Composite deck under covered porch

by Jason

I'm replacing a small ground level porch with composite decking. I'm researching all of the different brands and getting overwhelmed. Looking for a little advice.

So here's my specific situation:
- Most of decking material will be covered, so no issues with direct sunlight and rain/snow/other elements
- I have lots of kiddos that'll be trampling all over it, as well as dogs, rabbits, chickens. So, not terribly worried about having perfect appearance for many years. I'm fine with a scratch or stain here or there over the life of it.
- I'm most intrigued about a lower maintenance requirement and no splinters.

With those specifics, would I be fine getting a lower cost material. Like a HD Veranda. Or the "Good" level of Trex (Select). Or are the cheaper ones so poorly made that I should avoid them, at all costs. Do I need to spring for the expensive stuff, if it won't be exposed to the elements and I'm not overly concerned with perfect appearance.

Thanks in advance for any advice.

Editor's Comments

I feel for you. There is such a broad range of materials and prices to choose from. This is what happens when a market fully develops and begins to compete in ever more different ways in order to satisfy the diverse demands of customers.

So, what to do. Well, given that you have stated the deck will not be exposed to the elements in the same way as it might if were a common deck, I see no reason not to look seriously at the HD Veranda product.

A covered porch will not experience the same intense weather and elements that an open deck would and this will work to favor in terms of your pocket book.

Do keep in mind this is a less expensive product for a reason. Sometimes these products are even made by original manufacturers like Trex but they just name it something different and they reduce the thickness of the board from 5/4" to 1" which can change the maximum allowable spans. So do keep these things in mind.

Composite decking today has evolved into such diverse directions and much for the better. But it comes at a big cost. So if you want to avoid annual staining and cleaning that come with a less expensive wood deck, but don't quite have the need for the top of the line four sided capped stock or virgin PVC with amazing lifelike variegated color and grain patterns like Zuri, the entry level HD Veranda should do the trick.

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Aug 30, 2020
Cost NEW
by: Les Ismmore

The cost is in the labor. In the long run, 50 cents or a dollar a foot is worth it.

The composite will scratch (so will painted wood).

Joists should be no more than 16" centers - 12" is preferred.

Rumor has it that my neighbor's cheap deck was perforated by a high heel.

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