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Outdoor deck materials: 4 Popular options

by Kurt Potter 08/28/2023

If you’re considering adding an outdoor deck to your renovation to-do list, one of the first steps is to choose your building materials. With so many options available, making the best choice for your outdoor living space might seem like a daunting task.

Here is a basic guide of the most popular deck materials to help you get started:


Cedar is commonly regarded as one of the most high-quality building materials for outdoor decks. It’s an excellent choice for DIY enthusiasts interested in building their own deck, as it’s lightweight and easy to work with.

While it does require regular refinishing, this dense and weather-resistant wood is naturally impervious to pests and decay.


Other natural wood options include exotic hardwoods like Ipe. Similarly to cedar, these decking options have natural defense against pests like termites and damage from rot.

The density of hardwood makes it extremely long-lasting, though it is heavier and more expensive than other materials.

Pressure-treated wood

Pressure-treated wood, or PT wood, is the most common outdoor deck material. Pressure-treated lumber is infused with chemicals that improve its resistance to pests and rot. These chemicals help preserve the natural aspect and durability while keeping the cost down.

PT wood is widely available, affordable and can be easily stained to match your specific color preferences.

Composite wood decking

Composite decking is made of multiple materials combined to form an affordable and easy-care decking material. While it’s not technically wood, most composite materials mimic the appearance of real wood decking to achieve the same natural aesthetic.

Composite material has some great advantages, such as being weather-resistant and long-lasting. With practically no maintenance, some composite wooden decks can last up to 25 years or more.

However, quality and appearance can vary from one brand to the next. Price can also vary depending on manufacturer. So, it’s important to research your options and make sure you’re getting the best deck for your buck.

The best choice for your outdoor space

These are the most commonly used outdoor decking materials. While each has their advantages and disadvantages, the choice of what to use for your deck design depends on your personal preference.

No matter what materials you choose, you can add in features like built-in seating, a hot tub, swimming pool, fire pit and potted plants. Whether you want your deck to be an outdoor dining area, a cozy gathering space for guests or a personal outdoor oasis, knowing the material options will help you make the best decision.

About the Author

Kurt Potter

Hi, I'm Kurt Potter and I'd love to assist you. Whether you're in the research phase at the beginning of your real estate search or you know exactly what you're looking for, you'll benefit from having a real estate professional by your side. I'd be honored to put my real estate experience to work for you.