Average Cost of Composite Deck Boards vs. Wood

The following article was taken from the TimberTech website and contains excellent information regarding the lifetime costs of wood decking versus composite and PVC decking. While the upfront costs may be higher for composite and PVC decking, over the lifetime of the deck those costs tend to even out. Check out TimberTech products available through Tool Savvy Handyman Services.

Average Cost of Composite Deck Boards vs Wood-Featured Image.jpg

Installing a deck is a major investment — one you hope will be around for years to come. When it comes to durability and longevity, composite decks dominate hardwood options. So, if you’re deciding based on performance, it’s a no brainer, right? Well, the short answer is a resounding “yes.” But, there are typically more factors to consider — like costs. There’s a common misconception that the average cost of composite deck boards is much higher than that of wood, which drives some homeowners to stick with the status quo and go with lumber.   

Under scrutiny, however, the idea that composite decks (whether built from capped polymer or capped composite boards) are more expensive than wood wears down faster than lumber during monsoon season.

As far as initial investments go, the average cost of composite deck boards is very competitive — and often lower — than that of wood. And composite decks don’t require regular maintenance like hardwood, which means you won’t incur costs from staining the boards every few years. Plus, with a composite deck, you’ll enjoy high levels of performance, extended warranties, and other benefits that wood decks just can’t compete with.

Here’s a look at the true value that composite decking delivers over hardwood for both entry-level and premium deck boards.

Entry-Level Decking: TimberTech® EDGE™ Prime vs. Pressure-Treated Lumber

The Perception

Composite decking, even at entry-level, is far more expensive than installing an average wood deck.

The Reality

In terms of upfront expenses, TimberTech EDGE Prime decking is only slightly more costly than pressure-treated lumber. And, because pressure-treated lumber requires regular maintenance like staining, any savings earned from hardwood will be squandered in as little as three years.

The Breakdown

Our entry-level decking collection — EDGE Prime — makes for a cost-effective and performance-enhancing upgrade over pressure-treated wood decks. In terms of upfront costs, TimberTech EDGE Prime decking costs slightly more than pressure-treated lumber, but you’ll save money in the long-run since it doesn’t require the costly and laborious annual maintenance that comes with wood decking.

Upfront Cost to Build a Deck

Pressure-Treated Lumber vs. EDGE Prime Boards

Upfront Costs Pressure-Treated Lumber vs EDGE Prime Composite Decking Boards-01202020-v3.jpg

The estimated average cost of composite deck boards and pressure-treated lumber decking costs are based on the national average for a 16’ x 20’ deck. Meant for visual representation only. Actual costs may vary.

As the numbers show, the initial average cost of composite deck boards in the TimberTech EDGE Prime Collection is only 5% more than a pressure-treated deck.

And, what do you get for that extra $450 or so? Plenty.

More to Love with TimberTech EDGE Decking

Hassle-Free Decking

TimberTech EDGE decking requires little to no maintenance and is backed by a 25-Year Limited Product Warranty. Traditional wood decks, on the other hand, need to be maintained at least every three years and replaced every 10-15 years.

Long-Lasting Quality

With TimberTech EDGE decking, you can expect consistent, beautiful coloring in the long run. Conversely, pressure-treated lumber will show inconsistent coloring and quality over time, even when properly maintained.

Environmentally-Friendly Materials

Building a beautiful deck doesn’t have to require cutting down a bunch of trees. We use only recycled wood combined with up to 80% recycled material in our TimberTech EDGE Prime boards to create a product that’s as easy on the environment as it is on the eyes.

Worry-Free Surfaces

With worry-free TimberTech decking, splinters in your bare feet or your pet’s paws are a thing of the past. TimberTech offers a beautiful finished look without unsightly nail heads. Using hidden fasteners allows for a clean finish and smooth surface.

Benefits of TimberTech EDGE Prime Composite DeckingCollection over Pressure Treated Lumber-01202020.jpg

Long-Term Investment: EDGE Prime vs. Pressure-Treated Lumber

So, we’ve looked at the initial costs, but what about the lifetime value of these decking options? Compared to pressure-treated lumber, you start saving money with TimberTech EDGE Prime decking after 3 years of ownership due to lumber’s regular maintenance costs. And, over 10 years, the total cost of building and maintaining a TimberTech EDGE Prime deck is up to 16% less than you’d spend on pressure-treated lumber.

Cost Over 10 Years

Pressure-Treated Lumber vs. EDGE Prime Boards

Cost Over 10 Years Pressure-Treated Lumber Vs. EDGE Prime Composite Decking Boards-01202020-v2.jpg

The estimated average cost of composite deck boards and pressure-treated lumber decking costs are based on the national average for a 16’ x 20’ deck. Meant for visual representation only. Actual costs may vary.

TimberTech EDGE Prime

If you’re looking for a high-quality, cost-effective line of deck boards, then you’ve come to the right place. Order free samples to see — and feel — the EDGE difference.EXPLORE PRIME

Premium Decking: TimberTech AZEK Vintage vs. Ipe Hardwood

The Perception

Premium composite decking is more expensive upfront than premium hardwood decking.

The Reality

The upfront average cost of composite deck boards is actually roughly the same when you compare installing Ipe premium hardwood and TimberTech AZEK Vintage decking.

The Breakdown

If you’re looking for a premium outdoor living space, ditch the status quo of hardwoods and take a look at the Vintage Collection from TimberTech AZEK. Vintage decking costs less than premium hardwoods like Ipe and has multiple added benefits.

Upfront Costs to Build a Deck

Ipe Premium Hardwood vs. AZEK Vintage Boards

Upfront Costs IPE Premium Hardwood Vs. AZEK Vintage PVC DeckingBoards-01202020-v2.jpg

The estimated average cost of composite deck boards and pressure-treated lumber decking costs are based on the national average for a 16’ x 20’ deck. Meant for visual representation only. Actual costs may vary.

Oh, and those added benefits we mentioned? Yeah, they push Vintage decking even further ahead of Ipe.

More to Love with TimberTech AZEK Decking

Hassle-Free Decking

TimberTech AZEK deck boards require little to no maintenance and are backed by an industry-leading Lifetime Limited Warranty. Conversely, Ipe premium hardwood requires maintenance at least every two years and does not have a warranty.

Industry-Leading Warranties

Backed by a 50-Year Fade & Stain Warranty, TimberTech AZEK decking colors and grain patterns will look great initially — and will maintain those good looks for decades. No need to worry about the unpredictable timing of the natural weathering that occurs with Ipe wood.

Environmentally-Friendly Materials

Premium hardwoods such as Ipe are not sustainably sourced and are destroying the rainforest. No trees are felled to produce TimberTech AZEK decking. They are a sustainable option, using up to 54% recycled material in every board, which means we’re not only saving trees but preventing waste from going to landfills.

Benefits of TimberTech AZEK Vintage Collection composite decking over Ipe Premium Hardwood-01202020.jpg

Lifetime Average Costs of Composite Deck Boards

Chances are, you’re going to want to keep your new deck for a while, right? Over time, the benefits of choosing the Vintage collection over Ipe continue to add up. With Vintage boards, the total cost of building and maintaining your deck is up to 24% less after 10 years.

Costs Over 10 Years

Ipe Premium Hardwood vs. AZEK Vintage Boards

Costs After 10 Years Ipe Premium Hardwood vs Vintage-01272020.jpg

The estimated average cost of composite deck boards and pressure-treated lumber decking costs are based on the national average for a 16’ x 20’ deck over a 10-year period. Meant for visual representation only. Actual costs may vary.

Wood decks are a thing of the past. Go Against the Grain™ and choose the cutting-edge technology, world-class quality, and lifetime value of TimberTech composite decking.

GIVE ME A CALL to discuss your decking options.

Building Permit Requirements

Deck and shed building permit
Do I Need A Building Permit?

What is a Building Permit?

A building permit is issued by your local jurisdiction of authority, usually your municipality, and authorizes you (or someone on your behalf) to build or add a structure on your property such as a deck, shed, garage, house addition, swimming pool, or retaining wall to name a few. The property owner is responsible for obtaining the building permit; however, the process of applying for and receiving the permit is often handled by the contractor. The building permit acts as a safeguard to ensure that the proposed construction complies with the applicable Building Code, which in our case is the British Columbia Building Code 2018, as well as any municipal requirements such as property setbacks, zoning requirements, etc. Because I specialize in decks and sheds I will limit this discussion to building permit requirements for those structures.

When is a Building Permit Required?

I will focus on the requirements of the City of Kelowna which are generally consistent with those of the City of West Kelowna and the District of Lake Country. The first place to start is with the City of Kelowna’s Building Bylaw, 1993, No. 7245 which states that, “No building or structure shall be constructed, except in conformity with the requirements of the building code, this bylaw, and all other bylaws of the City.” With that said, it’s always best to assume that a building permit is required until it can be determined that there is an exception that negates the requirement for a permit. I will do my best to outline Kelowna’s building permit requirements in relation to decks and sheds; however, it is ALWAYS important to consult with the appropriate municipality to determine if there are special considerations that require, or do not require, a building permit.

Decks

As I have already stated, it’s best to start with the assumption that a building permit is required when constructing a new deck. There are, however, some exceptions which apply:

1. If the deck is freestanding (in other words, not attached to the house), AND;
2. The surface of the deck is less than 24″ above grade

a building permit is GENERALLY not required.

Having said that, if a hot tub will be located on top of the deck the City will require a building permit which must include structural engineering. If a hot tub is sitting on the ground but surrounded by a deck a building permit will also likely be required. In that case, a railing would likely be required for safety reasons, hence the requirement for a permit.

There are also site coverage requirements which must be met. All of the structures on your property are allowed to cover only a certain percentage of your lot which means that you may be limited in the size of deck you are able to build.

The City of Kelowna Deck Bulletin provides a brief and useful summary of the requirements for constructing a new deck.

Sheds

Once again, let’s start with the assumption that a building permit will be required for your new shed. The exception to that rule is if the shed is less than 10 square meters (approximately 108 square feet) in size. In that case, a permit will not be required; however, all requirements for setbacks from property lines and height restrictions must be met.

The City of Kelowna Detached Residential Accessory Buildings Bulletin is a helpful resource for information relating to the construction of your new shed.

Building Permit Application Requirements

Two sets of scaled plans which will include:

  • A site plan showing all dimensions, lot size and accurate shape showing the size of the proposed deck.
  • The exact location of the proposed deck in reference to other structures, property lines, all registered easements, right-of-ways, NO DISTURB zone, NO BUILD zone, existing retaining walls and proposed retaining walls.
  • Working drawings shall show all building elevations, foundation/footing plans, a cross-section showing all construction assemblies.
  • The material and design of the deck and specifications of guard railings.
  • Engineer’s Design and Schedules B, D and proof of insurance, if applicable.
  • Current State of Title (within last 30 days), and copies of registered documents (easements, covenants & right-of-ways) may be required.
  • Owner’s Authorization Form
  • Owner’s Acknowledgement Form

    In addition to the above requirements which apply to decks, the following is also required for new shed construction:
  • Two Sets of Plans (Site Plan, Floor Plan, Elevations, Roof Design)
  • A site plan shall include the lot size and accurate shape showing the location and size of the proposed garage and all existing buildings/improvements on the lot. Easements, right of ways, septic tank and field locations are to be indicated on the site plan. A revised survey certificate showing the size and location of the proposed detached garage, as well as driveway location and slope, would also be accepted.
  • Working drawings shall show all building elevations, foundation/floor plans, a cross-section showing all construction assemblies, and a roof truss layout are required at the time of application. These plans are to be drawn to scale. Preferred scale Metric 1:50 or Imperial ¼” = 1.0 ft.

How I Can Help With Your Deck or Shed Building Permit

Once we have finalized a set of plans I would be happy to facilitate the process of obtaining a building permit for your project.

Contact me to discuss your new deck or shed.