Hinkle Outdoor Living

What Are the Pros and Cons of Composite Decking?

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Composite decking, an innovative solution for modern homes, is transforming the way we perceive outdoor spaces. By exploring the pros and cons of composite decking, homeowners can make an informed decision about their deck material.

What is Composite Decking?

Composite decking is a synthetic material that mimics the appearance of wood while offering added benefits like longevity and low maintenance. Made from a mix of wood fibers and plastics, it is resistant to rot, warping, and insects.

Despite its higher initial cost, it’s a popular choice due to its lasting durability. Increasingly, homeowners are leaning towards composite decking for its wide range of color options and impressive warranties.

Rise of Composite Decking in the Midwest

In the Midwest, composite decking has seen a significant rise in popularity. The region’s diverse weather patterns, ranging from hot summers to freezing winters, demand a deck material that can withstand these extremes.

With its durability, longevity, and minimal upkeep, composite decking is proving to be a worthy investment for Midwest homeowners. Additionally, the evolving aesthetics and improved color options of composite decking are making it an increasingly attractive choice for enhancing outdoor living spaces.

The Pros of Composite Decking

Let’s delve into the benefits of composite decking, a building material that combines the aesthetics of wood with the advantages of synthetic materials. Here are the key pros of composite decking that homeowners should consider.


Composite decking is renowned for its long lifespan. Unlike traditional wood, it is highly resistant to rot, warping, and insect damage, ensuring it retains its quality over many years.


One of the significant pros of composite decking is the extended warranty it offers, which usually spans between 15 to 25 years. This warranty, longer than most traditional wood decks, provides an additional layer of security for your investment.

Color Options

Gone are the days when composite decking was limited to an artificial, plastic look. Today, manufacturers offer a wide variety of colors and finishes, allowing homeowners to choose a deck that truly complements their outdoor space.

Sturdier and More Durable

Composite decking is not only robust but also more durable than traditional wood. Despite not being as firm as treated timber, its resilience and the ability to withstand harsh conditions make it a sturdy choice.

The Cons of Composite Decking

Despite its many benefits, composite decking is not without its drawbacks. Let’s take a look at the cons to fully understand what this type of decking entails.

The Heat Factor

Composite decking tends to retain more heat than traditional wood, especially in the summer. Depending on the product and color chosen, some homeowners have reported that their deck gets hot under the summer sun.

The Cost Factor

While composite decking offers an impressive array of benefits, it comes with a higher price tag compared to treated timber or cedar decks. However, this initial investment often pays off in the long run, thanks to the deck’s durability and lower maintenance requirements.

The Installation Process of Composite Decking

The installation process for composite decking is comparable to that of timber decking. However, composite decks often require 12-inch centers for their installation versus the 16-inch centers typically used for timber, resulting in a sturdier deck.

In addition, the closer spacing of supports in composite decking installation leads to a more rigid deck structure, although the decking material itself may not be as firm as treated timber. This difference in firmness doesn’t compromise the overall integrity or functionality of the deck.

Comparing the Pros and Cons of Composite Decking

An understanding of the pros and cons of composite decking can help homeowners make an informed decision. Let’s analyze the trade-offs involved.

Higher Price Point

Though composite decking comes at a higher price point, its durability, low maintenance, and extended warranty make it a worthwhile investment. When considering the lifespan of the deck and the minimal upkeep it requires, the initial cost can be justified.

Longevity, Aesthetics, and Durability

Composite decking scores high on longevity, aesthetics, and durability. Its ability to mimic the look of real wood, coupled with its superior durability and long lifespan, makes it an attractive choice for many homeowners.

Heat Sensitivity and Cost

While composite decking may retain more heat and cost more upfront, its benefits often outweigh these cons. For many homeowners, the trade-off between a slightly warmer deck in the summer and the advantages of durability, color options, and longevity is worth it.

The Evolution and Improvement of Composite Decking

The composite decking industry is constantly evolving, with manufacturers continuously improving their products. Let’s explore these developments.

Improvements in Color and Material Options

The industry has seen significant improvements in the color and material options available for composite decking. Manufacturers now offer an array of hues, finishes, and compositions, allowing homeowners to find the perfect match for their aesthetic preferences and functional needs.

Composite Decking in the Midwest and Beyond

With its growing popularity and the ongoing improvements in the product, the future of composite decking in the Midwest and beyond looks promising. As more homeowners discover the benefits of this durable and low-maintenance material, composite decking is set to become an even more prevalent choice for outdoor living spaces.

Conclusion: Is Composite Decking Right for You?

After exploring the pros and cons of composite decking, the decision lies in your hands. The balance between initial cost, aesthetics, durability, and maintenance needs to be considered when choosing the right material for your deck.

To make an informed choice, it’s essential to weigh the pros and cons of composite decking against your specific needs and preferences. Here’s a quick recap:

  • Pros: Longevity, range of color options, sturdiness, durability, low maintenance, and extended warranties.
  • Cons: Higher initial cost, potential heat retention in summer, and may not be as firm as treated timber.

Carefully considering these points will guide you in determining whether the benefits outweigh the drawbacks in your particular situation.

If you’re considering a new deck or renovating your existing one, composite decking could be an excellent choice. For more insights on the pros and cons of composite decking and how it could fit into your home improvement project, feel free to contact us. Our team is ready to help you make an informed decision that best suits your home and lifestyle.

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