Different Types of Decking Materials

Professional Advice

Decks are an essential part of any home, offering homeowners a place to relax and entertain and adding extra space that can be used for storage or play. However, building a deck can be quite the undertaking — and with different deck materials on the NC market today, the challenge can be even greater. Between pressure-treated wood and composite material, you have an array of choices available, but which one should you choose? 

When choosing the material for your decking, you must make the right decision. After all, if you pick the wrong material, your deck might not last as long as you would like or be durable enough to withstand weather and wear and tear over time. 

These five materials are some of the most popular decking options in Wake County, and each of them comes with its own sets of pros and cons that you should consider before choosing which one works best for you.

Related ReadHow To Prepare For A Home Remodeling Project? 

Pressure-Treated Wood

Pressure-treated wood is one of the most popular decking materials in Wake County — and for good reasons. Compared to wood and composite materials, this chemically treated wood is the most affordable option, with installation, substructure, and decking costing between $5 and $8 per square foot. The chemicals used to treat the wood also improves the material’s rot and pest resistance. 

However, pressure-treated lumber is not without its drawbacks. The biggest downside to pressure-treated wood decks is the upkeep. These decks can withstand the elements and last more than 30 years, but they require regular maintenance; this involves applying a water sealant annually, staining the deck every two years, and pressure washing the deck twice yearly. The chemicals used to treat the wood can be harmful to your health and the environment as well. 


Hardwood is an excellent option if you want a classic decking material that adds beauty and value to your Raleigh home. The biggest advantage to hardwood decking is its timeless look. It does not matter what your home’s architectural style is; chances are there is a wood look that will fit nicely with your exterior décor. Wood decks also last longer than most other materials, so they will likely be around even when the trends change again in 20 years. 

On the downside, like all natural materials, wood expands and contracts depending on moisture levels and climates — so installation can be challenging where extreme swings between dry spells and wet weather happen regularly. Hardwood decking can also be a bit more expensive than other options and susceptible to rot and insect damage. It can also be slippery when wet, so if you live in an area with a lot of rain or snow, you might want to consider another decking material.   


Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) is an affordable synthetic material that can be produced to resemble wood but does not require the same level of maintenance. It is also available in various surface textures and seemingly unlimited color options. PVC is strong, durable, easy to maintain, and will not splinter or crack like wood. It is also resistant to rot, mold, and mildew, making it an excellent choice for any climate.

With that said, because PVC is not a natural material, it may not have the same natural look and feel as wood. It is also susceptible to scratching and fading over time. In addition, PVC decking is not as strong as some of the other options on the market, so it may not be ideal if you have a large family or entertain often.


The popularity of composite decking with Wake County homeowners is soaring. One of the primary reasons for this is that this type of decking is very resistant to rot and, as a result, is easy to maintain. The material requires no repainting or resealing either. These decks come in various colors and styles to suit any taste. They are also easy to install, which can save you money on installation costs. And because composite decks are made from recycled materials, they are an eco-friendly choice.

Though composite decks have become more prevalent in recent years, there are some disadvantages to using this type of decking material. For many people, the price tag is the biggest drawback to composite decks. Composite decks are made of recycled plastic and wood fibers, which means they come with a higher price tag than traditional wood decks — often twice as expensive! Composite decks also lack the natural look and color of wood and tend to scratch easily.  


Aluminum decks are an excellent choice for Wake County homeowners who want a durable, low-maintenance decking option. The material is also resistant to rot, mold, insect damage, and extreme weather temperatures and can withstand heavy foot traffic. 

The downside? Well, aluminum decks are not cheap — they can be five times as expensive as traditional wood decking! And while aluminum decks are an excellent option for those looking for a low-maintenance solution, they lack the style choices of other materials. Aluminum can also be noisy, so if you are looking for a serene outdoor space, this may not be the right material for you.


A deck can be a great addition to your Raleigh home, providing extra space for outdoor entertaining or simply somewhere to relax and enjoy the outdoors. But before you hire a general contractor in Wake County, NC, and can start enjoying your new deck, you need to decide on the materials that will best suit your needs. We hope this blog will help you make that decision with relative ease!

Design the Perfect Deck for Your Home with Glasgow Design Build!

Not sure which material is best for your deck? Don’t worry! At Glasgow Design Build, we can help you choose the optimal deck materials, style, and location. Then, we will work with you to bring everything together. 

Glasgow Design Build is a Raleigh-licensed general contracting firm specializing in creating new spaces and renovating existing ones. Whether you are planning to build a porch or deck or need help with home renovations in Raleigh, NC, we have you covered! Feel free to call (919) 244-2979 or fill out an online form to schedule an appointment.