A few years ago I made the decision that Buresh Home Solutions would no longer install composite decking. It was a bit of a risk at the time as composite decking companies were running their advertising and PR campaigns full-tilt and there were plenty of homeowners asking for their products by name. But a recent interaction with a prospective client reaffirmed my original decision.
I was just preparing to show this homeowner the decking material options we do offer when she interrupted me and said, “I can tell you one thing for sure: I don’t want Trex or anything like it. We had that on our old house and had to clean mold and mildew off of it twice a year!” She went on to explain that her original contractor had told her the decking was maintenance free. Yeah, right,” she scoffed.
Of course, it was stories just like this one, that I’d heard repeated countless times, that compelled me to stop offering composite decking. No matter how popular or how powerfully marketed a product is, my first objective is always to have happy customers. And I had seen for myself that composite decking was making a lot of people very unhappy.
Too many people had bought into the “maintenance-free” claims made by composite manufacturers only to discover the truth too late: Composite decking contains wood fibers, and anything with wood in it has a potential to mold and rot in Iowa. Another important truth is that wood fibers will absorb water, the inevitable result of which is warping.
Very quickly after the explosion of composite decking material, the number of warranty claims being submitted also exploded.
On a high note, it’s worth pointing out that the manufacturers we worked with did back the warranty and provide for replacement, but it was still a hassle for our customers. Likewise, it was quite a challenge for us as we had to return to one deck in particular three different times and even found ourselves replacing pieces we had already replaced!
We also did a lot of warranty repairs for decks we didn’t originally build and actually just finished our second repair last week on a composite deck. This time the customer didn’t want us to use the composite material again and has opted to go with our first choice for maintenance free decking: PVC.
To date we have had no material warranty claims or customer complaints on any of our PVC deck projects. That’s not really surprising considering that PVC contains no wood fibers and can’t rot or warp like wood or composite products.
And most of our customers are pleasantly surprised by how attractive PVC decking really is. With all of the available color and texture options, we can create a look to satisfy virtually anyone.
But don’t take my word for it – stop by our showroom in Clive, Iowa and see our decking material choices for yourself. We have full-sized deck installations for you to look at – not just board samples – so you can shop with confidence that the decking material you choose will look as good as it lasts.