In today’s building industry, there are many types of materials that are used for structural, cost, maintenance, and aesthetic reasons. C. Verblaauw & Sons is happy to help our customers understand the differences when choosing the right materials to fit their application and budget.
Pressure Treated Lumber
We do not install pressure treated decking and railings because it splits, warps, cracks and shrinks. We do continue to build deck framing from pressure treated lumber or our customers have the option of TREX® Elevations steel framing.
This wood was used quite often in the past because its natural oils help to resist rot. It has become more expensive these days and will last approximately 10 to 15 years if well maintained.
This is the material that most decks were built with prior to 35 years ago. It has become very difficult, if not impossible, to get here on the east coast.
Mahogany, Ipé, Purple Heart, Brazilian Cherry, Jatoba, Tigerwood, Jarrah and many others
These hardwoods are typically resistant to rot and decay, but sometimes tend to crack and split in the bright sun. They are also very heavy and difficult to work with. Each nail must be pre-drilled; drill bits and saw blades dull quickly and must be sharpened or replaced frequently. These hardwoods make a truly beautiful deck, but require constant care and a steady maintenance schedule of seal-coating. These hardwoods are also at the highest price level of any decking material, natural or composite.
This is a newer decking product that is quite pleasing to the eye and lower maintenance than most wood products. Bamboo is also considered an environmentally safe or Green Building Product.
Trex is a composite decking and railing manufacturer. They produce a wood and plastic blend that is at least 95% recycled. Their newest product line, Transcend, is considered a capped composite and with it they have done away with all of the old scratching, staining and fading issues that plagued the industry in the past.
The TREX® railing products are unique because they have a matte finish and are not shiny like PVC rails. They also have several types and colors of balusters to choose from. Their Trex Trim products are easy to work with and won’t rot, fade, or split. Trex Trim boards look great as stair risers, fascia or skirt boards. Trex Trim also keeps its white color with very little cleaning. Don’t forget to ask us about Trex lighting as well. We have been a Trex Pro Contractor for many years and are listed on their website. Find out more about Trex at www.Trex.com.
Trex® Elevations Steel Framing
We offer the option of Trex Elevations steel framing instead of pressure treated wood framing for under the deck. Because we are a Trex Pro Platinum builder, our customers will receive a 5-year labor warranty on the steel framing or a 2-year labor warranty on the pressure treated framing and they are both backed by a 25-year material warranty. The neutral finish of the steel framing blends with most decking colors making the framing less noticeable.
With the Trex Elevations steel framing, we can use fewer posts under the deck because it is so much stronger than lumber. The steel won’t twist, warp or sag and will last longer than pressure treated lumber. It is non-combustible and has a Class 1a fire rating and is eco-friendly. Elevations is made from a minimum of 25% recycled steel and we recycle 100% of our scraps.
Trex® RainEscape Deck Drainage System
RainEscape allows you to enjoy outdoor living no matter what the weather. We can create outdoor spaces you never thought were possible. This drainage system is unique because it installs on top of the floor joists of the deck before any decking is put down. This installation allows recessed lighting, ceiling fans, TV’s, speakers, etc. to be installed in the ceiling below the deck.
There are many other brands of composite and PVC decking on the market. The differences in the products range from color choices, price ranges, capped or composite materials. They all have their own scratch, fade and staining warranties.
Phoenix Manufacturing, Inc.
Phoenix makes one of the best lighted rail systems that I have seen on the market. They put the lights up inside the top rail so they shine down on the deck and not in your eyes. They put this
lighting system in their PVC and Mahogany railing kits. Phoenix also has one of the nicest PVC pergolas and they can mount their lighting system in it as well. Find out more at www.phoenixpvcrail.com.