composite decking cost

Composite Decking Cost vs Wood: Which Costs More?

Homeowners have a few options for materials when building a deck, but wood and composite are two of the most popular choices. However, the price often plays a huge role in choosing a decking material. 

Some homeowners shy away from composite decking because they are under the impression that it is beyond their budget. They often forget about additional factors that could cost them more in the long run when they opt for a cheaper alternative.

In this blog, we’ll compare composite decking vs. wood, but we’ll go beyond the initial cost. We’ll also focus on comparing maintenance costs and determining which decking material provides the most value for the price. 


Is the Upfront Price of Composite Decking Cheaper Than Wood?

In most cases, composite decking materials will be higher than wood alternatives. Generally speaking, customers can expect to pay 2-4 times more for composite decking than wood.

However, the exact price differences will depend on the specific brand and product line you choose from. In order to get the most accurate price comparison, homeowners should talk to us to see a full price breakdown. 


What Makes Composite Decking Materials More Expensive Than Natural Wood? 

There are many reasons that composite decks come at a higher price, but the main one is the manufacturing process. While natural wood only needs to be sawn and cut to size, composite planks require special machinery and materials. They can be made from a mix of wood, recycled plastics, and more. Regardless of the exact composition, the manufacturing process makes the price more expensive than wood. 

It’s important to understand that some composite materials require more steps and work than others. You can expect to pay a lot more for boards that have been specially produced to closely mimic the look and feel of wood.


Is Composite Decking More Affordable Long-Term?

Don’t be scared off by the sticker price of composite. It’s important to remember the old adage, “you get what you pay for,” when choosing decking materials. Though composite decking cost more upfront, they can actually save you money in the end.

How is that possible?

Composite decks require less maintenance and last longer than their wooden counterparts. Wood boards are organic materials that can suffer from rot, mold, and more. To prevent this from happening, homeowners must spend more money on treating, staining, and sealing the deck. To top it off, homeowners are lucky if their wooden deck lasts 15 years before it needs to be repaired or replaced. Composite materials, on the other hand, require less maintenance and can last at least 25 years. Some manufacturers will warranty their products for up to 50 years, though!

Average 300 Square foot Deck 15 Year Cost Comparison

Pressure Treated

$ 17,000


$ 21,000


$ 24,000

*Wood Decks need to be stained, painted or sealed every other year at average of $750 a year.
*Composite Decks need to be washed 2x a year with a hose and soap. DIY just cost of soap

Pressure Treated

$ 28,250


$ 32,250


$ 24,600

*Wood Decks have a life span of 15-25 years if properly maintained.
*Composite & PVC decks has a life span of 25-50 years without the hassle.

Four Things that Make Composite Decking Worth the Extra Cost

Another thing we must consider when comparing wood vs. composite decks is the value they bring. Though composite is usually more expensive, the materials offer more value through the following factors. 



Composite deck boards offer a lot of workability and can be formed into curves without much extra work. Wooden decks are known to be relatively easy to work with, but they can be more challenging when dealing with more unique shapes.   

Composite materials are especially workable when customers want to add benches or railings. However, the higher cost of composite makes these types of projects even more expensive.



Composite boards are perfect for benches and decks because they don’t splinter. When homeowners elect to go with cheaper wood, they must face the safety hazard of splintering, which would put bare feet and children at risk for a painful experience. Even though some composite boards feature wood, you don’t have to worry about splintering because they are encased in plastic. 


Aesthetic Appeal

Sometimes the choice between materials comes down to aesthetics, and most people agree that the natural look of wood grains is preferred. Fortunately, composite plank manufacturing has come a long way, and customers can easily find several gorgeous options that replicate grain patterns and colors of natural wood. Best of all, they don’t require much maintenance to keep them beautiful.


Environmental Impact

To top it all off, composite decks have an eco-friendly edge over wood planks. Composite decks require fewer trees to be made, and they can also use recycled plastics to manufacture them. We suggest you look at each brand’s exact composition to choose the most sustainable option.


Find out More About How the Composite Decking Cost Compares to Wood

Customers interested in comparing the price of a composite deck to that of a wood one should contact Decked Out Builders immediately. We are happy to provide you with more information so that you can make the best choice for your custom deck. Our contractors can be reached by calling (815) 900-5199 or through our online form.


decked out builders about us

As a truly family-run, locally owned business, we take great pride in providing our clients with exceptional customer service and high-quality craftsmanship. Decked Out Builders is fully licensed and insured to handle any of your remodeling needs.


With over 50 years of combined experience we provide our clients with a comprehensive approach to contracting and specialize in custom decks, screened porches, and basement remodeling. 


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