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5 Materials That Make a Modern Deck

Looking to build a deck or have a professional build a deck on to your house? There are many questions about what that entails. One of the first questions to ask, though, is what will you build the decking out of? Diving into this issue of decking materials is the magazine Popular Mechanics:

In case you haven't noticed, we're living in a time of abundant choice. Coffee shops have billboard-size menus, paint comes in thousands of colors; even buying laundry detergent is challenging—Tide is available in something like 30 different varieties.

So I guess it's not surprising that decking options have grown exponentially over the past several years. It wasn't long ago that the only choice was wood, which came in perhaps two or three species. However, thanks to an explosion of composite lumber, plastic decking and hardwood imports, there's now a dizzying array of decking available.

Whether you're breaking ground this summer or still sketching out the blueprints, it pays to know your options. Five basic types, each with their own aesthetics, maintenance and price range, have emerged. We take a detailed look at each.

Excerpt from Your Ultimate Guide to the 5 Materials That Make a Modern Deck at the Popular Mechanics web site.