Plastic Lumber vs. Wooden Lumber: What’s Best for your San Diego Deck

San Diego's Le Perv Landscape Inc. discusses the benefits of using decking composite for your deck.A deck doesn’t have to be just made of wood.

There is another substance out there that can do the trick, and probably better – and it’s known as plastic lumber.

Or, you can call it by its more politically correct name, decking composite.

This material is considered more durable than wood and because of this, decking composite has advantages that makes it the better choice when constructing your deck.

Composite decking will add more value to your San Diego landscaping project in the long run. However, the initial investment will be more than a standard wood deck.

The Price Factor

The average price to build a 16’x20’wooden deck is about $10,600. This is an average for the United States, however the average San Diego wood deck will cost approximately another $6,000 for a midrange option.

According to Remodeling Magazine’s 2012 Cost vs. Value report, the average cost of a deck using plastic lumber was about $15,600. However, that too is a U.S. average. San Diego residents can expect to pay closer to $17,100 for a deck made of plastic lumber.

The bottom line? A wooden deck is cheaper initially.

However, in the long-run, a wooden deck lacks some of the advantages of plastic lumber.


Under the San Diego sun, wood decks will degrade. Warping, splintering, and fading will require upkeep in the form of varnishing. This is necessary upkeep to try to fight against the forces of nature.

A deck with plastic lumber can stand up to the San Diego weather, no matter how hot and dry it gets. The deck will retain its beauty and wood-finish look through the years. Manufacturers of this material often provide guarantees to this effect.

Can’t say that about a wood deck.


Given that decking composite is virtually impervious to the San Diego weather, it requires little in the way of maintenance. It is easy to clean and never needs painting or sealing.

A wooden deck may require annual sealing projects. In addition, a wood deck can be negatively affected by bugs or mold.


One might think wood provides more options when it comes to colors and styles of fences that go along with a deck. However, decking composite can be just as versatile as wood. Companies make everything from fence posts to hand rails to post caps from the plastic material.  In addition, it can also be made to mimic even the most exotic of woods.


A wooden deck was a tree at some time it its life. A San Diego deck made of plastic had its origins in a recycling bin, probably as a plastic bottle. Needless to say, the decking composite has a greener beginning.

Are you looking to add a deck from which to admire your San Diego landscape? Contact Le Perv Landscape Inc. and let our team of experts work with you on developing the deck of your dreams at a price that won’t leave you high and dry.

Clarke Ramsey
Landscape Artist. I help landscaping dreams come to live. I create raving fans and give my customers the highest quality product available.
Clarke Ramsey
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