and crossbracing wherever you have starts and stops. The more crossbracing a guy can work in, the better.
If at all possible, it's best to never have a seam in the decking, period. If you do, it should be facemitered.
All the little stuff adds up to a super high quality product that can be enjoyed for a lifetime, even if it costs a little more. Add up all the cost for the little extras to do it right, and you'll still not come up with a price that looks like you used.
That all said, I love the way some composite looks for the first few years. I'm not crazy about how it looks when it snags and scratches though.

Take all that for what it's worth, it's just my personal preference and experience.
This is yet another "smoke what you like, like what you smoke" thing. If you really like composite and have seen it in action and it's performing well and it'll bring you joy, by all means, use it.
Just don't buy the "zero maintenance" thing. You still have to take care of staining the stuff under the deck, and you still have to clean the stuff real good with a mild cleaner and scrubber and light pressure washer.
It's not a work saver, regardless what they try to sell ya.
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