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Old 04-12-2020, 04:44 PM   #101
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The Trex we installed last year was top of the line. It was installed in a shady part of the house where the wood tends to show mold, but so far the Trex has not.
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Old 04-12-2020, 04:45 PM   #102
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I just did a deck over that I built 20 years ago. I built the frame like a rock with 2x10' so that was fine. I used Mahogany for the decking and the first 5 years I treated it with Thompson's water seal and it looked great. The next 10 years it was rented so I never went over to treat it. Many of the Mahogany boards dried out and split. Some rotted in spots that held water. I managed to buy some used Mahogany boards on Craigslist that were already weathered and I replaced the boards that were bad and treated the decking again with Thompson's.
The railing I made out of fir and painted white. It needed to be washed every few years as it would get black with mildew. It eventually rotted away and I replaced it with Pressure treated 2x4's and black aluminum balusters. I don't plan on staying here much longer so I wasn't going to spend the extra to do it all over in plastic.
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Old 04-12-2020, 05:08 PM   #103
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I just did a deck over that I built 20 years ago. I built the frame like a rock with 2x10' so that was fine. I used Mahogany for the decking and the first 5 years I treated it with Thompson's water seal and it looked great. The next 10 years it was rented so I never went over to treat it. Many of the Mahogany boards dried out and split. Some rotted in spots that held water. I managed to buy some used Mahogany boards on Craigslist that were already weathered and I replaced the boards that were bad and treated the decking again with Thompson's.
The railing I made out of fir and painted white. It needed to be washed every few years as it would get black with mildew. It eventually rotted away and I replaced it with Pressure treated 2x4's and black aluminum balusters. I don't plan on staying here much longer so I wasn't going to spend the extra to do it all over in plastic.
Hey Biggd...hoping you aren’t leaving the lake or the forum. I enjoy your posts.
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Old 04-12-2020, 05:21 PM   #104
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Hey Biggd...hoping you aren’t leaving the lake or the forum. I enjoy your posts.
No, that house is in Waltham, Ma.
I just retired so I'm trying to convince my wife to move up to the lake full time.
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Old 04-12-2020, 05:48 PM   #105
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No, that house is in Waltham, Ma.
I just retired so I'm trying to convince my wife to move up to the lake full time.
Now that sounds like a plan. My only problem with that is I hate cold weather. Imagine we’ll be snow birds one day. For now, CT will be our ‘warmer’ winter home.

I spent one or two days a week in Waltham for quite a few years when I was with FleetBoston Financial. They had a large corporate office there. Bank of America may be in that building now.
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Old 04-13-2020, 07:30 AM   #106
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Default Azek

We've had both Trex and Azek. Go with Azek. Our deck is 20 years old. The Azek has a nice grain molded in. Every Spring (like I did yesterday) all I have to do is power wash it and it looks like a new deck!!! Amortized over time well worth the expense
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Old 04-13-2020, 07:45 AM   #107
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We've had both Trex and Azek. Go with Azek. Our deck is 20 years old. The Azek has a nice grain molded in. Every Spring (like I did yesterday) all I have to do is power wash it and it looks like a new deck!!! Amortized over time well worth the expense
It seems everybody that has Azek loves it, doesn't it ? I guess we could say those who don't have it don't know what they are missing!
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Old 04-13-2020, 08:18 AM   #108
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It seems everybody that has Azek loves it, doesn't it ? I guess we could say those who don't have it don't know what they are missing!
Yes, and I might prefer it, too, but as best I can tell so far, Azek is 2-3X more expensive and all I can see is weight and a bit more cleaning for Trex.

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Old 04-13-2020, 08:33 AM   #109
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Yes, and I might prefer it, too, but as best I can tell so far, Azek is 2-3X more expensive and all I can see is weight and a bit more cleaning for Trex.

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Maybe 40% more expensive? And I know if it was available and had bought it in the first place, we would have saved money rather than keep replacing. Go for it think, buy it, you won't be sorry.
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Old 04-13-2020, 06:25 PM   #110
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We have a wraparound low deck of about 550 sq. feet and are getting bids to have it resurfaced. The old material is stained 25-year-old pressure treated wood. The bids that we have are for Trex brand composite decking. As we have no experience with composite decking, some questions:

One apparent downside is vulnerability to scuffing and scratching. Is this a real issue? We do scrape snow off with shovels and a small snow blower. Also, roof access for chimney sweeping involves setting a ladder on the low deck.

Another possible issue is thermal expansion with the main decking section being on the south side. Should we stay away from brown and just consider the grey colors? Or does proper installation make this a non-issue?

The Trex composite comes in 3 grades: Select “good”, Enhance “better” and Transcend “best”. I have not found a good explanation of what the differences in the self-ratings are really based on. No doubt the pricing goes from $ to $$ to $$$.

We will probably have the house on the market in 2 or 3 years so presumably composite will be more attractive than PT to a buyer. On the other hand, PT is much lower in initial cost and maybe stands up better to being beat upon. Any comments?
Hello I’m Doug Wade I own Bluebird construction. I prefer mahogany for decks. Strong and lasts. Call me and I will give you a free estimate. 603-770-3677


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Old 04-14-2020, 10:42 AM   #111
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Hello I’m Doug Wade I own Bluebird construction. I prefer mahogany for decks. Strong and lasts. Call me and I will give you a free estimate. 603-770-3677


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Doug - I totally agree. The key is to keep up with the maintenance. If you do, nothing compares to the real thing...
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Old 02-07-2021, 08:26 AM   #112
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Ok, we're finally getting to the point of replacing the decking on two of our decks this spring. I've got a few brands I've been told to look at: Azek, Fiberon, Trex, and Timbertech (made by Azek?).

I've read through above, but can someone summarize which would be the best combination of durability, low maintenance, and cost? I'm not all that concerned with look, hot feet, etc.

Also, the best place to buy?

Finally, thoughts on vinyl railings?

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Old 02-07-2021, 08:42 AM   #113
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Ok, we're finally getting to the point of replacing the decking on two of our decks this spring. I've got a few brands I've been told to look at: Azek, Fiberon, Trex, and Timbertech (made by Azek?).

I've read through above, but can someone summarize which would be the best combination of durability, low maintenance, and cost? I'm not all that concerned with look, hot feet, etc.

Also, the best place to buy?

Finally, thoughts on vinyl railings?

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You're not concerned with burning the bottom of your feet? Wow! How about your kids?
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Old 02-07-2021, 09:30 AM   #114
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You're not concerned with burning the bottom of your feet? Wow! How about your kids?
Both decks are in the shade, so, unless the decking generates its own heat, yes—I'm not concerned with burning the bottom of my feet. Or my kids'.

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Old 02-07-2021, 09:31 AM   #115
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Both decks are in the shade, so, unless the decking generates its own heat, yes—I'm not concerned with burning the bottom of my feet. Or my kids'.

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Oh ok..
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Old 02-07-2021, 09:59 AM   #116
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Red face What Am I Doing Wrong?

"Old thread"...

So now my two PT decks and docks are 40+ years old.

Every spring, I check for splinters. Using a tube of Thixo and a brick, one or two splinters get the treatment.

Available everywhere, no mold, strong and light--PT shouldn't be overlooked. (But even wood will get hot...! Just hose it down--once).
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Old 02-07-2021, 10:00 AM   #117
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We built a screened porch nearly three years ago. The porch has a deck above which is in sunshine all of the time and is directly under the house roof overhang (so catches falling icicles, etc.). We had Azek installed on both the upper deck and the porch floor. Both still look as good as the day they were installed. No maintenance; no sun bleaching. Highly recommended.

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Old 02-07-2021, 10:20 AM   #118
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Both decks are in the shade, so, unless the decking generates its own heat, yes—I'm not concerned with burning the bottom of my feet. Or my kids'.

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I'm not sure anyone mentioned it but Composite decking is much more slick in the winter than the wood decking.
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Old 02-07-2021, 12:32 PM   #119
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We built a screened porch nearly three years ago. The porch has a deck above which is in sunshine all of the time and is directly under the house roof overhang (so catches falling icicles, etc.). We had Azek installed on both the upper deck and the porch floor. Both still look as good as the day they were installed. No maintenance; no sun bleaching. Highly recommended.

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I totally agree with you Greg. I have said it all before and don't need to say again, I have tried them all and it is the best! Unless you don't mind constant upkeep or splinters, or extreme heat that burns your feet, the Azek is the way to go. I know so many like us have changed repeatedly until they end up with Azek and are finally happy.
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Old 02-07-2021, 12:45 PM   #120
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Default Trex

Maybe this will help – we did our deck over with Trex a couple of years ago.
>>> Lowes sells this but it carries different levels of quality – if “flex” of the board is not an issue then the Enhanced line (thinner – carved out underside) will be the most cost effective. We went with the Select line as it was thicker and stiffer. (I believe the highest end Transcend line is also the same thickness as Select line but you are paying for a better looking (visual) and less prone to scratching plank). If you are going to do any type of boarder that is different color you will need to make sure you buy the same line or the height will be different where they meet. Enhanced is not the same thickness as Select and Transcend.

>>> Now to cost, I think you will find Lowes hard to beat for Trex IF you are ok with one of the stock colors they have as they buy in bulk and have sales on them. In other words, they only stock a couple of different colors to put in stores – if you like that color = great deal when on sale if you want something else, maybe not so much…

>>> Lastly – the boards were grooved on the sides to support the hidden fasteners (which were great) and then full square (no grooves) Lave Rock planks for the boarder.

This is what I recall but best to do your own investigation as you are doing…
We are very happy with the Trex Select Saddle Brown (sale at Lowes for ~$3 per foot) and a border of Transcend Lave Rock which was expensive but looks great.
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Old 02-07-2021, 01:52 PM   #121
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Default Decks

Have a pressure treated deck at home here in Pembroke, NH. At least 30 years old. Have used Thompson Water Seal most years. About ready for replacement. splintering
Have a Trex deck up at the lake, at least 15 Years old. Don't treat, just wash each spring. Great shape, not hot on the feet.
Would definitely do the Trex again.

Hope this helps,
Bill
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Old 02-07-2021, 02:01 PM   #122
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Default Availability?

Last year, we did major dock replacement. Started in May, expected to finish in June but the supplier ran out of the Trex we were using. A little bit trickled in over the summer, but not enough to justify sending a crew and equipment for a day's work and then moving to another location repeatedly. Finally finished in the fall. I don't know if Covid will continue to slow production, but I suggest you buy ALL needed materials up front instead of a little bit at a time as work and budget progress. At the same time, be aware of security if you're not constantly on site, as materials that sit alone tend to disappear.
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Old 02-07-2021, 02:09 PM   #123
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Default Trex...

...is what I plan to go with here in CT when we replace our 25 year old redwood deck. The redwood could last longer - especially if we could flip it and screw it down again. The odd dimensions of our deck however won't allow that and I've had it with the maintenance. By the way, redwood is amazingly durable but I don't think you can get it anymore in this part of the country.

Think, I'm a research guy like you so after much browsing on the Internet it came down to Trex or Azek. I've pretty much settled on Trex based on:

1. Trex does better in environments with significant seasonal temperature extremes.
2. Trex is more natural looking.
3. Trex is a more environmentally sustainable solution.
4. Trex is somewhat less prone to scratching.
5. Trex is less slippery and more closely resembles wood.

Can't say personally if these items are true or not but if you surf the web, these seem to be common experiences. What I haven't done yet is hire a contractor to build it so I'll listen to what they have to say before making a final call.
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Old 02-07-2021, 03:22 PM   #124
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Was looking into Azek because of this thread to learn more and came across this picture on their website. Small World. Right here on Governors Island. Small world sometimes. Great contrast between before and after:

Here's on their website:
https://www.timbertech.com/ideas/cool-deck-features/

If you click on the picture that looks like a slip, it brings you to their Instagram link (which is here):
https://www.instagram.com/p/ByusNABHFFM/
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Old 02-07-2021, 03:43 PM   #125
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Have a pressure treated deck at home here in Pembroke, NH. At least 30 years old. Have used Thompson Water Seal most years. About ready for replacement. splintering
Have a Trex deck up at the lake, at least 15 Years old. Don't treat, just wash each spring. Great shape, not hot on the feet.
Would definitely do the Trex again.

Hope this helps,
Bill
We have a 20' Aluminum dock with 2x6 pressure treated top boards lifted with a winch. We extended it another 20' with an aluminum frame docking system with plastic boards that we have to put in and take out every year. In the middle of the summer the plastic is hot as hell!
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Old 02-21-2021, 09:15 PM   #126
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I've been told (a lot) to avoid hybrid decking options (wood encased in vinyl) as they'll mold over time. Does anyone have a list of lower end all vinyl options? There's so many brands and levels, it's crazy confusing.

What I guess I'm looking for is some of the less expensive all composite options. Thanks!

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Old 02-22-2021, 06:50 AM   #127
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I've been told (a lot) to avoid hybrid decking options (wood encased in vinyl) as they'll mold over time. Does anyone have a list of lower end all vinyl options? There's so many brands and levels, it's crazy confusing.

What I guess I'm looking for is some of the less expensive all composite options. Thanks!

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That is good advice. It does mold. I don't think any of it is very cheap right now. Availability is also an issue. Building materials are very hard to get right now. Things that used to be 2 or 3 days are starting to now be weeks out.
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Old 03-02-2021, 08:14 PM   #128
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I dunno, friends, I've researched and researched, but I keep coming back to the $28 16' Trex boards from Lowe's as a good enough value/savings to justify the "weaknesses"...

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Old 03-03-2021, 10:06 AM   #129
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I dunno, friends, I've researched and researched, but I keep coming back to the $28 16' Trex boards from Lowe's as a good enough value/savings to justify the "weaknesses"...

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Trex is fine, I've had it on one of my decks for 15 years with no issues. I just spray it down with bleach and water every few years and rinse clean.
You just have to make sure if you're putting it down on an old deck that it was built strong enough to support the extra weight.
When I built my first wooden deck 25 years ago, 12x24, I used 10" tubes for the footings. My son built a 14x16 deck with Trex 5 years ago and the building inspector made him use 16" tubes, which I thought was overkill but that's what he had to use to get the permit.

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Old 03-03-2021, 10:27 AM   #130
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Default Trex is great!

We had a new 40’ Trex deck installed 2 years ago. The only question that we had was “why did we wait so long to do this?” We are pleased, and we got it at Lowe’s with a 10% military discount, which made it even sweeter.
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Old 03-03-2021, 10:46 AM   #131
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Trex is fine, I've had it on one of my decks for 15 years with no issues. I just spray it down with bleach and water every few years and rinse clean.
You just have to make sure if you're putting it down on an old deck that it was built strong enough to support the extra weight.
When I built my first wooden deck 25 years ago, 12x24, I used 10" tubes for the footings. My son built a 14x16 deck with Trex 5 years ago and the building inspector made him use 16" tubes, which I thought was overkill but that's what he had to use to get the permit.
Because the deck is only a couple feet above ground, it'll be easy to add extra support if necessary. Of course, I won't love the extra expense of PT wood, but if I can get into Trex at that price, it shouldn't be an issue.

Thanks for your thoughts!

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Old 03-03-2021, 11:00 AM   #132
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Because the deck is only a couple feet above ground, it'll be easy to add extra support if necessary. Of course, I won't love the extra expense of PT wood, but if I can get into Trex at that price, it shouldn't be an issue.

Thanks for your thoughts!

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That's where you have to do a cost analysis, is it cheaper to use Trex and add extra support or use the lighter Azek.
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Old 03-03-2021, 11:13 AM   #133
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That's where you have to do a cost analysis, is it cheaper to use Trex and add extra support or use the lighter Azek.
Right, but best I can find, Azek is approximately double the price of Trex.

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Old 03-04-2021, 04:10 PM   #134
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Right, but best I can find, Azek is approximately double the price of Trex.

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Is Azek readily available these days in light of the Covid situation? I know some products are currently tough to come by.....

Also how much does Azek cost per board foot?

Does Azek offer a good color selection?
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Old 03-04-2021, 06:15 PM   #135
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Is Azek readily available these days in light of the Covid situation? I know some products are currently tough to come by.....

Also how much does Azek cost per board foot?

Does Azek offer a good color selection?
All building materials are hard to get right now. It does have a great color selection.
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Old 03-11-2021, 04:13 PM   #136
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With some help from iShoot, I think I might actually spend a bit more for Lumberock. I got the samples in, and it looks like it may be worth the increase.

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Old 03-12-2021, 10:11 AM   #137
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All building materials are hard to get right now. It does have a great color selection.
you are not kidding, had to get a piece of OSB plywood the other day. $43 more than triple the normal price
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Old 03-12-2021, 01:29 PM   #138
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you are not kidding, had to get a piece of OSB plywood the other day. $43 more than triple the normal price
Just wait. It gets worse every time! We think it's getting a little ridiculous. The mill workers are getting back to work and they should be catching up. I don't understand why anybody even wants to build now! It's crazy!
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Old 03-12-2021, 01:52 PM   #139
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Looks like my new deck is going to have to wait until fall or next spring.
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Old 03-12-2021, 01:53 PM   #140
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Looks like my new deck is going to have to wait until fall or next spring.
I would wait unless you are desperate.
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Old 03-12-2021, 02:01 PM   #141
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I would wait unless you are desperate.
I'm going to repave the patio in the front of the house first. Pavers have gone up also, but not nearly as much as lumber.
We actually spend more time in the front of the house than the back because that's where the fire pit is and we can invite neighbors over that walk by, at least we did before Covid.

Last edited by Biggd; 03-12-2021 at 03:28 PM.
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Old 03-12-2021, 03:14 PM   #142
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I'm going to repave the patio in the front of the house first. Pavers have gone up also, but not nearly as much as lumber.
We actually spend more time in the front of the house than the back because that's where the fir pit is and we can invite neighbors over that walk by, at least we did before Covid.
Apparently because pavers are not selling. Glues and everything are going up. Caulking, it's awful.
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Old 03-12-2021, 09:50 PM   #143
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Apparently because pavers are not selling. Glues and everything are going up. Caulking, it's awful.
I wonder if the price of glue is going up because there is a shortage of horses, or do they not make glue from Horse parts anymore ?
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Old 03-13-2021, 07:01 AM   #144
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The recent cold weather that hit Texas had major supply implications on the sealants, adhesives, and coatings industries. The Adhesive and Sealant Council (ASC) recently issued a statement that supply chains and inventories could take weeks or even months to recover. The images below show the impact better than anything I could write.

At the risk of getting a bit geeky, the high-level summary is that the base raw material (monomer) producer that supplies latex based chemical (polymer) producers has been operating at reduced levels, therefore creating downstream production shortages.

Unfortunately, (REMOVED NAME) has not been immune. We have received official announcements from multiple suppliers, invoking their Force Majeure clauses (which is a fancy way of saying that they are unable to fulfill supply contracts because of circumstances outside of their control) indicating that our supply of raw materials will be reduced for the next 60 - 120 days. Brands currently impacted include Big Stretch, CleanSeal, Mor-Flexx, Slab, eXact Color, and Conceal.
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