Composite Decking Materials Help Homeowners Go Green
Spring is a favorite home improvement season, and a top project on many homeowners’ lists is building a new deck or improving an existing one. As awareness grows of how home improvement projects affect the environment, more homeowners are discovering the advantages of incorporating green building materials into their deck plans.
Consumers expect to double their spending on green products and services in the next year, according to the 2007 ImagePower Green Brands Survey. Choices for homeowners to bring more green goods to their homes now go beyond compact florescent light bulbs and insulated windows – they can extend to deck projects as well.
Today, decking materials are available that are not only long lasting and aesthetically appealing, but also make efficient use of recycled materials. Many homeowners are turning to composite decking as a way to incorporate an environmentally responsible material into their homes, while still ensuring a durable deck that will stand the test of time, and perhaps most importantly, look great for years to come.
Decking material choices have expanded well beyond traditional options. One alternative is wood-plastic composite decking, which is growing in popularity and provides homeowners a decking material that does not need staining or painting – appealing with today’s busy lifestyles. A recent study by The Freedonia Group, Inc., projected that alternative decking materials will continue to lead the decking materials market in yearly gains through 2011, with wood-plastic composite decking providing the strongest growth.
When replacing or installing a deck, wood-plastic composite decking can provide homeowners with an environmentally friendly option. Some products, such as ChoiceDek® composite decking, are made using recycled content, including recovered wood fiber and recycled polyethylene plastics from items such as milk jugs and grocery sacks, keeping what might have been unused waste out of landfills. Sue Snuggs of Weyerhaeuser explains the benefits of composite decking materials, “ChoiceDek provides a solution for homeowners looking for strong decking materials that also take advantage of modern recycling technologies. Homeowners concerned about the environment can feel good about building a deck that is engineered to last and that makes good use of both post-consumer and post-industrial waste.”
Composite decking materials do not require annual staining and sealing, saving time and money on upkeep.
An appealing option because of its classic wood appearance, composite decking is also expected to last two to three times longer than traditional decking materials. Decks built with composite materials resist splintering and are slip-resistant. Their durability also makes composites hold up well to heavy foot traffic.
Other Benefits of Composite Decking
On the design side, composite decking has come a long way since its original appearance on the market in the early 1990s. Advances in aesthetics have made composite decking an attractive option, and the introduction of railing components have expanded the types of projects for which composite materials are well suited.
More color options and convenient accessories, including decorative railings with handy details such as hollow posts to allow for easy installation of outdoor lighting, also add to the appeal of composite decking product lines. Color options range from gray to the look of tropical hardwoods, so homeowners can complement existing structures and add visual interest by mixing and matching multiple colors.
Beyond decks, composite decking can be used for dock surfaces, hot-tub surrounds, walkways, and yard structures. As more sophisticated home designs have demanded more visually attractive and resilient surfaces, composite decking is a good way to combine an authentic look while maintaining high quality.
As homeowners increasingly demand quality green home building materials, composite decking provides a durable and contemporary solution for decks and other outdoor projects. Homeowners benefit from composite decking’s engineered strength, design flexibility and its efficient use of recycled materials. The end result is an inviting deck that is manufactured with sustainability in mind.
To learn more about ChoiceDek® composite decking and railing products that combine recycled materials with the classic appearance of wood, visit www.choicedek.com or your local Lowe’s Home Improvement Warehouse. In the United States, call (800) 951-5117 to speak with a Weyerhaeuser representative.
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