As I’ve posted before, I happen to think that Atlanta provides the best setting for decks in the world…the climate, foliage and culture all provide us with a wonderfully natural backdrop for beautiful decks. And I think this is one of the reasons the composite material has had such a hard time here.
Many homeowners aren’t aware that most of the decks produced in Atlanta are built with wood as opposed to composite. But this isn’t the case around the rest of the country where composite is pretty popular. Atlanta is really a “hold-out” city in terms of composite use…and I believe that, in the long-run, we will reverse the national trend back to wood.
Composites have been around now for about fifteen years. Back when the material was first getting some serious press, I remember being shown a bench that had been made of composite before the popular Trex brand came around. The benches looked pretty good but when I went to sit on one, I was surprised by how spongy it felt. My friend’s take was that the sponginess was good as it “had some give to it”.
As I look back on that along with many composite experiences since, I’ve developed a pretty “rigid” perspective on it. My take on it today (in addition to others I’ve asked) is that I prefer structures like these to be solid and sound. When I sit on a bench, I expect it be solid without much “give”. Further, when I walk on a deck, I expect it to be strong and supportive. And while composites have come a ways in terms of aesthetics, it’s still miles away from the true natural look that wood provides. The bottom line is that composites really have a “natural” disadvantage as a building material. My prediction for Atlanta decks and decks around the country is that we’ll continue to see advances on wood treatment (such as our Tailored Wood) that will cushion the long-term lead of wood over composite. What are your thoughts on this?