How To: Choose the Right Materials for Your Outdoor Project

You’ve already got enough work to do maintaining your yard. When you're installing a deck or fence, be sure to choose low-maintenance materials so that your project adds to your enjoyment—rather than your to-do list!

By Michael Franco | Published Jun 5, 2014 3:18 PM

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WeatherShield Red Brown Pressure-Treated Decking

WeatherShield Pressure-Treated Decking at The Home Depot

Thinking of building a fence? Looking to add a deck? Both projects will be subjected to the whims of Mother Nature, so choosing the right materials can mean the difference between a deck or fence that lasts for years and one that seems to deteriorate right before your eyes. Luckily, there are a variety of superstrong weather-resistant materials available to help you build with confidence, and they’re all as close as your nearest Home Depot. Here are three you should consider.

The most affordable option for constructing your deck, pressure-treated lumber can also be one of the most durable if properly cared for. In creating pressure-treated lumber, manufacturers put boards and posts into pressure chambers and infuse them with chemical preservatives, making them insect- and rot-resistant.

One of the smarter choices in pressure-treated lumber is the WeatherShield brand. In addition to offering the usual rot and insect protection, these products are less corrosive to nails, screws, and other fasteners. Plus, they come treated with a factory-applied water repellant, which means you can skip the sealing process that you usually have to do with pressure-treated lumber about six weeks after the deck is built. WeatherShield won’t need resealing for two full years.

The lumber is also pretreated with a wood stabilizer that reduces splitting, cracking, warping, and swelling. You can choose boards and posts in either premium grade, which has fewer knots, or standard grade. In either case, all WeatherShield products carry a lifetime warranty.

ArmorGuard Composite Decking from Home Depot

ArmorGuard Composite Decking at The Home Depot

Composite deck boards are typically made from a plastic polymer bonded with wood fibers. Boards are created in such a way that they mimic the look and grain of real wood, but because of the synthetic nature of the product, it can last practically forever with very little maintenance. Boards won’t splinter or rot, for instance, and they don’t need staining or sealing—meaning that on a deck made from composite boards, you’ll be able to truly relax for years to come.

Veranda ArmorGuard Composite Decking, available exclusively at The Home Depot, makes a fine choice for your next deck-building project. It’s available in a variety of rich natural wood tones and is mold- and mildew-resistant, which means all it’ll ever take to keep it clean is a little soap and water. It also can be installed with hidden fasteners, which means there are no screws on the surface of the boards. Plus, when you’re relaxing on a deck built with ArmorGuard, you can do so with confidence, knowing that the stain-, fade-, scratch-, and mold-resistant boards are backed by a 20-year limited warranty.

Linden Pro Vinyl Privacy Fence Kit at The Home Depot

Linden Pro Vinyl Privacy Fence Kit at The Home Depot

Wood fences need to be stained and treated in order to last a long time. And even if they’re well cared for, there’s still the chance that some will eventually split, crack, or warp, which means that slats in the fence will someday need to be replaced.

Vinyl fencing avoids these problems while providing an attractive and extremely durable solution for decorative or privacy barriers around your home’s property. There’s no need to ever paint them and there’s also no worry about rot or insect infestation.

One of the more recent evolutions in vinyl fencing is the Veranda SlideLock bracket system. This new bracket system can speed up installation time by up to 50 percent and provides a cleaner look with no visible screws. It’s a true win-win for the homeowner or the contractor—less time with a better-looking end product!


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