When it comes to home improvements, few projects add as much function and value as upgrading an outdoor space. While it’s hard to beat the beauty and durability of composite decking, wood has long been the go-to material for deck-building projects due to its low cost and availability. However, a new generation of entry-level composite decking is chipping away at wood’s appeal by offering the same benefits as premium composites at a price point that’s more in line with pressure-treated lumber.
“If you think you can’t afford composite decking, it’s time to think again,” says Alison Victoria, professional designer and host of HGTV’s Windy City Rehab. “One of the most exciting new products for this outdoor living season is Trex Enhance, the latest offering from the company that invented composite decking. It’s an ideal choice for any homeowner looking to spend more time relaxing in — rather than maintaining — their outdoor living space.”
Trex Enhance deck boards are engineered with a scalloped underside, requiring less material per board than solid boards. This strategic design feature eliminates weight and cost from the boards, making them easier to handle and afford.
“While wood may appear to be the least expensive option upfront, it requires a lot of upkeep and maintenance,” explains Victoria. “A wood deck needs to be stripped, sanded, stained and sealed about every other year to maintain its appearance and structural integrity. When you factor in the cost of materials and labor over the life of a deck, the upfront cost of composite decking is easily recouped in just a handful of years.”
Looking for other ways to add beauty and value to your outdoor space? Victoria suggests the following:
- Sear and sizzle in style — Most people don’t think of a grill as a design piece. To instantly elevate the look and luxury of an outdoor space, consider a built-in grill surrounded by coordinating cabinetry and convenient storage.
- Go vertical — Vertical gardens are all the rage this season and a great way to add natural beauty and privacy without the heavy work of traditional landscaping.
- Make it modern — Modern lines are a top interior design trend that is expanding into outdoor spaces, offering a seamless visual transition. For a fresh, clean look, avoid overly intricate or busy patterns. Instead, opt for neutral, geometric patterns on throw pillows and accessories and choose streamlined outdoor furnishings and minimalist aluminum railing to frame the space without detracting from the view.