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Picture this:  a cool beverage, a delicious BBQ, good friends on a warm sunny day … Oh ya baby, it’s deck season!  Just add a sweater and you’re out before the mosquitos even wake up!

We’ve done elevated decks, ground level decks, and tiered decks; check out our website deck page for pictures.  We’ve designed decks around a precious tree and around hot tubs.  And may we simply say, we’ve replaced A LOT of scary rotted decks, and/or supporting structures.

Some people come to us knowing exactly what they want.  But these days, it can be a bit overwhelming when sourcing your main deck materials.  The basic structure (below the pretty stuff) is often pressure treated wood.  And the basic rules are covered in your town or city’s bylaws – please check before you build!  Or your contractor will know/find out.  But after that, what’s a homeowner to choose?  Well, it generally comes down to 3 key areas:  appearance, cost and durability/maintenance.

  1. Cedar.  In Canada, natural wood is still the number 1 choice for deck building materials, and cedar is usually the option available in this country.  There are other choices, they’ll simply be a bit more expensive with import costs.  Canadians tend to love cedar for its natural appearance, and until Covid, for its lower price point.  These days, price is less of a consideration.  There is a definite risk for infestation with cedar; wasps and ants both love this material!  But the biggest drawback by far is the need for upkeep.  That wood doesn’t simply re-stain or re-seal itself.  Without regular maintenance, a cedar deck has an increased risk for rot and infestation.
  2. Composite.  This is quickly increasing in popularity.  Many people LOVE the low maintenance of a composite deck (no sanding and re-staining required!).  Composite used to be noticeably more expensive than cedar; however, with the recent lumber price increases, this is less of a consideration.  Composite is essentially made of a mixture of plastic and wood fibers – varying a bit by brand.  Common brands of Composite are Trex, TimberTech, Fiberon and Armadillo.  All of these companies produce a variety of colours.  In Canada, people often appreciate that Composite is less slippery when wet than cedar decking.  The most common drawbacks to Composite are the following:  a risk for mold, the boards can get hotter on sunny days (especially the darker colours), and sometimes as they age the boards can sag and bend a little.
  3. Duradek.  This is a vinyl deck material, and this particular company has been around for decades.  It is a very specific surface product that requires specially trained tradespeople to install.  They will need to work directly with your regular deck crew (who is usually responsible to build the structure).  Duradek is low maintenance, and also comes in a variety of colours.  One of its best advantages is for rooftop and raised decks, when a homeowner really wants/needs a dry area below the deck.  The product is advertised as “waterproof.” We have worked with local Calgary and Cochrane installers on several projects.  Duradek is usually a higher price point than Cedar or Composite.
  4. Pressure Treated. This deck style is less popular due to its appearance.  But a pressure treated deck is very functional and long lasting; and it comes at a great price.  For example, it’s a great option for cottages.
  5. It is rare to see aluminum decking in Canada, and not our specialty area.

That’s a lot of deck information, and we haven’t even talked about railings!  If you are one of those people that likes to see a product, touch it and ask questions, we recommend the showrooms at

Both suppliers have excellent salespeople, and both will be able to provide up-to-date information about product that is available currently (or expected delay times).

Cheers to a sunny deck season!