Deck and Pergola Design Rendering by Archadeck

Deck and Pergola Design, Rendering by Archadeck

As mentioned in our previous post, “Deck design with your space in mind”, Archadeck works with customers to lock-down the absolute best deck, screened porch or other outdoor structural design for your home and backyard, first.

Afterwards, it’s time for material selection.

And the next logical question among customers is, “How do I choose which decking material is right for me?”

And the answer is… “It depends”.

Material selection for a deck or other outdoor structure can seem confusing to customers because of the sheer number of products and suppliers in today’s market.  But a great contractor will help you consider all of the options and finalize your material selection to best match your personal druthers, your lifestyle and your budget.

Seriously.  We understand because it can seem complicated.

But let’s begin with some generalities as a starting point:

Decks, St. Louis, Mo - Cedar Deck, Rails, Balusters by Archadeck

Decks, St. Louis, Mo – Cedar Deck, Rails, Balusters by Archadeck

Wood Decking

Wood decking is classic in style with a natural, warm appearance.  But the trick to maintaining those natural ‘good looks’ is simple:  proper maintenance.

Many folks will gladly perform the routine maintenance required for pressure treated or cedar decks in exchange for their natural beauty and the cost savings only found with wood.

If, on the other hand, you want a low-maintenance product, wood decking might not be for you.

*As a side note, exotic hardwood decking like Tigerwood and Ipe are some of the finest, most elegant products on the market today.  If you have questions regarding tropical hardwoods, please give us a call or visit our website for more information specifically about hardwoods.

Composite Decking

Deck, St. Louis, Wildwood, Fiberon Ipe by Archadeck

Fiberon Horizon Capped Composite Deck in Ipe, by Archadeck, St. Louis Mo

Composite decking – capped or uncapped — is a man-made product that combines wood fibers with plastics resulting in a strong, durable and low-maintenance decking material.

Capped composites, however, have a plastic surface added to each board which provides protection against fading and staining.

Capped and uncapped composites have various price-points and are readily available in attractive colors or in natural wood-tones, but neither product requires stain, paint or sanding.

PVC Deck, photo by TimberTech

TimberTech PVC Deck, photo by TimberTech

PVC Decking

Like composites, PVC decking is also a man-made material; yet, there are no wood fiber fillers in PVC decking boards.

By eliminating wood fibers, PVC brings the utmost in positive performance features to outdoor living structures.

And for these reason — aesthetics, low maintenance, performance durability — PVC has gain popularity and demand in recent years.

*Pressure treated lumber must be used for the substructure of any deck, though, regardless of the surface decking.

Deck Railing

Decks with Contrasting Rails, St. Louis Mo, Archadeck

Deck with Contrasting Rails, St. Louis Mo, by Archadeck

Elevated and two story decks will absolutely require rails to meet local building and safety codes.

But if your deck is a platform deck and low to the ground, railing can be optional or added as a deck design feature.

Deck railing is available in wood, composite, vinyl, and metal bringing unique, custom detail to personalize your deck.

St. Louis Decks with Open Rails, by Archadeck

St. Louis Deck by Archadeck – Open Rails for Scenic View

For example:  An open railing design is important for maintaining scenic views; however, solid privacy rails can be used to block unwanted views.

Customers may choose railings that provide a totally uniform ‘look’ with matching rails and balusters.  Or customers may choose railings that complement and contrast with decking floor boards.

A third option includes rails that match the deck boards, but unique balusters are used as an accent.

Deck Post Covers and Caps, photo by Deckorators

Deck Post Covers and Caps, photo by Deckorators

And further railing sophistication can be achieved with post caps, sleeves and lighting.

As you can see, when it comes to deck design and building, the sky’s the limit with an abundance of material options.

So if you live in St. Louis and the surrounding areas, turn to the pro’s for more information about deck design and building by contacting Archadeck of West County and St. Charles County.

If you live elsewhere in the U.S. go to and type in your local zip code for more locations.