Problem Solving Forum
November 25 - November 29, 2019
What should be considered in replacing a wooden deck with one made of concrete, in terms of the options for appearance, color and cost?
Michael Halliwell of Thurber Engineering Ltd. on
November 26, 2019:
There are a number of factors to consider. In term ...read more There are a number of factors to consider. In terms of appearance, color and cost, color will be more limited with concrete unless you plan on adding a coating afterwards. The initial cost on the replacement with concrete will be more, but maintenance costs will likely be less in the long term unless you are going with something like cedar, which weathers far better than most woods (though still not guaranteed). Depending on what you want to do with it for appearance, it's a lot harder / more expensive to do a lot of "fancy stuff" with concrete vs. wood, just by nature of the ease of working with the material. For concrete, you have to cast / get pre-cast pieces, do stamps, etc. whereas with wood, you can carve, bolt, screw or nail together what you need / want fairly quickly. Additionally, you'll need to consider the weight of the deck (and resulting loading on the supports / their bearing capacity) and constructability (can you get the forms constructed to be able to pour the new deck, do you need supports, and where to brace them if you need them). For a low deck out the back of a house, it may be very simple and straightforward to go concrete, but for something elevated or ornate, it can get very complex (and expensive) very quickly.