How to Build Your New Deck: Composite vs. Natural Wood

Wooden Cottage Near The Lake In The Woods 2023 11 27 05 07 28 Utc

When many homeowners plan the construction of a new deck, many jump to the assumption that they’re going to build it out of natural wood. It’s what decks have been built out of for time out of mind, isn’t it?

What many homeowners have failed to do is consider all of their options. There’s more than one material you can use for a deck. In fact, compared to high-performance composite like Trex, wood may no longer be your best option.

If you are going to build a deck with Trex, you need to work with a certified TrexPro Platinum Contractor, such as Green Side Up Contracting. Many contractors certified to use Trex will also build with other materials, including wood and interlocking pavers. They can walk you through the full benefits of each material and provide more detailed quotes to give you a cost comparison. This guide can serve as a brief look at the differences between Trex composite and natural wood.

Cost and Availability

As with so many things right now, construction costs are through the roof, even though they’ve stabilized compared to just a few years ago.

During the pandemic, everyone wanted to renovate their homes at once. At the same time, lumber went through many of the same price constraints that other commodities faced due to lockdowns and shipping difficulties.

By April 2021, the cost of lumber per thousand board feet had skyrocketed to $1,500. Even today, when prices have stabilized, lumber costs three times what it did just 10 years ago.

Before the surge in prices for wood, composite came with a much higher premium in comparison. The surge in prices closed the difference, and made composite a more attractive option.

Durability and Maintenance

Composite is a man-made material made from recycled plastics and sawdust. This makes composite a much more durable material than natural wood. The issue with cedar and pressure-treated pine when it lives outdoors is that it’s vulnerable to the elements.

It’s porous, meaning it soaks up water, expanding and contracting with the freeze/thaw cycles that come with winter. That process can split the wood. Wood can also mold and mildew if it’s frequently damp and collects a lot of debris.

You’ll also quickly find that wood holds onto its stains. Whether you love grilling dinner on the barbecue or you have young kids and all the messes that come with them, your deck needs to live up to the lifestyle you have. Where wood keeps those stains, they wipe right off of composite.

Best of all, composite doesn’t need to be re-stained every few years. You’ll still need to clean it like any deck, but skipping that step can spare you a lot of effort.


When you’re building a deck, you want it to look good, and even composite’s biggest boosters recognize that nothing can compare with the look and feel of natural wood. There’s an authenticity and rusticity to real wood that man-made materials just can’t match.

However, where composite does shine is years down the road. It doesn’t take long for wood to wear, fade, and split, even when it’s taken care of. Ten years down the road, a wood deck can wind up looking like an eyesore, while composite will look much newer.

Bella Duckworth

Bella Duckworth

Total posts created: 2206
“Architecture is really about well-being. I think that people want to feel good in a space… On the one hand, it’s about shelter, but it’s also about pleasure.” – Zaha Hadid

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