Vinyl and cedar are two of the most common types of materials used for residential decks. Both materials have a distinctive set of advantages and disadvantages. Knowing the key differences between these two common types of material can help you decide which one is the best fit to construct your home's deck with.
Cedar is a particular type of hardwood that possesses a number of advantages over its counterparts. Cedar contains special oils that will repel insects, making it less likely to suffer from termite and other pest infestations when used for your deck. Further, these oils help seal out moisture, reducing the risk of rotting and warping of the underlying structure of your deck. Choosing cedar for your deck's construction also allows you to source your decking from sustainably harvested sources, helping to reduce the environmental impact of your project. Cedar decking can also be easily stained or refinished at a later date to refresh or alter the appearance of your deck, allowing you to maintain a clean aesthetic without having to replace the entire structure.
However, cedar decking does still require some amount of maintenance, just like all types of wood-construction materials. This means that you will have to regularly seal or stain your deck to prevent water damage from occurring. Further, cedar decking can be easily scratched by animals' paws, patio furniture, and other sharp edges, which can mar the appearance of your deck.
On the other hand, vinyl deck boards are made out of plastic materials. This means that they are completely immune to pest infestations, rotting, and warping, reducing the overall amount of maintenance that you will have to complete on your deck and greatly increasing the lifespan of your deck. Furthermore, vinyl decking is colored all the way through, which means that minor damage to the surface of your deck will not be easily visible.
However, vinyl-decking materials tend to be slightly more expensive than their cedar counterparts, as well as other types of wooden-building materials. While the exact price difference between cedar and vinyl will depend on the quality of decking that you use, the overall size of your project, and your location, in general, you can expect to pay slightly more for your vinyl deck. Further, vinyl cannot be easily painted or stained, which means that the color that you have is the one you are stuck with until you replace the deck entirely.
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