Outdoor living is gaining popularity. Many homeowners spend considerable time and effort in sprucing up their decks, choosing between various materials, styles and designs. Aluminium decking is a favourite choice among homeowners for its ease of maintenance, strength and attractiveness. An aluminium deck is formed when interlocking planks of aluminium are fitted over a surface. No special tools are required for the process, and the deck installs easier and faster than a wood deck, according to Heidi Tyline King in the book "Design Ideas for Decks & Patios." Aluminum decking, despite its advantages, is associated with some problems and drawbacks.
Aluminium decking is expensive. According to Black and Decker's "The Complete Guide to Building Decks," aluminium decks are typically more expensive than other alternatives, including wood, PVC vinyl and composite materials. The price of the aluminium decking depends on the size of the deck, professional installation charges, delivery charges (if any) and other hired services. As of September 2010, a single 6x2-foot aluminium plank costs between £130 and £195, while an 8x2-foot plank costs approximately £520. Support beams add to the price and cost between £39 and £65 per piece, according to Versa Deck.
Limited Availability and Appeal
Aluminium decking is not readily or easily available. According to Love Albrecht Howard in the book "So You Want to Be a Garden Designer," aluminium is a relative newcomer in the decking world, and many homeowners prefer alternative decking materials, including wood and PVC vinyl. Aluminium decking is also limited in colour. The decking is typically available in white, grey and tan colours only. Some homeowners find the cold, industrial feel of aluminium a turn-off and opt for the warmer feel and hues of wood and composite wood decking materials. However, according to Joe Provey in the book "1001 Ideas for Decks," aluminium decking has the potential to gain a tremendous market in the future.
Aluminium decking requires professional installation. Even products marketed for do-it-yourself homeowners are best installed professionally. Aluminium decking that is installed by novice homeowners is susceptible to load failure due to a bad or incorrectly formed joint.