Total cost ipe vs Azek , labor and materials?

cmm6797September 17, 2011

We are trying to decide on decking material for a 12' x 20' deck.

We had originally planned on Azek for it's low maintenance but since reading posts on this forum, we're realizing that we may not be happy with its' tendency to stain, mildew, etc.

Ipe seems like another great choice. We have estimates from several contractors to do the deck in Azek. My question is how much would the cost vary if we decided to use ipe instead? From what I understand, the composites are often more time- consuming to install so the labor costs are higher.

Would appreciate any insight and/or any other suggestions for materials. Thank you.

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We are also in the process of deciding on new decking materials. I was told by one of the larger local decking companies that Azek is more expensive than the composites, IPE or Tiger hardwoods. The price of the newer capped composites are apparently more comparable to the hardwoods. Softwoods being at the lower end of the spectrum.

As far as actual labor costs I'm not sure which material is more time consuming to install. I have been told the tropical woods are so dense they have to be drilled for installation of all components, rails, fastening systems etc. The composites and particularly 100% PVC products like Azek may require 12" centers instead of the standard 16" centers if you don't like feeling/seeing any "give" in the deck surface between the support framework.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2011 at 12:29PM
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For a deck that size the installed cost should not vary that much.

Ipe is a little harder to install but that is offset by the cost of hidden fastners. Material cost should be similar.


    Bookmark   September 19, 2011 at 12:44AM
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My GC told me installation cost would be the same for Ipe or Azek. These are the only two products he will use for decks. From what my GC told me, the materials are priced comparably, but he told me the azek pieces are smaller (maybe that's why its more labor for you?). I will try to find the material prices he told me as I am paying for materials myself.

If you need a permit / design plan for your deck, it is important to know that the base of an Ipe deck is designed differently than the base of the Azek (I think boards run a different direction?). For me, if I choose the Azek, I will need to have my architect revise my plan.

They have Ipe installed by our beach and it looks great, so we are going with Ipe. Plus, I like the natural material aspect better. Good Luck!

    Bookmark   September 22, 2011 at 10:53AM
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Thank you for the feedback. We've decides to go with Azek for many reasons. Hope it works out well!

    Bookmark   September 22, 2011 at 6:26PM
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If you are going with Azek, make sure you place the joists on 12" centers, or you may be unhappy.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2011 at 6:37PM
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wondering what the results were on your Azek install?
any way to post links to photos of your project?
any notes (good/bad) to be aware of?

there are some other composite materials now on the market made of rice husks and bamboo. wondering if you have experience or feedback on these.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2012 at 11:58AM
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We ended up using Gossen, which is another composite material. We decided on that mainly because it came in a color that we wanted and it appeared less "plastic" looking than the other composites. It was slightly more expensive than Azek. The boards are attached with tongue and groove screws, so not visible from the top of the boards . A neighbor used the same material and has lived with it for several years without any complaints. Our contractor, whom we trust, basically convinced us that composites were the way to go. I have seen decks from ipe and although they are beautiful, some look "mildewed.". I'm sure that can be avoided by routine maintenance but we were hoping for minimal maintenance.

The floor of the deck is Gossen, but the railing is Azek. And we used cedar for the large posts ( stained gray). I will post pictures when I can.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2012 at 5:23PM
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