Top Portland Decking Material Trends for 2011
The Northwest has seen big changes in home decking materials over the past few years, as consumers are increasingly trending toward low-maintenance decking. Portland, Oregon homeowners, in particular, look for decking materials that can endure the region’s relentless rainfall and long winters.
Although a large number of homeowners still prefer the natural appearance of a cedar deck, Portland is seeing an upsurge in synthetic and hardwood decking, especially as new options such as PVC decking continue to crop up. The following is a look at some of the more popular Portland decking materials and accessories for 2011.
Low-Maintenance PVC Decking
A cousin to the more established composite materials, PVC decking is the newest advancement in low-maintenance decks, and it has gained considerable traction in the past five years. Unlike composite, which is a mix of wood and plastic, PVC decking eliminates the wood entirely, which means it’s impervious to moisture and rot – an important factor for Portland homes.
While many Northwest homeowners balk at the thought of all-vinyl decking materials, they’re often pleasantly surprised when they view the rich colors and wood grain patterns available. Some deck installation companies report building as many as two-thirds of their projects using PVC decking.
Exotic Hardwood Decking
Hardwood decks such as Tigerwood have become all the rage, nationally as well as in the Pacific Northwest. They owe much of their popularity to the fact that they’re strong, durable and offer a natural beauty that rivals any cedar deck.
Portland homeowners, who are known for their affinity to nature, appreciate the rich wood grain of Tigerwood and other exotic hardwoods – especially when it’s sustainably harvested. In addition to their appearance, these decking materials also possess an exceptional ability to withstand wet conditions, which makes them a practical choice for the Northwest climate.
In a city whose motto is “Keep Portland Weird,” homeowners are always on the lookout for ways to stand out from the crowd. One popular method for creating a deck with a unique, customized look is to install aluminum handrails instead of standard rail systems.
Aluminum handrails come in a variety of designs to complement any type of decking material and match the style of the home. And they’re just the tip of the iceberg – stainless steel cable and glass options are also cropping up on Portland decking.
Aluminum Patio Covers
Homeowners everywhere are clamoring to create lush, comfortable outdoor living rooms, kitchens and other outdoor living areas. While rugs, colorful fabrics, lighting and other accessories are increasingly being utilized to enhance outdoor patios and decking, Portland’s constant rainfall can get in the way of a family’s ability to fully enjoy these outdoor living spaces.
To solve this problem, many are choosing to employ aluminum patio covers, which provide protection from the rain so their Portland decking can be used year-round. By limiting the amount of moisture that reaches the decking, Portland, Oregon patio covers can also help extend the life and preserve the appearance of a home’s decking materials.
Along with the hunger for outdoor living spaces comes a need for enhanced lighting, and a variety of solar and LED lighting options are available for any type of decking. Portland, Oregon homeowners are increasingly accessorizing their decks with solar post caps, solar light strings and LED recessed lighting.
Post cap lights surround a deck with an ambient glow, and because they’re solar-powered, no electrical wiring is needed. Some of the better models include on/off switches so homeowners can control the amount of light available. Alternatively, LED recessed lights are frequently used to highlight stairs and other deck features, creating a safer and more striking outdoor living environment.
Whether they’re looking for durable decking materials that can withstand the rain or accessories to customize the look of a synthetic or cedar deck, Portland homeowners have more options in 2011 than ever before. With spring already in full swing, now is the perfect time to begin planning for a new deck or updating an old one.