Wood vs. Composite Decking Material

4 Replies

I am in the middle of a rehab on a future rental property. The current decking was only 2x4's and was damaged by a leaking roof, so I have to replace the decking boards and railing. I can't decide whether to use composite or treated wood. I know composite has lower maintenance, but wood is cheaper. My buddy owns a lumber yard so he gave me some pretty good prices on some closeout Trex Origins Composite. Also both prices below include brackets, screws, etc.

Approximate Rent - $900
House has blue vinyl siding
Deck has a brand new roof over it
I just installed a new support beam, posts, and sistered the roofing joists

Treated Wood Decking and Railing - $640
Trex Origins (grey) Composite Decking and Railing - $1140

What do you guys think I should do?

Does anyone know how long the paint/stain would last on a wood deck that is covered?

This picture was taken before I finished installing the new beam, but here you go - http://imgur.com/WQa7H

I know this could also be posted in the Rehab forum, but I am aware of the advantages and disadvantages of the two options as a homeowner.

I am trying to make this decision as an investor though......

Depends on you objectives. If holding for an extended number of years, I'd go trex. If flipping quickly, keep the investment low, put a nice wooden deck on an be done.

The trex will pay for itself in re-staining costs in 2-3 years if you're holding long term. Of course, you always need to consider you competition if flipping quickly. What does the typical unit have in your area? If high end, and the competition has all trex units for sale...then go trex so yours competes on an even playing field.

For what it's worth, in my area I purposely stay away from decks for the maintenance reasons and insurance reasons (my ins carrier makes a stink about grills on decks of rentals...something about careless renters, lighter fluid, and burning buildings!....personally I just think he hates us BBQ lovers!!). Anyway, gimme a good multi unit with concrete patios any day! ...better yet no back doors at all (no deck to stain and no extra door to paint!)

When you do this long enough, you'll see renters do everything under the sun! Grills on decks are nothing...Hey, maybe a good post to start..."what's the stupidest thing your tenant has done to you rental?!"