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  • Composite Decking

    Composite decking is the modern alternative to wood decking

    Composite decking was first manufactured in the 1990’s. It is made from sawdust and recycled plastic, using plastic from carrier bags and milk cartons. Originally, like Ford’s first car, you could have any colour you wanted as lock as it was, not black, as with the car but grey. Many people prefer colours which blend in with the natural habitat so when ten years later, the composite decking came in a number of more natural colours including woods such as cedar and walnut , it was made more appealing as a garden feature.

    Composite does not splinter, warp or rot, problems which wood decking is prone to. Wood decking attracts wood eating insects such as woodworm and termites, which are not attracted to the combination of materials in composite decking.

    Wood decking requires scrubbing, bleaching and staining regularly, making it difficult to keep in good condition.
    While composite decking does not look like real wood, it is much easier to maintain, needing little more than a yearly wash.

    There is a large environmental argument for composite decking. As it is made from a mixture of wood by-products, such as sawdust, which means no trees need to be felled unlike when making wood decking. The sawdust is mixed with the types of plastic which is used in shopping bags and milk containers. These products, which, if not used for composite decking, would go into landfill sites and remain there for up to four hundred and fifty years. Making use of this material for composite decking means it is taken out of landfill sites and used in an environmentally friendly way. One company making composite decking recycles approximately six million pounds of plastic per year. This means that there is at least six million tons of plastic which is not lying in landfill sites for four hundred and fifty years, waiting to degrade.

    The composite materials would not need to be treated with environmentally dangerous chemicals to prevent insect problems.

    There is also no need to bleach composite decking. Bleach has been proved to be detrimental to health, particularly to anyone who suffers from breathing conditions such as asthma, as incidences of asthma become higher in the developed world, bleach is one of the chemicals to avoid.

    While composite decking does not look like real wood, it is an environmentally friendly alternative. The initial cost of composite decking is higher than that for wood decking but the low maintenance means that the extra outlay will be worthwhile, as money will be saved over the years.

    Composite decking is also labour and time saving, both very important qualities nowadays. In summary, composite decking is better for the environment and does not contribute to health issues. There are no trees felled for composite decking, we all know that trees are the lungs of the world and far too many are cut down without being replaced. Even when trees are replaced, they take many years to mature.

    There as been a large growth in high quality composite decking, particularly in the UK. Composite decking UK is easy to maintain and is a good product to use if you want a low or no maintenance garden and wish to use an environmentally friendly product.

    How Much does it Cost to Install Composite Decking

    Composite offers an elegant, low maintenance decking alternatives for homes. One question that comes up when looking at composite decking installation is- how much does it cost? The answer will vary depending on very many factors. There is no standard estimate for the cost of installing a composite decking. However, most manufacturers provide calculators online that a homeowner can use to make their estimates. For a ballpark figure, you may find costs ranging between 180 to 240 per SQ metre inclusive of installation and subframes, but that is just an approximation. Composite decking will cost more than other decks, but it will pay for itself in as little as 5 years. Here are some aspects that matter when evaluating the installation costs of composite decking.

    Estimating the Material Costs

    The size of the deck will dictate how much material you will need; and therefore, determine the cost. Before you even start shopping for composite material, you will have to measure the expected deck installation to know the m₂ necessary to cover it. If you intend to get more than one deck, then factor all the space requirements into your calculations. Deciding the shape and design of the deck will simplify things when doing these calculations. You will be able to tell the height, shape, and number of levels that the deck is going to have. If you want more information about how to manage your composite decking project, I’d suggest you to read this.

    Composite decking manufacturers offer materials of different grades, and that is another element that will factor in the cost. Some composite materials will costs more than others, so you have to make a choice. You can request samples from a manufacturer to see the material that would be most suitable.

    Think about the accessories to be used on the decking installation. Decking must have fasteners, decking, and joist screws and edging. These accessories come in different materials and quality, meaning varied costs. Find out the best accessories to get for the composite decking. You will have to factor in aspects like durability and resistance to corrosion, wear, and tear.

    Estimating the Installation

    After finishing with the materials, consider the cost of labour. Start by asking if the installation is a DIY project or are you hiring professionals. Doing it yourself would reduce a lot of costs but it also comes with its risks. Any miscalculations during installation can lead to wasted materials. If you are hiring expert installers, then you will pay more for labour. For these calculations, first, consider the complexity of the project. You can get inspections first to see the type of work that will need to be done. Contractors will look at features like multiple level decking, non-rectangular shapes, too many corners, and so on.

    You also have to consider if there is already another deck in place. If you are getting a replacement deck, then there will be additional costs for removing it. Will you do this yourself or leave it to the installers? If there are damages caused by the previous deck, then repairs may be necessary. Factor in how much those will cost. Consider any other constructions such as a bench that will be attached to the deck. Are you getting a weed guard for the deck? All these will add to the final costs.

    Keep in mind that installation costs vary from one location to another. When hiring a professional installer or handyman, think about the seasonal wage rates. Factor in how far the decking material will have to be transported because that can influence the cost. Don’t forget that installing a new deck may require a permit from the local authority, so find out how much it costs. Composite decking is a nice addition to your home, and it will add significant value after completion. Make certain you budget for it adequately.