Industry findings from April 2021 reported the price of lumber had jumped to a record-breaking $1,048 per thousand board feet – up nearly 200% from the start of the pandemic. Demand for the commodity product is only poised to grow during peak outdoor living months.

With today’s wood-alternative building products within reach, there’s no need to put your deck project on hold until debilitating lumber prices retreat. Instead, you can “deck” out your larger-than-life outdoor living space with dreamy solutions that serve up performance and lasting style.

Composite decking. One of the many allures of today’s composite decking is that it emulates the natural wood grain aesthetic and richness, but lacks the propensity to warp, crack or deteriorate over time. Leading brands offer products that can last 25 years or more, making these readily available boards a sustainable and cost-effective purchase when considering product longevity.

Steel deck framing. “Since today’s wood-alternative deck boards are engineered to last for several decades, homeowners want enduring framing materials that can match the longevity of their surface boards,” said Toby Bostwick, VP of Product & Brand at Fortress Building Products. “The benefits of purchasing a steel framing system make a lot of sense from an investment standpoint, especially when factoring in material longevity and ongoing maintenance costs.”

Not only does steel framing offer long-lasting support for your chosen deck boards, but it also offers a modern, high-end aesthetic that’s rising in demand. While the rising price of pressure treated lumber and the current lumber shortage will certainly drive framing trends this summer – the shift in mentality may be permanent, given steel’s impressive performance.

Aluminum railing. While it’s certainly natural to gravitate toward a familiar railing material like wood as you finish out your deck project, an aluminum system can bring strength and personality to a larger deck at a cost-effective price point. A wholly customizable railing system, the aluminum panels of Al¹³ HOME™ from Fortress Building Products can be personalized with an array of infill options – including cable and glass insets – to accommodate the vision behind your dream deck. What’s more, the system is dressed in a multi-layered anti-corrosion powder coating for a no-fuss solution. Not only does this ensure lasting style and safety around the perimeter of a deck, but it also helps create a finished deck structure that requires very little upkeep. For peace of mind, the railing is backed by a limited lifetime warranty.

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