If you’ve spent any time on my website, then you’ve probably gathered that I pretty much hate composite (strongly dislike!) as a building material. In spite of all my appeals though, every so often someone will approach me and be determined to have a deck built using composite. They will strongly insist and I eventually give in. I’m working on one such project now.
They are nice enough people, but they wanted us to use composite for the inside of their screened porch. The idea would really have been an unattractive clash between the natural exterior and the artificial material….not good. I encouraged them to use natural lumber inside and they agreed.
We did, however, move forward with composite for the outside deck surface (again at customer’s wishes). But it frankly has been a headache from the beginning. First, this particular brand (one of the most well known) doesn’t sell fasteners along with the material. So we had to search for a couple of days to find screws that came close to matching. Second, there were no instructions with the material on how to install it (no, it’s never as easy as just laying and fastening…there are always lots of necessary details). We found information on the internet…but of course they weren’t clear.
Once we got started, we quickly discovered that deck screws on this material mushroom up when fastening. So we determined that we had to pre-drill and countersink each hole first…lots of fun. And none of this even covers the high prices that come along with composite material! I think I average about one composite deck a year now. If I had my preference (both for the homeowners sake and mine), I would never build another one!