Redwood vs. Composite: How do you choose?

Posted: August 16, 2018

Deck Materials

Unless you’ve been planning what type of deck you have been dreaming of for months on end, picking out materials might be one of your toughest decisions throughout the process. Over the years, there have been many advances made towards composite decking materials but with the option of beautiful, pressure treated redwood being available as well, it can be tough to choose between the two!

Since it’s YOUR custom built deck, we want you to feel like you made the best decision for your home and lifestyle. Let’s start with redwood.

Pros of Redwood

If you love the natural finish of wood so much you don’t want to entertain any other material, that’s understandable! It is a stylish look for Colorado homes. For this route, we always recommend to use pressure treated redwood. It is no secret that Colorado has both cold and hot weather all year long, but one thing remains consistent–it is quite sunny year round! The higher altitude we live in also means we are only that must closer to the sun.

Redwood is more firm in nature compared to any other woods. Pressure treated redwood is chemically treated and kiln dried. Treating the wood chemically and then immediately heating it in high temperatures ensures that the chemicals are combined with the wood making it long lasting. If the wood is not kiln dried after being chemically treated, those chemicals can escape the wood causing softness and rot. Besides withstanding elements, pressure treated redwood fends off termites as well as fungi. For reasons such as these, we believe in only using pressure treated redwood.

Most clients interested in redwood are absolutely captivated by the beautiful look it has. The natural, rust color finish is hard not to love!

Cons of Redwood

As beautiful as it is, redwood is still wood and can only withstand so much. When you have a wood deck, you will have to prepare for the upkeep. Typically, homeowners will stain and treat their deck once a year to protect it all year round. The upkeep can be costly and if you don’t keep up with it, your deck will succumb to the elements faster.

Wood of any type is always going to be more susceptible to rot. Over time moisture can get locked into wood. Weather is the #1 factor in the deterioration of wood decks, therefore, the industry typically does not warranty wood decks. Vivax on the other hand, is built on the foundation of raising the bar with care, execution and customer service that we feel confident in extending a 3 yr warranty for our wood decks.

People typically gravitate towards wood because they’re under the impression wood is cheaper than composite. However, because of tariffs on redwood, it’s almost the same price as the first tier of composite material.

Pros of Composite

Composite is a phenomenal material to build your custom deck with. Our best recommendation is to to build with composite over wood because of the advances made on it through the years.

The longevity of it is outstanding! In comparison to our redwood warranty, we provide a 15 year warranty for our composite deck builds. Along with the warranty we provide, the manufacturer for the products we use offer a 25 year warranty.  The best part about using composite decking is once it’s built, it’s completely maintenance free so you don’t have to worry about staining it every year. The boards are capped to help with protection from rotting and weathering which in turn projects a longer lifetime.

There are so many options to choose from within the composite materials. TimberTech and Trex are each made up of three tiers of composite materials with each offering multiple styles to choose from. They have anywhere from flat colors to wood like grained boards. The different tiers of composite all vary in price, so you can customize what look you prefer and what works within your budget. There are a number of composite brands to choose from and we are here to help you make the right choice.

Cons of Composite

Although it is a preferred material, there are minor things that may not be a good fit for some homeowners. Like mentioned above, there there are various price points on the tiers offered. The higher tiers are typically more expensive than a wooden deck.  Most clients are able to see the value in paying a higher price for a higher quality composite so that they don’t have to worry about building another deck.

Composite decks do retain more heat than wood decks do, especially in the summertime.  

However, these composite materials do continue to constantly improve every year.

Decision Time

If you’re still having trouble considering what material you want to use for your custom deck, that’s what we’re here for. We have a showroom that has multiple composite products to look at and feel so you can make the right decision.

Our educated deck specialist is here to help you make the right choice to ensure your happiness with your custom designed deck build.