Lumber and Trex Market Update: 1/29/2022
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Should You Invest in a Maintenance-Free Deck if You Plan On Moving?

Trex Spiced Rum with white fascia

One of the more challenging decisions to make when building a deck is installing wood or composite. 

Like most homeowners, we feel that the more maintenance-free something can be, the better. But does that mean a maintenance-free deck like Trex is the right choice for everyone? Because who wouldn’t miss sanding railing balusters, replacing rotting boards, fixing sticking up nails, and restaining their entire wood deck every one to two years?

But in all seriousness, if you plan on selling your home and moving in the future, is it worth the extra investment?

The Short Answer

There is no one correct choice, but how long you plan on staying in your home before moving is important. And the magic number is four years. If you’ll be living in your home for at least that long, investing in a composite deck is a better overall investment than a standard cedar deck.

Let’s dive in and look at the details and see why that four years mark is the magic number.

Composite Vs. Wood

First, the low maintenance of composite isn’t the only driving element when deciding between deck types. Another factor that goes into the decision is usually cost. And when talking about the cost of a wood vs composite deck, it’s important to factor in wood’s ongoing costs as well.

The Difference in Costs

As you’re likely aware by now, the price of lumber jumped significantly with the COVID pandemic. (You can read more about this in our post: Is Spring 2022 the Best Time to Build a Deck).

These cost changes have narrowed the gap between the investment of installing a wood deck vs. a composite deck, like Trex. So much so that it’s now more expensive to build a deck out of cedar decking than Trex Enhance Basics decking! 

The exception would be using pressure-treated lumber, considering you could use the most basic wood for the decking surface. It would cost less than composite, but keep in mind the time and money needed to maintain a pressure-treated deck (and the splinters). 

The exact amount of upkeep will depend on how long you stay in your home and use your deck. Let’s read on.

When Will You Sell?

Keeping the increased cost of lumber in mind, let’s take a closer look at that magic number of four years. 

The math works out relatively evenly if we take the more popular Trex lines (like Trex Enhance Naturals and Transcend) and compare them to a cedar deck. Factor in the cost of ongoing maintenance for a cedar deck (replacing boards, sanding, staining or painting, etc.) and the $0 ongoing maintenance costs of a composite deck. The cost of a cedar deck starts to exceed the initially higher cost of a composite deck after about four years. 

So if you plan on living in your home for at least that long, it’s often less expensive overall to invest in a composite deck! But if you’re going to move within four years, or you’re flipping a home to rent or sell, installing a cedar deck may make more sense.

On top of that, there’s one more thing to consider: the ROI of a composite deck.

The Difference in ROI 

We recommend keeping the ROI of wood vs. composite in mind as well. By choosing a composite deck, you’ll recoup 67% of your investment (based on the national average from the 2020 Cost vs. Value report). 

So when you do decide to sell your home, you’re more likely to get a higher selling price if you have a composite deck. Homeowners know that a wooden deck requires work and money for upkeep, while a composite deck doesn’t require that – you can just enjoy it! 

If you’d like more information, you can check out our post: Trex vs. Wood Decking: 5 Reasons to Go Composite.

Conclusion

It’s your decision on what will be the best choice in the end. But to make the decision easier, ask yourself these questions:

  • How long do you plan on staying in your home?
  • What is the current cost of lumber compared to composite?
  • How much of an ROI are you likely to get?
  • How important is a maintenance-free deck to you?

What Next?

Are you ready to start designing and building your new maintenance-free deck?

At Custom Deck Creations, we build composite decks for clints across SE Michigan. We’ll work with you to design a deck that you’ll love, and one that will give you the best ROI when you decide to sell your home. Please give us a call for a free over-the-phone estimate; we’d love to chat about what you have in mind. Or, if you’d like some inspiration first, feel free to check out our most recent builds

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About Custom Deck Creations

From design to installation, Custom Deck Creations combines beautiful decks with fair pricing and unparalleled customer service. Our designs stand out, while our install processes exceeds expectations. We are a certified TrexPro Platinum builder. Custom Deck Creations is located in and serves Southeast Michigan. 

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Lumber and Trex Market Costs Update

Last Updated: 1/29/2022
Custom Deck Creations

A brief look into the current and expected inflation

Quick Summary

Lumber rose +28% locally from November 2021 to January 2022, and is expected for another significant double-digit increase impacting us in June 2022. We’re also anticipating a cost increase  from Trex around that  same time frame. Depending on size and material selection, decks are anticipated to increase in cost an average of $2,000 to $4,000 come June 2022. Custom Deck Creations is currently scheduling projects for April/May, before we feel these cost increases. Schedule a quote with us today to lock in today’s costs.

For a more detailed look into the market, please continue reading:

Lumber

The lumber market continues to see pressure on the supply side. Canadian truck drivers are protesting COVID vaccine mandates, threatening to disrupt deliveries in Canada and possibly into the US. Fuel prices are also increasing. Overall demand for Southern Yellow Pine (pressure treated lumber used here in MI) remains steady. Mills are not sitting on a lot of inventory. Lead times from mills to dealers are getting extended.

Pressure treated lumber costs increased locally +28% from November 2021 to January 2022.

Lumber is expected to increase another ~+40% in June 2022. 

Custom Deck Creations is currently scheduling projects for April & May 2022, before we’re impacted by these increased costs.

Trex

Data from Trex distributors nationwide are seeing a steady growth in purchases even through winter.

Trex continues to see huge demand increases nationwide. 

Our Interpretation

Lumber will continue to rise in price throughout 2022. We don’t believe we’ll see pre-2022 lumber pricing any time soon.

In 2021 Trex put out 4 separate approximately +10% price increases. We believe more are to be expected in 2022. We do not expect Trex to ever lower their pricing.

No Inflationary Clause

Custom Deck Creations does not have an inflationary clause. Lock in today’s lumber and Trex costs with a signed agreement which puts you on our schedule. We will not charge you more even if our costs go up.

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