Taking advice from a professional is one of the best shortcuts to getting invaluable information for making a decision about something you know little about. Whether it’s how to fix a running toilet, how to make meringue form stiff peaks, or how to choose which running shoe is best for marathon training, someone who has done it before is your best source. When it comes to building decks in the Kansas City area, we asked Caleb Hunt, owner of Creative Concepts and Design to share some of his expertise when it comes to choosing deck boards.
Caleb has been building decks since 2009 and is familiar with all of the deck boards out there and the manufacturers who supply them. After almost 15 years and with hundreds of decks under his belt, he can certainly attest that there are differences in deck boards and he has definitely narrowed down his favorites. If you’re building a deck and are in the process of choosing deck boards, here are the deck boards he recommends and why.
Capped Composite Decking Handles the Elements
In general, I like capped composite decking the best for building decks in Kansas City. It handles the hot summer and cold winters with minimal thermal expansion and contraction. Composite decking has come a long way from its introduction 27 years ago. Today’s composite decking products offer a lot of advantages over real wood. That being said, the three decking manufacturers I prefer to use are Fiberon, Deckorators, and Envisions. Reputation is everything in the deck building business and I need products I believe in and a manufacturer I can count on if something wonky happens. There are hundreds of different decking manufacturers to choose from. Most of them are dangling a carrot to get me to work with their product. I refuse to do business with a manufacturer unless their values are in line with my own and their products perform, because at the end of the day, their product represents my company.
1. Envisions Spiced Teak & Rustic Walnut for Beauty
One of my favorite manufacturers is a local company called Envisions. They are out of Lamar, MO. If I am looking for a craftsman-style wood veneer, I choose Envisions every single time. Some of the most beautiful decks I have built (including the one pictured above) have been with their Spiced Teak and Rustic Walnut. I absolutely love the deep grain and since they make their board in a mold, the grain pattern is different for a full 20 feet. I have never had a client regret going with their Spiced Teak and Rustic Walnut. If you want a classy, elegant, timeless look it is a great choice. I have literally built hundreds of decks with this decking over the last 14 years and I can count issues on one hand.
2. Deckorators for Structural Integrity
Deckorators stretch their boards during the extrusion process adding minerals and it makes the board extremely rigid. I always put my floor joist on 12″ centers but if I had to do a re-floor and my existing floor joist was 16″ centers, I would choose Deckorators because it has the most structural integrity out of any capped composite that I know of. They also have a very nice random texture. It looks great on modern or contemporary homes.
3. Fiberon for Eco-Friendliness and Value
I do all my cost-basis bids with Fiberon Cabin. Their upper-tier products are excellent, however, I believe the Cabin is the best value and offers the best ROI in the market. If I have a client who is looking for an eco-friendly or budget-friendly deck board, I always recommend Fiberon.
And there you have it. Hopefully, this insider info will help you when choosing deck boards for your deck. If you need help, give us a call. We’ll help you choose the materials that make the most sense for your deck.