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Ideas for a Gorgeous Low-Maintenance Deck

by Rachel Lyon, Editorial Director for The House Designers®

Like many, you’re probably planning to add a deck to your new home to expand your living space to the outdoors. Exterior features have a special place in many designs, but outfitting them to withstand the elements poses a challenge for homeowners in all climate zones. Durability and upkeep concerns can steer some toward basic concrete patios, but if you have your eye on the beauty of wood, robust composites with authentic tones and textures answer the call. Here’s what they have to offer alongside attractive looks!

Fiberon Symmetry Decking

With rich exotic tones, plenty of color variation, and a matte finish, the Symmetry Decking shown here in Cinnabar might trick you into thinking it’s real wood. But no—it’s made from a high-performance composite that resists all sorts of wear and tear.

Diverse Wood-Look Options

Do you have your eye on a particular style for your deck? Perhaps you want it to look fresh and new, or maybe your preferred aesthetic is weathered and aged? Composite decking lets you choose what you want to see now and in the future, without having to worry about maintaining it or waiting for it to happen naturally. And you don’t have to painstakingly test boards and stains, either, because the color is locked under a protective finish; pick the style that suits your fancy and that’s what you’ll get!

You’ll find that different products address different wants and needs, so make a list of what’s important for you. Shop with gloss, color, and tonal variation in mind. Many products mimic exotic and domestic wood species, if you like a particular natural aesthetic and want it applied to the deck in a more durable medium. If you like a painted look, try a monochromatic finish for a clean, traditional vibe. Due to the composition and construction of composite decking, it doesn’t stain or paint well, so feel confident in your choice before committing.

Fiberon ArmorGuard Decking

ArmorGuard Decking is made for tough conditions, and it’s perfect for even coastal locations. In this Nantucket Gray finish, it has the appearance of a charmingly aged deck so it fits right in from the start.

Easy Maintenance

With no reason to paint, stain, or reseal, composite decking offers a very low-maintenance solution. Quality boards also have their own built-in protection against common challenges like mold, mildew, warping, splintering, and insects. That takes care of the vast majority of upkeep that homeowners should plan for—and accept—before installing a deck. While wood decking is less expensive up front, the expense of treating or replacing damage drives up the cost over its lifetime. If you choose a durable composite instead, you’ll pay ahead for greater peace of mind in the future.

As far as regular maintenance goes, composite decking only asks for occasional cleaning with gentle soap and water. Just this little bit of effort keeps the surface looking good and removes debris and algae growth, if you live in a climate prone to it. The deck won’t need anything harsh or that’ll turn into a whole-day project, but it’s still an exterior feature exposed to all that’s out there, and keeping it clean will help its beauty stand out and allow you to enjoy it more.

Fiberon ProTect Advantage Decking

This ProTect Advantage® Decking in Western Cedar offers lovely natural looks along with resistance to common wood woes. Do you live in a Wildland Urban Interface (WUI) zone prone to fires? Consider the FR version, which meets strict California codes for ignition resistance.

Good for People and the Planet

The advantages of a composite deck lie primarily in convenience, but they go further. You’ll love that many are designed with high-traction grain patterns to reduce the risk of slipping whether wet or dry. And because the boards won’t crack or splinter, bare feet are safe. Products are designed to resist all sorts of environmental conditions, so if you live in an extreme climate, you can find decking that addresses your specific concerns—even fire resistance, so a cinder landing on the deck doesn’t spell disaster for the whole house. That’s a lot to expect from a deck, but you can!

Environmental friendliness depends largely on the composite material, and some brands do it better than others. Be sure to ask when you shop, because some products might be made of virgin polymers while others use recycled content, from wood and/or plastic sources, to help reduce what goes into landfills. Manufacturing processes also vary greatly in terms of sustainability, so look for transparency to see which companies are making the effort.

Are you in the market for composite decking? Check out the array of options available from Fiberon®, which is conveniently sold at Lowe’s, Home Depot, and local dealers nationwide. With lovely colors to choose from across a range of price points, you’ll be able to design an outdoor living space that matches your home and personal style. Find a nearby store or deck builder to get started!

And don't forget to shop our Outdoor Living House Plans if a great porch or deck is a must-have for your next home! You'll find tons of beautiful designs you can customize to your liking, inside and out.