Decking is a great way to improve your outdoor living space and can be done on a budget. Many different decking materials are available, but not all are the best fit for Chicagoland weather.
Since the Chicago weather can range from hot and humid summers to cold and snowy winters, you need to choose a material that can withstand the elements. In this article, we will be going over some of the best decking materials for the Chicago Metropolitan Area.
Types of Decking Materials
Before we get into the best decking materials, let’s first review some of the most popular types.
Most people associate decks with wood, and for a good reason. Wood is a classic material that can give your deck a natural look. Working with it is also easily done and relatively inexpensive compared to other materials.
You can use several types of wood for your deck, but not all are created equal. Softwoods like pine are cheaper but more susceptible to damage from the elements. Hardwoods like mahogany or teak are more expensive, but they’re also more durable.
If you decide to go with wood for your deck, be sure to choose a type suitable for the Chicago climate. Avoid using softwoods like pine since they’re more likely to warp or rot in the humidity. Cedar is a good option since they’re naturally rot-resistant and can withstand humidity.
If you have the budget for it, hardwoods like mahogany or ipe are your best bet. They’re more expensive, but they’ll last longer and look better as they age.
Composite decking is made from a mix of wood fibers and plastic. It’s designed to mimic the look of wood while being more resistant to weathering.
Composite decking is a good option if you’re looking for something low maintenance. It doesn’t require as much upkeep as wood and is not as susceptible to damage from the elements.
However, composite decking is more expensive than wood. And since it’s made from a mix of materials, it can be challenging to repair if it gets damaged. Experts suggest looking for premium composite decking brands to avoid these problems.
Plastic decking is becoming a common alternative to wood made from PVC or other synthetic materials. It’s designed to mimic the look of timber without the maintenance.
It is also lightweight, making it easy to install. Plus, it comes in various colors and styles to match your home’s exterior. The material is also cheap so that you can save money on your decking project.
The downside to plastic decking is that it is sometimes made from lower-quality materials. Such materials make plastic more likely to scratch, fade, or warp over time. It’s also not as environmentally friendly as other options on this list.
If you are looking for a durable decking material that will not warp or rot, aluminum might be the right choice. Aluminum is also a good choice if you want something easy to maintain.
We recommend aluminum for extreme weather conditions and areas where wildfires are common. The material is non-combustible and can withstand high temperatures.
However, aluminum is one of the more expensive decking materials on the market. And since it’s a soft metal, it can dent or scratch easily. You’ll also want to avoid using it if you have small children or pets, as they can easily damage the material.
What To Consider When Choosing Decking Materials
Chicago is a city with a diverse climate, so you’ll need to choose a material that can withstand the elements. Here are some things to keep in mind when selecting decking materials:
- The climate you live in: Your local weather is probably the most critical factor when choosing decking materials. For example, a material like cedar is a good choice for areas with high humidity. The same goes with hardwoods like mahogany – they can withstand humid climates better than softwoods.
- How much maintenance you’re willing to do: If you’re looking for a low-maintenance option, then composite or plastic decking might be suitable. These materials don’t require as much upkeep as wood.
- Your budget: Decking materials can range in price from $15 to $30 per square foot. Hardwoods and composite decking are on the more expensive end, while plastic and aluminum are on the cheaper end.
- The look of the material: Consider the exterior of your home when choosing a decking material. For example, if your home has a more traditional look, then you might want to choose a material like mahogany. Or, if you have a modern home, aluminum or plastic decking might be a better choice.
Thinking of deck ideas in Chicago can be overwhelming but narrowing down your choices will be much easier once you know what factors to consider. And since so many decking materials are on the market, you’re sure to find one perfect for your home.
A deck is a perfect way to enjoy the outdoors while still being close to the comforts of home. Extending your living space to the outdoors can create a natural flow between indoor and outdoor living.
Uglydeck.com is a Chicago-based company specializing in supplying, building, and repairing decks. We work with various materials, so we can help you choose the best decking material for your home.
Our company is one of the leading deck material suppliers near Chicago, and clients can trust that they’re getting the best quality products and services. Contact us today if you have questions about choosing suitable decking materials. We would be happy to help you with your project.