final choices on deck materials

dsommerlApril 5, 2010

I am re-doing an existing cedar deck---the skelaton--infrastructure is wolmanized lumber and in great shape.

I have my contractor secured--here's where I am with some questions

House is all white (painted redwood siding and wood trim)

Want to make the deck look like an estension of the house (vs a "pasted on" cedar structure as now.)

Decking is to be cedar

I have read too many bad things about the synthetic decking materials---which ever brand. My research tells me that cedar--despite the need to clean and seal every couple of yrs is really not any more maintenance that synthetics which also need periodic cleaning--plus a cedar wood deck can be made to look new (can sand out any stains---etc etc). Contractor agrees with my assessment

Trim--railing--skir boards lattice etc are to be white (to make this thing look like an extension of the house). Plus I want as maintenace free as possible--railing and trim boards

QUESTION---This is where I'm confused---Contractor is advocating Timbertech radiance railing---but I'm reading that the PVC/cellular material is maybe superior--longer lasting--easier to clean etc. my understanding is the Timbertech is composite. I think Aztec offers PVC--

Which is the better "look" (most like wood)--how about maintenance and longevity?

QUESTION---then there is an option to go with aluminum powercoated---metal type material for the railings. Would this be a better alternative--(easier maintenance--longer lasting?? BUT---what material (white color) would then match best in appearance to a metal railing system?

AGain---natural cedar decking--and everything else white.

WHAT are my best combination/s of materials Any brand recommendations would also be appreciated.

Thanks

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