Are you thinking about adding a deck to your home? Building a new deck is a great way to increase your home’s value. Let’s take a look at the various types of decking materials you might choose to use.

Pressure-Treated Wood

Pros: This is one of the most popular types of decking materials. Pressure-treated wood is treated chemically to withstand mold, rot, and insect infestations. It’s also a relatively low-cost option and easy to install.

Cons: This material requires maintenance, like yearly pressure-washing, staining, and sealing. Otherwise, there is a tendency for it to warp and crack.

Tropical Hardwood

Pros: Tropical hardwoods provide a luxurious aesthetic. These types of wood are naturally resistant to insects and rot. They are very durable.

Cons: Tropical hardwoods are one of the more expensive types of decking materials, at anywhere from $8-$12 per square foot. They are dense, which means they are heavy and hard to work with. The labor costs are typically higher for tropical hardwoods than for other decking materials.

Composite Types of Decking Materials

Pros: This type of decking material is created out of recycled plastic and wood fibers. It won’t splinter or warp because it’s created artificially. You don’t need to worry about insects or rotting with composites.

Cons: Mildew or mold may grow on composites in damp conditions. Over time, composite decks may begin sagging.


Pros: Cedar is widely available. It’s strong, yet lightweight, and has a rich color. Cedar has naturally occurring oils and tannins that make it resistant to insects and rotting.

Cons: Cedar requires sealants to prevent splinters, cracks, and change in color. It’s more expensive than pressure-treated wood, typically costing $4 to $5 per square foot.


Pros: Redwood has similar characteristics to cedar. It has a wonderful color, with natural tannins.

Cons: It’s not as widely available as cedar and costs more, at $6 to $8 per square foot. Redwood requires power washing each year and fresh staining every couple of years.

Aluminum Types of Decking Materials

Pros: Aluminum decks aren’t the most popular option, but they do have a lot of benefits. Aluminum won’t warp, rust, rot, splinter, crack, or grow mold. An aluminum deck is easy to care for because it is naturally resistant to wear and tear from the elements. It’s is lighter, yet stronger, than most species of wood.

Cons: This is one of the most expensive ways to build your deck. It will cost you about $11 per square foot. You’ll sacrifice the natural colors of wood in order to gain its convenience.

There are many types of decking materials. Do your research and select the one that best fits your needs.

Clarity Home Inspections provides home inspection services to the Comox Valley and beyond. Contact us to schedule a home inspection.