MGE Carpentry Blog

Is a Trex® Deck worth the extra money?

Is it worth it to spend the extra money on a Trex® deck versus a wood deck? This is a question that we hear often, and there is an easy answer… it depends.

A new Trex deck is a larger investment than the typical treated wood deck. Depending on the deck and railing options, a new Trex deck can cost 30-90% more than the same size wood deck. While Trex has more upfront cost, there is significant savings on the back end with the maintenance costs. Trex does not require the regular annual maintenance of a wood deck. No sanding. No staining. No painting. No sealing. Trex will however collect dirt and dust like anything else left outside, but a little soap and water and it will look like new again.

A Wood deck however, especially in Michigan, requires regular annual maintenance to look it’s best and get the longest lifespan. That maintenance eats up two things, time, and money. You either pay someone else to wash/stain/seal your deck (very easy, just costs money), or you do it yourself (not so easy, costs time and hopefully less money).

For easy math, let’s say you’re considering a wood deck for $10,000. Annual maintenance on this deck could be $400-$600 if hired out. Let’s say you spend $500 a year for 10 years to keep that wood deck looking it’s best, that’s another $5,000 added to the cost of the deck. Now consider that same deck in Trex with an up front cost of $15,000, but required no regular maintenance. Now comes year 11 and the Trex deck still looks like new. When year 11 comes for the wood deck however, it’s still going to need that regular maintenance. Next comes year 20 and the Trex deck is still looking like new (and still under warranty), and wood deck has another 10 years of maintenance costs, and maybe now a board or two needs replaced. Next comes year 30, the Trex deck is still looking great, and the wood deck is nearing the end of its serviceable life.

To answer the original question, Trex is worth the increased investment in the long run. If you are looking to build a new deck on your forever home, Trex is the clear choice. Especially if you choose a TrexPRO® Platinum Installer (hey, that’s us) to get the most out of your Trex material and labor warranty. If you are building or replacing a deck on a home that you are not planning on staying in long term, you won’t get the same return on investment that you would get from a Trex Deck (certainly wouldn’t hurt your resale value though).

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