Which Decking material best suits your needs?

It’s a question we hear often from our Calgary customers, and it’s a question with several answers.

The truth is, until you sit down and define what it is that you want in your deck, you will struggle with the decision between pressure treated lumber, decking membranes, cedar, composite decking or exterior grade hardwoods. To help you in making this decision, we have identified four decision-making criterias, and created a chart to reference as you make your decision:




If budget is your primary concern, the answer to the decking material question is a simple one; brown pressure treated spruce. Pressure treated lumber is a significantly cheaper option than composite material, cedar, or any of the other exterior hardwoods. Not only will it save you money, it also holds up well to the Alberta elements. Using lumber that is not pressure treated in an exterior application is not advisable in any circumstance.



Deck Maintenance

If you’re looking for the option with the lowest maintenance, composite decking will be your best friend for years to come. While it comes with a hefty price tag, once your composite decking is installed, you won’t have to think about it for the next 20 years. This is a stark contrast to wood decks, which generally require sanding and restaining on a periodic basis.



Deck Aesthetics

If you’re looking for the sharpest looking deck on the block, the sky’s the limit when it comes to decking materials. Exterior grade hardwoods (ipe, mahogany, teak)  are beautiful, but come with a huge cost, especially if you have a large deck. Cedar is a great mid-priced option, that still gives your deck a beautiful natural look.



Deck Durability

Composite decking, decking membranes and exterior grade hardwood are each great options if your priority is to build a durable deck that lasts. However, each has a trade off associated with it such as cost, aesthetics or maintenance.

Below is a chart to help visualize the pros and cons to the most popular choices in decking. Feel free to fire our team a message or give us a call if you have any questions!

Pressure Treated Composite Membrane Hardwood Cedar
Affordability $ $$$ $ $$$ $$
Maintenance Avg Low Low Avg-High Avg
Aesthetics Avg Avg-High Avg High Avg-High
Durability Mid High High Mid Mid

Ready to build the deck of your dreams? Contact us today for your free Deck Consultation and to find out more about how we can help you design your dream landscape.