Decking and Pergolas – An Alternative To Hardwood

Outdoor living spaces have evolved over the years to such a degree that they are now part of our all-year-round lifestyle as they add an extra element of elegance and extension to any home, so increasing the feel of usable space for entertaining, relaxing, and dining.  

Decking brings warmth and comfort to any outdoor area, especially when combined with a pergola. A pergola with deck can be a beautiful extension of any home, creating a unique outdoor living space and the perfect alfresco retreat.

So whether you want just something simple and basic or a more elaborate unique design that may include multiple levels, and other features, adding a pergola and deck to your outdoor space allows for a seamless movement between your indoor and outdoor living area.

Choosing the right materials for your decking & pergola

Every homeowner deserves an outdoor space to relax and enjoy themselves, and adding an outdoor deck and pergola can be the ideal solution. 

So whether you want to make your outdoor area into a shady relaxing retreat or want to create an intimate patio area, outdoor decking and pergolas can turn any outdoor space into a beautiful and calming oasis.

But how do you know which materials are suitable for your pergola and deck? Natural hardwood vs. composite decking timber is currently a hot topic at the moment, but you can determine which is best for you with the correct information.

Natural Hardwood v Composite Decking Timber

Using natural hardwood wood as a material for your pergola or decking is immensely popular due to its versatility and visual appeal. The natural and authentic appearance of the wood, paired with the lower cost, makes it a worthy contender when choosing the material for your deck and pergolas.

Speak to the professionals

However, there are advantages and disadvantages to using natural hardwood for your decking and pergola material, so it is essential to consider various factors and to speak with your professional deck and pergola builders to ensure natural hardwood wood is the best fit for you.

Pros of Wooden Decking & Pergolas


There are a host of reasons why people choose wood for their decks and pergolas over composite timber decking. One of the most important advantages is its versatility. Wood can be stained or painted and created into virtually any style you require.

Its versatility also means it has the potential to match with multiple types of existing styling and decor, whether you are seeking something more rustic or you’re looking for a more modern style of decking and pergola. 

Depending on the type of timber you choose, it is typically tough on insects and will stand up to the harshest of elements if treated and maintained correctly. 

Furthermore, most natural hardwoods tend to be a cheaper option when selecting materials for your decking and pergola. Ultimately, people are attracted to wood because of its natural look.

Cons of Wooden Pergola With Decking

Ongoing maintenance

While there are countless pros to creating pergolas and decks in wood, it’s also important to be aware of the cons. As a pergola or decking material, wood requires the highest levels of maintenance in order to keep its appearance appealing.

Failing to keep up with regular maintenance can not only dramatically alter the lifespan of a wooden pergola or deck, but it can also have a significant impact on your expenses. The care may include repainting or restaining annually. 

Composite timber is becoming increasingly popular.

While it hasn’t always been the most traditional choice, using recycled composite decking timber as a pergola and decking material has become increasingly popular over the years. 

The flexibility in choosing from a wide variety of colours and finishes while also requiring little maintenance has made composite timber the first choice for many people. 

Similar to wooden decks and pergolas, there are advantages and disadvantages to choosing composite timber for your outdoor space. So you must consider all the factors and speak with your pergola and decking company before making your final decision. 

Pros of composite timber decks & pergolas

There are a variety of reasons why more and more builders in Australia are choosing composite timber to construct their decking and pergolas. One of which is the fact that it is environmentally friendly. 

Making use of recycled materials

Made to look like traditional hardwood timber, composite decking products are made from recycled polyolefin (plastic from post-industrial waste), rice husks and recycled hardwood timber. 

Ecologically sustainable

So as a building material, pergolas and decking made from composite timber are much more ecologically sustainable than wood, plus it is easy to install and requires little or no maintenance. 


Furthermore, unlike natural hardwood, composite timber never needs to be repainted or restained and will withstand the turmoils of natural elements far longer than wood can. Plus, it does not rot, splinter or lose its original colour, making it a highly efficient and cost-effective material.

Suits your lifestyle

When it comes to choosing composite timber for your deck or pergolas, typically, there are 12 standard colour options, as well as a choice of custom colours and finishes. With composite decking timber, you can find a finish and colour to blend in with your outside décor and suit your lifestyle. 

Cons of composite timber decks & pergolas

While composite decking timber has many advantages over traditional hardwoods, it does, unfortunately, also have its cons. While you are given many options of colour, you can never repaint or restain composite timber.

So whichever colour you choose at the outset of developing your deck and pergola here in Melbourne, you must keep it unless you go about removing the existing decking and pergola and starting again. 

The other reason people are against composite timber is that it may lack a natural look depending on your chosen colour; it doesn’t always have the same traditional and authentic look that wood provides. Finally, composite timber can sometimes be a slightly more expensive option. 

Why composite timber wins out over traditional hardwood

Helps the environment

While there can be no doubt that a deck and pergola created from a luxury hardwood can be a thing of stunning beauty and be the centrepiece of any outside living space, consideration needs to be given to understanding at what cost was the pergola decking achieved, not just financially but more importantly to the environment.

Reducing landfill waste

By using composite timber for your deck restoration or deck and pergola construction, not only are you helping to protect the environment and reduce some of the 84% of all plastic waste that goes straight into landfills here in Australia, but you’re also helping to reduce the number of slow-growing native forests that get destroyed every year.

Relax and enjoy

So whether you’re undertaking deck restoration in Melbourne or creating decking with pergola composite decking, you can relax and enjoy all the attributes of a natural timber deck and pergola without sacrificing colour, product quality, consistency, or the environment.