Decking offers a great alternative to other 'hard' landscaping, especially when a more natural, softer finish is desired.
Softwood decking is by far the most popular, largely due to cost, and with some regular attention a softwood deck can last for many years. If the supporting framework is constructed well then old worn deck boards can eventually be replaced at a fraction of the cost of a new deck. Hardwood decking is a more expensive option but can provide a very attractive finish and generally a longer lifespan.
Recent developments in composite decking have made this material a realistic option for more and more people. Costs have been going down and the appearance and range of options greatly improving. The key benefits of composite decking include low maintenance and greater traction in wet weather.
Composite decking is a mixture of recycled wood and plastic. High-performance composite has a weather-resistant shell that protects the walking surface from fading, staining, scratching and mould. Composite eliminates the need to stain, paint or treat your deck and the number one benefit of composite products is longevity, you can expect your composite deck to withstand the most severe weather conditions for decades without any additional treatment or protection.
Softwood is not necessarily soft - nor hardwood hard! Both types of wood are suitable for decking, and a properly treated and maintained softwood deck can last up to 40 years.The vast majority of decks in the UK are constructed from commercially treated (tanalised) softwoods. Typically, the guarantee against rot - providing that all cuts are properly treated - will be 15 years. You can expect a properly constructed deck to last many years longer than that.