Comment choisir une terrasse

Thinking of a deck? Think ahead.

When it comes to building a deck, it’s worth thinking long-term. And that’s where this cheat sheet comes in. While some costs are simple, others cost you things more precious…like a lazy lunch with the kids, time with the newspaper, and straight-up patience. Below, we cover the five decision points to help you choose what’s right for you, your backyard and your budget. (Not to mention your weekends.)

1. Material: What's It Made Of?
Trex high performance composite decking offers enhanced protection against the elements, and beautiful features High-performance composite decking
High-performance composite decking

The ultimate in backyard decking, high-performance composite is wrapped in a tough-as-nails finish that keeps the beauty in, and the work out.

Pros
  • Soap-and-water maintenance
  • Résistant à la décoloration, aux taches, aux éraflures et à la moisissure
  • Natural wood grain finish and rich color
  • Earth-friendly
  • Fade and stain warranties
Cons
  • Often costlier board-for-board
Wood grain pattern of Trex Escapes PVC decking PVC (vinyl) decking
PVC (vinyl) decking

All plastic material with no organic content makes it low-maintenance.

Pros
  • Stain, scratch, and mold resistant
  • Nécessite peu d'entretien
  • Finished look without painting
Cons
  • Tends to squeak and get chalky
  • Not earth-friendly
  • Costlier board-for-board
Modèle de grain de bois d’une terrasse en bois composite Trex Accents couleur Saddle Traditional composite decking
Early-generation composite decking

Your first-generation wood-alternative board. Part wood, part plastic, all easygoing.

Pros
  • Won't rot or splinter
  • A great, durable value
  • Earth-friendly
Cons
  • Can fade and stain
  • Prone to mold and mildew
  • Requires periodic cleaning with deck wash
  • Susceptible to scratches
Wood decking
Wood decking

For the purist, a wood deck is real and natural, with a pleasing heft.

Pros
  • Traditional, one-with-nature feel
  • Affordable board-for-board
  • Easy to work with, easy to source
Cons
  • Rots, splits, swells, twists, fades
  • Contributes to deforestation
  • One word: splinters
  • Pressure-treating chemicals are toxic
  • Requires painting, staining or sealing
2. Main-d'œuvre

How Hard Is Installation?

The cost of building a deck can be 20-50% labor, so it’s important to consider whether or not this is a DIY project, or one best left to the pros.

Some of the hidden costs may surprise you, however. For instance, composites are as easy to handle as wood and usually require no special tools, while PVC is more difficult to customize.

3. Maintenance

How Much Upkeep Are We Talking?

Beyond the initial premium cost of composite decking, the cost of maintaining, replacing and simply hating the mess other products can turn into is worth a run through the calculator.

Often, in five to ten years time, the relative costs (think powerwashing, waterseal, stain, weekend-filling chores) even out.

4. Beauty

Lots Of Design Options?

Some materials enable customizable design options—everything from curves to multiple colors and wood grain patterns—while others are more limited in scope.

When choosing a material for your project, it’s helpful to keep your priorities in mind: are you looking for great design options, the best value, or maybe a product that offers a balance of both.

5. ROI

What's It Worth When I Move?

Some products add more value and joy to a home than others. The more carefree and eco-friendly the deck, the more attractive it is to potential home buyers…that is, if you can ever dream of moving.

Side-By-Side Comparison