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I don't really like the stuff. It is wicked hot on the feet in the sun and you need to build a substructure that would hold a hot tub to properly support the stuff. I have used many materials, even pressure treated can look really good with some good quality stain. If you have money - IPE would be my choice of lumber (still PT for the substructure). I doubt you will be happy with a 5' wide deck, minimum I would go is 8'. Take a garden hose and lay out the 5X20 'deck', place all your furniture within the hose and then walk around, if your feet are within 6" of the hose your arms are rubbing on the railing.
We have 2 deck projects going on right now. We wanted composite until we looked closer. In our area, composite is 3x more expensive than pressure treated. We also looked at some sample decks made of composite that were exposed to sunlight for a long period. The surface was very hot to the touch. Based on our findings, we went with pressure treated. So far, we are extremely pleased with our choice. Hope this helps.
7 years ago we installed a 16' x 30' Geo Deck (GeoDeck Composite Decking by Green Bay Decking - The Composite Solutions Company) Still looks brand new. It gets full afternoon sun so it's a little warm to the touch on a 95 degree day but we bought the deep Mahogany. Prolly should have gone with the light grey. Once a year pressure wash and it looks great. No scratches because we are careful about having rubber feet on all the deck chairs and tables. The only downside is we didn't buy enough decking on the initial purchase and had to order a second batch. It came from the same lot number but the color was still slightly off. Some of the last boards along the rim are a little lighter in color. Not that noticable in daylight but in the shade it is. Twice as expensive as the TREX product but the labor was the same. Never even considered pressure treated.
I will build a small deck, 5'x20'. I was thinking use the composite but after read those sites, site one and site two, I was supprised. What's your opinion about this?
Site 1 was bias & had false information. We build decks out of what the customer chooses, but we like Azek ( which is not a composite) the best. The biggest problem treated deckboards & railing is the yearly maintenance required to only last 10 -15 years. Also I would not build a deck if I could put in a concrete slab or pavers. The only deck we built that I thought would last forever was freestanding built with concrete columns, concrete beams & hollow core plank.
I'm building a 16X20' deck on my house this summer and IMHO there is almost nothing that beats the look of a well built cedar deck. While I will agree that there are a lot of creative patterns and designs that can be achieved by using composits, the added cost, weight, and the fact that it gets so hot in the sun really kill it for me. That and if you scratch it up you have to replace it instead of sanding and refinishing... And then there is the whole fading topic, some do, some dont... not worth the extra cost.
I also agree with wbrooks, lay out a garden hose and set up your patio furniture. 5' wide is more like a front sitting porch not a deck
I'm with MrFudd, if the deck is less that 5' or so off the ground, don't waste your money on a deck, build a tough and lasting patio with pavers or cement. if plain old cement is to boring, stain it or stamp it.
I've built many decks, treated lumber IMHO is just ugly and looks cheap. Geo-decking is one of the best decking materials out there if you want to spend the coin. nothing beats cedar for looks though, and it does last if taken care of.