So, you want to build your own deck, and you want decking that does not require endless sanding and staining. Composite decking is an excellent choice for building a deck that requires minimal maintenance.
But what is the best composite decking for DIY installation?
The best composite decking for do-it-yourself to install is Trex decking. Trex decking is readily available in most building supply stores and is one of the easiest composites to install.
I have built many composite decks over the years as a contractor. So I guess you would not call me a DIYer, but I appreciate easy installation as much as the other guy.
I have installed many different brands of composite decking, Fiberon, TimberTech and MoistureShield, to name a few. And reviewed even more brands of composite decking, but I still appreciate the simplicity of Trex decking.
Making it my choice as the best composite decking for homeowners when building their own decks.
- 1 Can I install composite decking myself?
- 2 Which Composite decking is easiest to install?
- 3 Which Composite Decking is Easiest to Buy for DIYers?
- 4 What is the Best Costing Composite Decking for Homeowners’?
- 5 Is Trex Transcend worth the extra money for homeowners?
- 6 How Much Money Will You Save By Installing Your Decking Yourself?
- 7 Conclusion
Can I install composite decking myself?
If you are comfortable working with wood and fixing small things around the house. Then yes, you can install composite decking yourself. With the easiest composite decking to install being Trex.
Why Trex Decking is the Best Decking for DIY Install.
Trex fastening system is the easiest to use and understand.
Trex’s HideAway hidden fasteners with their built-in gap making consistent gapping a breeze. The little plastic biscuits easily slide into the decking groove. Making installation easy. But even more important consistent gapping.
Almost all composite decking fasteners do gap the decking boards, but I find Trex is the easiest to work with.
What separates them from other brands like CONCEALoc , which TimberTech decking uses, is the straight 90° screw. This makes driving the screwing easier.
Plus, it allows you to slide fastens into place near the wall and other hard to access locations. Screws driven on an angle on the edge of the decking limit how close you can work beside the house wall. Often requiring that you face screw the second last board instead of using hidden fasteners.
The straight screws also make replacing damaged boards easier.
You can back out the screw, sliding the biscuit off the edge and lift a damaged board straight up without ripping it into pieces to pull it from under the hidden clips.
Fiberon has a similar straight drive screw for its hidden fasteners, but their plastic biscuit are larger. Almost 1 3/8” wide makes them harder to slide along the groove to adjust location or move the board. Trex plastic biscuit is smaller, making it easier to work with.
Which Composite decking is easiest to install?
Trex’s Hideaway fasteners make installation a breeze, but that is not the only reason why it’s my choice for homeowners.
You do not need any special tools to install Trex decking. Your basic woodworking tools are all you will need to install your decking.
To be fair, most composite brands can be installed with DIY tools, but this doesn’t take away from Trex.
Trex’s width of boards are consistent, making it easier to layout the boards consistently. Making math easier to figure out how many deck boards you will need to buy.
Only marginally bigger than other brands like TimberTech or Fiberon but on a 12’ deep deck. Installing Trex will take one less board than many other composite decking brands. Reducing decking costs.
Maybe one drawback for homeowners installing Trex decking themselves is weight. A 12’ board weighs 27.5 lbs, making it one of the heavier composite deckings. Almost 10lbs heavier than one of the lightest deck boards, Azek.
Which Composite Decking is Easiest to Buy for DIYers?
Being one of the most popular brands available in more places than any other brand Trex is the easiest decking to find.
No need to hunt down a specialty decking store to buy Trex decking. If they sell decking, most building supplies stores will stock Trex decking. Including the big box stores like Home Depot and Lowes.
What is the Best Costing Composite Decking for Homeowners’?
Trex’s Basic Enhance is one of the most economical quality composite deckings. At under $2 a lineal foot in most markets, it is hard to find a better deal.
Making it very competitive with pressure-treated decking, the default decking of DIYers.
You will have to compromise a little with appearance as it does not have the depth of colour or options of other brands or even Trex’s Transcend decking line.
But expect to pay 2 to 3 times more for Transcend than Basics Enhance.
Is Trex Transcend worth the extra money for homeowners?
Trex Transcend is worth the extra money if you want more colour on your decking and a more durable cap.
These two features separate Transcend from the cheaper option of Basic Enhance.
So, if you appreciate a better-looking board, Transcend is worth the extra money.
All of Trex’s lines are warrantied for 25 years against fading, staining and structural failure. The extra money you pay for a better board does not get you a better warranty.
One thing that is not covered by the warranty is scratching.
The more economical Enhance will scratch easier than Transcend. Making could make Transcend worth the extra money to avoid scratches all over your decking.
But as a decking salesperson shared with me. Homeowners worry about scratches in relation to how much they pay for the decking. With Basic Enhance costing less than Transcend, there is less need to worry about minor scratches.
How Much Money Will You Save By Installing Your Decking Yourself?
You will save $7.52 a square foot by installing your decking yourself. For a 16’x12’ deck, that is $1443.84. Making selecting the best composite decking for DIY worth using. By installing it yourself, you will reduce the cost of your deck by almost half, depending on how much you pay for the decking.
This may not always be the case. The $7.52 a square foot cost is from Homeguide cost guide. Where you live, the price to hire someone to build your deck may be more or less.
For example, HomeAdvisor gives $5 to $15 per square foot to install Trex decking. Making labour costs ranging from $960 to $2 880 for a 16’x12’ composite deck.
If you have the skill and time, it could be worthwhile to install the decking yourself. Just for the money, you will save.
There are many reasons why you may choose the composite decking you do for your deck.
But if you plan to install it yourself, Trex is a good choice for its simple installation and convenience in buying. With the added advantage of price.
Trex is one of the best-priced composite decking. If you make a miss cut, which is likely to happen being the first deck you build. Or even the simple fact that as a homeowner, you have family distractions all around you. But with Trex, this mistake will cost you less. Reducing some of the stress of building your deck.
And with all the money you save building your own deck, you can buy the deck furniture that you always wanted. Or at least the comfy chairs needed to enjoy your masterpiece. Your outdoor oasis.
Enjoy your deck.