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A Look at Composite and Wood Decking

When you buy a McCaleb Home, you are buying more than a house. You are buying a home in a desirable community on a desirable lot. Your outdoor living options are full of potential when you choose one of our homes thanks to the generous lots they sit on. For many, an essential player in any outdoor living situation is a deck. And when deciding to build a deck, you also must decide which material is best for you. To make your decision a bit easier in this regard, we want to go over the key differences between two decking materials: wood and composite.

Composite Decking



Composite decking is highly durable and resistant to rot, decay, and insect damage. It is designed to withstand harsh weather conditions, making it a long-lasting option.

Low Maintenance

Composite decking requires minimal maintenance compared to wood. It doesn't need staining, sealing, or painting. Regular cleaning with soap and water is typically sufficient to keep it in good condition.

Fade and Stain Resistance

Composite decking is engineered to resist fading and staining. It maintains its color and appearance over time, without the need for regular refinishing.

Splinter-Free and Slip-Resistant

Composite decking is typically splinter-free, making it safer for bare feet. It also often has a textured surface, providing better slip resistance compared to some wood options.

Wide Variety of Styles

Composite decking comes in a range of colors, textures, and styles. It can mimic the appearance of natural wood or offer a more modern and sleek aesthetic.

Environmentally Friendly

Many composite decking brands use recycled materials in their production, making it a more sustainable option.


Higher Upfront Cost

Composite decking generally has a higher initial cost compared to wood decking. However, the lower maintenance requirements and longer lifespan can offset the initial investment over time.

Heat Retention

Composite decking may retain more heat than wood, especially in direct sunlight. This can make it uncomfortable to walk on with bare feet during hot weather.

Potential for Scratching

While composite decking is durable, it can be susceptible to scratching, especially from heavy furniture or sharp objects. However, many newer composite decking products are designed to minimize this issue.

Wood Decking


Natural Aesthetic

Wood decking offers a timeless and natural beauty that many homeowners appreciate. The warmth and character of real wood can enhance the overall look of outdoor spaces.

Lower Initial Cost

Wood decking generally has a lower upfront cost compared to composite decking materials. This can make it more budget-friendly, particularly for larger deck projects.


Wood decking can be easily repaired by replacing damaged boards or sanding out scratches and stains. This flexibility allows for more straightforward maintenance and upkeep.

Natural Insulation

Wood has natural insulating properties, making it cooler to the touch than composite decking in hot weather.


Maintenance Requirements

Wood decking requires regular maintenance to preserve its appearance and protect it from weathering. This includes staining, sealing, and occasional refinishing. Neglecting maintenance can lead to warping, splitting, and decay.

Prone to Fading and Staining

Wood decking is susceptible to fading and staining from exposure to UV rays, moisture, and organic matter. Regular maintenance and application of protective coatings are necessary to prevent these issues.

Vulnerable to Rot and Insect Damage

Unlike composite decking, wood decking is prone to rot, decay, and insect infestation. Proper maintenance, including regular inspections and treatments, is essential to prevent these problems.

Limited Lifespan

Wood decking generally has a shorter lifespan compared to composite decking. Depending on the wood species, quality, and maintenance, it may require replacement or extensive repairs over time.

Ultimately, the choice between composite decking and wood decking depends on factors such as budget, desired aesthetics, maintenance preferences, and long-term goals. By considering these pros and cons homeowners can make an informed decision that suits their specific needs. Regardless of what you decide to go with, we hope you enjoy your outdoor living space all year long!

By McCaleb Homes 6-27-2023

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