Pros and Cons

Maybe you and your spouse have finally elected to tackle the “big remodeling project” you’ve had on your to-do list for who knows how long. Or maybe you’re “biting the bullet” and renovating your Bay Area condominium in preparation for selling it in a year or two. In any event, you face many aesthetic and logistical challenges and choices ahead. And it’s the “little details” that often make construction or remodeling so difficult.
If you’re working on a new deck, for instance, you have to choose a material. Should you choose wood, a wood polymer composite (synthetic decking), or some other material (e.g. plastic)?

Wood – Pros and Cons

Your first instinct might be: Oh, of course, wood, it’s the “real thing.” Wood has a texture, good odor, and natural “look” to it that even the best polymers and plastics cannot precisely mimic. Some woods, like soft woods, may be relatively cheap to purchase, depending on the season and the availability of the type of wood you want to use.
On the other hand, not all wood materials are cheap – by any stretch. Some hard woods can be quite pricey. If you’re simply rebuilding a deck for “practical purposes” – for instance, to build a nice safe play area for your kids outside – it may not be worth it to invest in expensive, real hardwood. The other big “con” to wood decking involves maintenance. Poorly maintained wood can get discolored, cracked, split, splintered, you name it. Termites can infest wood and hatch eggs in there. And you need to treat…and retreat…and retreat again…your decking to ensure its good looks, utility and strength over the years.
Also, depending on how the wood is procured, you may also be contributing (albeit in a very tiny, tiny way) to deforestation problems.

Composite – Pros and Cons

Synthetic decking made of wood polymer composites is nice looking and often far more affordable than traditional wood decking.
Composites tend to be lightweight, resistant to rotting and splintering, and ultra low maintenance. Depending on the wood alternative you choose, you should get strong weather and stain resistance – great if you have a family, and you anticipate that all three kids (and the dog and the kids’ friends) will be soon trouncing around on the deck, spilling stuff on it, etcetera.
On the flip side, composites can look cheap or chintzy. Mildews and molds can form on the composites – even composites sold as resistant to rot. Composites don’t last forever, either. They can bend and bow and decay over time – and they may even warp more than wood boards.

So What Should You Choose?

If you need help developing a solution for your flooring needs, connect with the team at B. A. Morrison. For over two decades, our family owned HVAC and General Construction Company has served Bay Area residents. We can help with property maintenance, heat and air issues, and construction and remodeling.
Read testimonials and learn more about our history and philosophy at, or call us now at 510-538-9817



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