Chances are you'd much rather be hanging out on your deck or patio than fixing, staining, or otherwise maintaining it. Read on for the latest and greatest deck and patio materials, designed for minimal maintenance (and maximum relaxation).
These railing kits look cool, open up your view, and are simple to install. "They come with either metal or glass pickets, which are about as easy to maintain as can be, and the wood parts are easily maintained, structurally sound, and durable, too," says Mark Clement, a licensed contractor and co-host of the MyFixItUpLife show.
These light-up patio blocks eliminate the need for patio lighting. "You can build an entire walk or use them to highlight a stone patio design. With some cool carpentry you can even design them into a wood deck," Clement says. Perhaps best of all, since they're made of pebbles and the entire lighting system is epoxied into each individual stone, they require zero maintenance, he says.
Long-lasting, low-maintenance waterproof deck coatings are applied onto a new or existing plywood-covered deck. They're made of materials including vinyl, polyurethane, and, most often, concrete, which can be textured, stamped, and colored to look like tile, wood, stone, and more, says Bill Leys, a decking consultant and founder of deckexpert.com. He's seen systems last longer than 20, 30, and even 40 years. Brands to research include Dex-O-Tex, Pli-Dek, and WestCoat.
Clement digs these cedar, mahogany, and redwood screens because they create a super-visual block with supreme style. "Robust enough for a fence panel, and rugged enough to be a stylish critter screen, they're also naturally rot-resistant and easy-to-maintain," Clement says.
In general, wood composite decking is a great low-maintenance deck product that combines plastic with wood for a strong, long-lasting alternative that comes in wood-grain patterns and a variety of colors. The new DuxxBak system takes it a step further, says Eric Lincoln of American Pole and Timber. "When installed, without any more effort than your typical composite product, it's completely waterproof to the underside," Lincoln says. The system is especially great for second-story or raised decks, he says.
MicroShades Pressure-Treated Wood is made of actual wood, so it's inexpensive, and it's treated to better resist pests and decay. On top of that, color is infused into the wood rather than applied on top of it, which ups its durability and longevity, Clement says. (Translation: longer gaps between staining!) This product comes in two colors, mimicking Redwood and Cedar.