When comparing the costs of composite decking and timber decking, it is not as straight-forward as comparing the price per square metre. With a range of prices of materials that are indicative of quality and type, both materials have quite a large gap between lower quality and higher quality materials.
Along with the price of material, to come to an adequate comparison, you have to also factor in installation, labour, finishing and costs over time. If you are planning to install new decking, then having a rough estimate of your budget and want you are willing to pay overtime can help you make the best decision regarding what material will suit your wants and needs.
Breakdown of Composite Decking Costs
Like with all projects, generally you can work out roughly how much materials will cost by figuring out the size of your project and the cost of what type of material you need per square metre. With most decking being roughly around fifteen metres squared, once you decide on the type of composite decking you gain a rough estimate.
With composite decking ranging from anywhere between $100 and going upwards of $350 per square metre, it is hard to give specifics just how much the materials will cost. With the pricing ranging from anything between $1500 to over $5000 for materials, if you decide to go with composite decking then your budget will dictate the type and quality of materials available. Generally, composite decking is more expensive than timber decking, but this is only in terms of the initial cost. Find out more about composite decking cost here.
Factors to consider as well is the price of installation and if you are worried about your decking fading, which can happen to composite decking, then you have the choice to pay a little extra for UV protection. Composite decking requires little to no maintenance, which means that what you invest in the beginning is highly likely the overall cost of your deck.
Overall Costs for Timber Decking
Much like the case with composite decking, the price per square metre and materials depends on what kind and quality of the timber you choose.
Even though the materials for timber decking are generally cheaper than composite decking, you still may pay upwards of $320 per square metre. Also like composite decking, you have to factor in the costs of installation when putting together your budget but there are also other factors that you must consider.
Timber decking, no matter what kind of timber you use, does require a lot more love and care, with staining and polishing not just upon installation, but throughout the life of the deck. Another cost to consider if you are comparing the two types of materials is that timber does not wear as well as composite decking.
While initially, you may save money and have a fabulous new deck, you will find that you will most likely be replacing and repairing timber that is weather damaged. Issues to consider as well is the possibility of termites and other wood born pests and bacteria, that can lead to damage and risk of the structural integrity of any timber deck. While you may save money with a timber decking initially, you will be up for more costs down the track, potentially paying the same, possibly more, just over an extended period of time.
So How Much?
This question is similar to how long a piece of string is; it really depends. It all comes back down to what you are prepared to invest in. When it comes to materials, you tend to get what you pay for. While it may seem that composite decking is a cheaper option long-term, if you are comparing low-quality composite decking with high quality timber, it may change the overall costs.
Ultimately though, if you are planning on installing a new deck, understanding all the associated costs and your potential budget will steer you in the right direction. Price of materials, installation, maintenance, repairs- these are all factors to consider when you are putting together your plan for your new deck or if you are upgrading or renovating an old one.
If you are willing to invest in your deck at the start, then choosing high quality composite decking is definitely the way to go and will most likely end up being a lot more inexpensive in the long run. With composite decking, you will not get stuck with ongoing maintenance issues, not stress or burdens from weather damage or environmental issues like termites or bacteria.
With composite decking, the price is what you see is what you are in for so if you do not want to take the chance of ending up with a slew of ongoing costs, then composite decking is the less financially risky choice.