The sagging economy has presented savvy contractors with an innovative opportunity. Homeowners are well aware of their budgetary limits, but opening the wallet to renovate a deck can enrich their living experience and make that necessary “staycation” much more appealing. With offerings such as the richness of exotic hardwoods, artistic accents and low maintenance options, staying home isn’t just a financial necessity; it’s a preference.
Through leaps in research and development, manufacturers have created high-performance products that offer all the aesthetic and practical benefits customers require.
Adam Zambanini, senior product manager of decking for Trex, said his company’s research shows that “consumer’s top considerations include low-maintenance attributes; fade and stain resistance; and eco-friendly properties of the product.
“Rather than tackling a complete rebuild, it’s possible to retain the sub-structure of a current deck and simply replace the existing planks and railings at a fraction of the time and cost,” said Zambanini. “This concept of deck “re-facing” is rapidly catching on among homeowners as a budget-friendly, value-increasing home improvement project.”
Trex Transcend decking and railing system is engineered with a finish that resists stains, scratches and mold, and features a high-definition wood grain pattern in deep colors. Trex Transcend is designed with an integrated shell. The boards are protected on three sides, and the underside breathes to avoid surface separation. The product features a proprietary nine-element surface formulation that produces a natural, wood-like grain pattern with a satin finish. The collection is available in four colors — vintage lantern, tree house, gravel path and fire pit.
“Cleaning stains and mold off first and second generation composite decking is not easy,” said Edie Kello, director of marketing for Fiberon. “I see more demand for higher performance products that are easy to clean and are resistant to stains, fading, mold and scratches.
“New technologies that offer coatings to alternative decking can produce products that are ultra-low maintenance to meet customer demand for products that not only look great, but perform beyond products introduced in the past 10 to 15 years,” added Kello. “Innovative technologies are producing beautiful decking that not only resists weathering, fading, scratching, mold and staining, but are easier to clean.”
Fiberon now offers the multi-chromatic rosewood and ipe colors for its Horizon decking to emulate the graining of tropical hardwoods such as tigerwood and mahogany. Horizon is mold-resistant and has PermaTech surface technology for resistance to staining and fading. The product features a 10-year limited stain and fade resistance warranty, as well as a 20-year limited lifetime warranty. Horizon is also available in four solid colors including sand, brick, bronze and slate.
CorrectDeck CX has anti-microbial protection for resistance to mold and mildew to deliver ultra-low maintenance. Its co-extruded top layer encases the exposed wood fibers on the top and sides of each board providing added resistance to color fade and staining. The company’s RapidRail features a low-luster finish for the look of wood and includes 4x4 newel posts, extruded handrails and balusters.
CertainTeed’s EverNew line of vinyl decking and railing products now includes EverNew LT cellular PVC decking. EverNew LT decking emulates the look and feel of wood but never requires painting or staining, will not splinter, warp or rot, and is highly resistant to wood-boring insects. The product features Lumenite surface technology, which offers protection from mold, stains and the fading of color. The Lumenite surface is also solar-reflecting, making it cool to the touch on hot days. The product is backed by a 10-year stain and fade resistance warranty — as well as CertainTeed’s lifetime, limited performance warranty.