A deck is a flat surface capable of supporting weight, similar to a floor, but typically constructed outdoors, often elevated from the ground, and can be connected to a building. The term is a generalization of decks as found on ships.
Functions and materials
Wood or timber “decking” can be used in a number of ways: as part of garden landscaping, to extend living areas of houses, and as an alternative to stone based features such as patios.
Decks are made from treated lumber, composite lumber or composite material.
Decks are often built from pressure treated wood. Pressure treated wood is long-lasting and holds up to wet and icy weather conditions. Pressure treated wood however is treated with chemicals. It is also important to note that both softwood and hardwood decks will need to be finished after installation using either an oil or varnish to prevent weathering, wear, mould, algae and wood boring insects.
A deck can last anywhere from 10 to 30 years if made from untreated wood and can last as long as 50 years for treated wood or composite materials. Because a deck is a long-term investment and you will be enjoying it for decades to come, it’s important to understand your choice of materials before starting your building project.
Both wood and composite materials come in low and high quality, so cost or quality is not the only factor. It’s commonly known that composite materials require less maintenance, hence, their cost is usually higher. But they do require some maintenance, and other factors come into play as well.