Home Building Tips for Research, Utilities & More

As a current homeowner looking to build the home of their dreams, the more knowledgeable you are about the building process, the more enjoyable the project will be, and the end result will better reflect your image. Custom home projects may seemingly be enormous, but with the right contractor the job will be manageable and on schedule, ending with that castle you always imagined living in with your family.

Research

As with any major purchase, before you start construction on your custom home, there is a certain amount of research that should be done. Coming up with home design ideas can be hard. Listing out the features you want from your custom home design is the first step. Ask yourself these questions:

  • How large of a custom home can I afford?
  • Do I want 1 or 2 Stories?
  • Where do I want to live? Are there schools in this area?
  • What will I be doing in the home?
    • Do I entertain frequently?
    • Do I work at home?

When researching custom home builders, you should be aware of the five main phases of home building. The more involved you are in these phases, the more satisfied you will be at the end of the project. Researching custom-built homes should include:

  • Research
  • Pre-construction
  • Rough-ins/essentials
  • Interior finishing
  • Exterior finishing

These steps are essential in creating a custom home. Well-qualified home builders have experience going through each of these steps with a prospective dream house owner and will guide through what they need to know so they can get to work. This will satisfy steps one and two of the custom home building process, as an architect will be able to draw up a plan for a contractor to follow, who will start gathering a team to put the plan into action.

Home Building Costs

After you have met with the home builders or architects, you should have an idea of how much building a house will cost. Financing the construction of your new custom home may be one of your largest obstacles. Certain home builders may be approved by banks, and can work to get lower interest rates. Home building magazines and books should also help with ideas, as well as sitting down with experienced home builders. After this step, a home building budget should be set. Take a look at your list again, and see what realistically fits into your budget. Once you have a reasonable home building budget set, you will need to decide what will be the scope of your custom home design.

Find A Pro

At this point, it’s time to start looking for a home building professional. This is possibly the most important part of the custom home building process because you need to select someone you trust to deliver a great custom home. Researching custom home builders may be difficult, but luckily ImproveNet has already done that work for you, with a nationwide database of certified custom home builders who are ready to meet your home building and design needs.

How to Find & Hire A Builder

Ask for Personal Recommendations

Almost anyone who has already worked with a builder will be more than happy to talk about the experience. Family and friends are a wealth of information about the quality of work, the professionalism of the builder and the price of labor. A positive personal recommendation is perhaps the highest praise that a builder can get.

Attend a Home Show or Open House

Open houses allow an individual to see the quality of a builder’s work on a first-hand basis. It may also give the individual a chance to speak personally with the builder. Questions to ask include:

  • What previous experience does the builder have?
  • Are they licensed and insured?
  • Do they have personal references from past customers?
  • Do they offer a warranty on their work?

Check with Local Real Estate Agents

When a homeowner does not have family or friends who have used local builders, real estate agents are another valuable source of information. This is one of the best ways to learn about builders when a homeowner has recently moved or will move. Many realtors have worked closely with a variety of builders and will be able to share information about customer satisfaction.

National Association of Home Builders

This nation-wide association certifies builders who have completed its National Housing Quality course. The course teaches builders how to create a quality home to avoid costly and time-consuming repairs in the future. The association can give out contact information for builders and companies in one’s area that have completed the program.

Government Agencies

After finding several potential candidates, individuals should check with your city’s Chamber of Commerce, which will be aware of any complaints that have been filed against the builder. They may also know if there are any lawsuits currently pending against a builder. The county courthouse can give additional information about the builder’s licensure with the state.

Better Business Bureau (BBB)

The Better Business Bureau will list customer complaints against builders and will identify whether or not the complaint was rectified. By calling the bureau or searching online, anyone can access this information. The bureau usually gives an overall letter score to each business listed on their registry with A+ being the highest.

Does He or She Meet Your Needs?

After finding names of reputable area builders and checking their credentials and satisfaction rating with past customers, individuals should choose the builder that best meets your needs. Homeowners want a builders who communicate adequately and who can give a detailed estimate. In addition, you will want the builder to have the same vision for the home as you do.

Pre-Construction

Once engineering and plotting are agreed, it’s time to sign contracts and create blueprints. Not every set of plans are the same. You have an endless amount of options, however, one of the difficulties is that you won’t see your finished custom home before you build it. If you decide to purchase from home builders who have a models up for you, you will have the advantage of knowing what your project will look like. Also, many architects are able to produce computer-generated 3D models. With the latest technology, you can even take a virtual tour of your new home – during the concept phases.

During the pre-construction phase, some of the most critical home building decisions are made, but if you make the right choices, you will be on your way to a beautiful new custom home. Below are a few more things to keep in mind; qualified home builders will be able to help you with these items:

Permits

  • These are critical, as you will not be able to start without the proper permits. Make sure you choose a custom home builder familiar with these regulations.

Home Building Materials

  • Are you going to be purchasing the home building materials, like steel beams, yourself? Will this be the best deal?
  • Budgets will change, as certain types of home building materials (i.e. bricks) can be more expensive.

Home Building Insurance

  • The Home Builder’s policy is usually more cost effective, than if a home owner were trying to obtain it themselves.

Also, depending on where you live, home building may be impossible during certain times of the year. Some custom home builders will not work through the winter, or prices can be different, depending on seasonality.

Utilities

Once this is complete and the building process has begun, it’s time for the utilities to be installed. After the foundation’s been laid, the rough-in stage will involve contractors installing the essentials. The majority of the building work will be completed during this stage. Your house will be plumbed, wired, and connected during this time. Below are some things to keep in mind.

  • Will you need a gas line?
  • What types of insulation are best for your custom home?
  • Electric needs (air conditioning, heating)
  • Plumbing needs (septic tank or sewer system, well water or city water?)

Consider how you plan to live before this step. Do you want high water pressure, or would you prefer to have a water-efficient home? Are you looking to install heated tile? Do you have special lighting needs? Where are the ideal areas for having electrical outlets inside and outside? These will determine how many and what kinds of installations the contractor performs during the rough-in stage.

Interior & Exterior Finishes

Afterward comes the interior and exterior finishes: flooring, roofing, walls, and so on. This will complete the custom home and make it look like more than a shell. It will actually transform into a home. From there, it’s up to you to hire an interior designer or furnish the home yourself with the trimmings and furniture that it needs to be that perfect dream house you envisioned.

Buying Your First Home

As newlyweds, buying and settling into your first home is an exciting and nerve-racking experience. Knowing what to expect can help the process go smoothly. From budgeting to renovations, here’s your step-by-step guide to first-time home ownership.

Determine How Much You Can Afford

Before you start your search for the home of your dreams, it’s important to establish how much you can afford to spend.

Examine Your Credit

Like it or not, your credit score has a significant impact on whether you get approved for a mortgage, and it influences your interest rate. Get a copy of your credit report and scour it for errors. Do what you can to improve your score and resolve discrepancies now so when it comes time to get preapproved for a loan, your credit is in tip-top shape.

Scrutinize Your Budget

As a rule of thumb, buyers are advised to spend no more than 25-30% of their household income on housing expenses. Take a close look at your household earnings, as well as your financial obligations, like student loans, car payments and credit card bills. Then, talk with your partner and come to an agreement about how much you can spend on your new residence.

Determine How Much You Can AffordFind A Home & Make An Offer

Once you have a solid idea how much you can afford, it’s time to find a home that meets your needs, your budget and then make an offer.

Get Preapproved for A Loan

You can search online for a loan or go to the institution where you bank and ask about your mortgage options. Either way, having a preapproval letter in hand will help you negotiate from a position of strength when making an offer. Be aware that you may get preapproved for a larger loan than you expected. Stick to your budget and resist the temptation to spend more than you can realistically afford.

Find a Real Estate Agent

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) is a great resource for finding a professional real estate agent in your area. As a first-time homebuyer, you’ll benefit from an experienced agent who can guide you through the home-buying process.

Check the Price of Homes that Appeal to You

Sit down with your spouse and make a list of what you want and need from your new home. Search an online real estate database for homes that match your criteria, then use a mortgage calculator to estimate your monthly payments.

Review Your Lease

If you’re currently renting, take a look at your lease and find out when it expires. Determine what the penalties and procedures are for breaking the lease or extending it as needed.

Make An Offer

Once you find a home that you want, it’s time to make an offer. You don’t want to overpay, but a stingy offer can insult the seller and make negotiations difficult. Consult with your real estate agent, who is likely to have an idea about what price the seller is apt to accept, and then make an offer you can afford. Before you submit your offer, discuss with your spouse what you’ll do if the seller rejects or counters it.

Make Upgrades

Now that you have keys in hand, you’re probably eager to turn your house into a home. Here are a few upgrades to consider tackling sooner than later.

Install A Home Security System

A monitored home security system can make your home three times less likely to be burglarized and save you up to 20% on your homeowners insurance premium. Plus, many systems offer home automation features that can help reduce your utility bills.

Replace the Front Door

Whether your entry door is weak or just downright ugly, replacing it with an attractive steel door is a smart move. A steel door is difficult to penetrate and is energy efficient. Also, if you sell your home, you’ll probably recoup its cost.

Improve the Kitchen

The kitchen is often considered the heart of a home, so it’s only natural to want it to look attractive and feel comfortable. If the cost of a professional renovation is out of reach, DIY projects and tasteful decorating can transform your kitchen in a weekend.

Trump Presidency Might Affect The Housing Market

Very few experts could have ever predicted that the man who once directed young Kevin McCallister to a hotel lobby would one day ascend to the highest office of the U.S. Federal Government. Defying the odds, the former host of The Celebrity Apprentice, Donald Trump, was elected President on November 8th.

To find a similar momentous political shake-up, you’d have to go all the way back to…2016. In June, the United Kingdom voted to exit the European Union causing world markets to briefly drop. Trump’s election is the United States’ “Brexit moment,” and will have similar influence on the economy and housing market. Here’s a brief outlook on how the Trump administration could affect U.S. real estate.

Already have a post-election renovation project in mind? Contact a remodeling pro today for up to four free quotes.

What Could Be Good For The Housing Market

While on the campaign trail, Trump proposed a trillion-dollar spending bill to repair and update the country’s infrastructure. With the creation of new construction jobs across the nation, the demand for housing should also rise with newly relocated workers. Also, the investment in infrastructure should boost the national economy which should help new construction projects overall.

Trump has also emphasized that he would roll back government regulations to spur economic growth. Being a real estate mogul himself, housing regulations will definitely be loosened over the next four years. Trump claimed that 25% of new housing construction costs are attributed to regulations and he would aim to lower them to 2%. Lower costs overall should help increase the buyer pool nationwide.

Banking regulations are also on Trump’s proposed chopping block. President-elect Trump has suggested he would like to scale back or remove the Dodd-Frank financial regulations. Doing so would alleviate regulatory costs to smaller banks and lenders, so they could afford to provide more mortgages to more potential buyers.

Many of Trump’s proposals would benefit the economy and housing market in the near future. If you were considering selling your home, you might find an opportune moment in the next few years. However, this opportunity might be tied to how your state voted in the election. Consumer confidence ties in with party lines, so red states may see improvements in home sales while blue states could see a slowdown. In the meantime, it never hurts to add equity to your home.

However, the long-term effects such as an increased budget deficit and resulting higher interest rates could slow the growth of the real estate marketing. We’ll look into some other potential negative effects of a Trump presidency next.

What Could Be Bad For The Housing Market

One of Donald Trump’s most polarizing stances was his proposal for mass deportations and a stricter national immigration policy. While a massive overhaul to immigration policy wouldn’t appear to affect real estate prices on the surface, it could have some unintended consequences.

A more isolationist and nationalistic approach to immigration might turn away foreign buyers and investors from purchasing American real estate. Between early 2015 and early 2016, foreign investors purchased over $102 billion in residential property. If it were harder to get into the country, that overseas revenue could dry up.

Trump has called to deport as many as 11.6 million undocumented workers living in the United States during his administration. Since the construction labor pool is already strained with nearly 2 million jobs lost since the 2008 housing collapse, potentially removing more laborers from the country could drive up construction costs and slow project growth.

While Trump’s deregulation of Dodd-Frank has some upsides, it could act as a double-edged sword towards the housing market. Cutting regulatory costs should help out smaller banks and lenders who are hit hardest, but it would also allow large banks to revert to the risky lending and financial practices that caused the 2008 sub-prime mortgage collapse. This might be overly pessimistic thinking, but large banks still have a “too big to fail” mindset (e.g. Wells Fargo’s recent false account opening scandal) and expect to be bailed out if they cause another housing bubble. This, however, is dependent on how far Dodd-Frank is rolled back.

Finally, Trump has been critical of government entities Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac for their handling of the 2008 housing collapse. If Trump and a GOP-controlled Congress were to move to these organizations to be owned privately, it might make it harder for more people to be approved for mortgages as these mortgages would now no longer be immune from default—similar to FDIC insured bank accounts. More risk on loans means fewer loans approved and at higher interest rates.

Know A Bathroom Remodel Return on Investment Guide

Homeowners need to ask themselves a few fundamental questions before deciding if remodeling the home is a good idea. The most important question is whether you are going to get your money back if you decide to sell the home in the future. When remodeling a bathroom, it’s important for homeowners to have a good idea of what your improvements are worth. This helps you invest your money wisely.

Bathroom Projects Pay Dividends

Most homeowners can’t afford to waste money on pet projects that put a strain on your finances, so homeowners must choose carefully when deciding on a remodeling project. Most professionals in the real estate field recommend choosing a project that yields a hefty return. Bathrooms are a great remodeling choice. When home buyers look at a home, they always ask about the bathrooms. For homeowners, a bathroom remodel is pricey, but it’s a safe bet that is very likely to be profitable. On average, bathroom remodeling projects yield a 60% return on investment. If the homeowner is smart about their remodeling project, they increase the profitability of the remodel even more. A homeowner might consider the following upgrades for their bathroom:

  • Multiple sinks
  • Glass showers
  • Good lighting
  • Shower seating
  • Extra storage
  • Floating vanities

An upgraded bathroom is welcoming and warm, which is appealing to home buyers who look for comfort and style when searching for a new home. It’s important for homeowners to pick upgrades that make use of neutral colors and finishes without following ultra-trendy designs. This ensures that the bathroom doesn’t look old and used in a couple of years. Homeowners should always consider increasing the size of the bathroom if possible; most home buyers prefer a home that has big bathrooms. It’s easy to expand the size of a bathroom during a remodel or change certain features to make the bathroom feel bigger. For example, you might replace an over-sized, rarely used tub with a sleek glass shower to create more space in the room.

Styles That Last

Many homeowners make the mistake of choosing bathroom styles that aren’t appealing to the public. When they do, they don’t add much value to their home. It’s always important to consider what a buyer is looking for in a bathroom to be sure of coming up with functional and stylish remodeling ideas. When remodeling a bathroom, homeowners need to keep the design in harmony with the rest of the home. If a bathroom sticks out like a sore thumb, it spoils the appearance of the home, especially for potential buyers who may only take a quick tour of the house before deciding whether or not to make an offer. When a homeowner is considering an upgrade that’s going to be hard to sell in the future, you need to realize that home buyers won’t be willing to pay for their eccentric designs. If they plan on staying in the home for a very long time, however, then it’s acceptable to design according to your own preferences.

Brexit & The U.S. Housing Market

Not since the royal wedding has the U.S. been so captivated with an event in the United Kingdom. This time, the event was known as Brexit. The difference between the two is that Brexit seems to have affected quite a few more worldwide markets other than makers of commemorative plates.

If you were curious or concerned on whether this decision could affect your ability to buy or sell a house, fear not. We’ll cover as many aspects as we can. But first, a quick overview.

What Was Brexit Again?

Unless you were away on vacation in a very remote location out of reach of any sort of mass media over the past few weeks, you’ve probably heard of Brexit. If not, welcome back! Hope you had fun on your trip to the Tibetan countryside. Regardless, here’s a quick recap of Brexit:

On June 23rd, the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union. This decision affected world markets, currency values and Treasury bond rates due to the uncertainty facing the EU and the fifth largest economy in the world.

Across the pond, the U.S. stock market saw an immediate effect with the Dow Jones dropping nearly 900 points within days of the vote. However, a few days later, the markets corrected and returned to their previous levels! So, to summarize the world’s reaction to Brexit in one word would be simply, “panic.”

So Brexit is A Bad Thing for the US Housing Market?

Not necessarily! Remember when I mentioned that Treasury bonds were affected by Brexit? Well, this in turn affected Freddie Mac’s stance on mortgage rates. Earlier this year, there were rumors that the Fed would raise interest rates and mortgage rates would naturally follow. However, after the vote, Freddie Mac stated, “With the U.K.’s decision to exit from the European Union, global risks increased substantially leading us to revise our views for the remainder of 2016 and all of 2017.”

So, due to the global economic uncertainty, Freddie Mac’s outlook for mortgage rates dropped. With near all-time low rates, home ownership becomes more affordable for more people, creating potential new buyers.

Prior to the vote, the U.S. Housing Market had been improving, albeit slowly. The average median home value had increased by 5.4% since 2015. However, the amount of houses for sale had decreased nationwide by 4.5%. This market trend combined with the new Brexit influenced lower mortgage rates and could influence more sales in the near future. So, if you were considering selling and wanted to maximize your home’s value, you might want to consider making a few renovations in the meantime.

Not only does Brexit affect mortgage rates, but it might influence British businesses to invest in US real estate by moving headquarters to our more global business-friendly country. So the commercial real estate market could see a boost along with the residential market.

That Means Brexit is All Good for Us, Right?

Not necessarily, again! While the short-term effects of Brexit haven’t hurt the housing market, there’s still concerns about the long-term consequences. Some wonder if the UK’s exit will cause a dissolution of the EU altogether which could trigger a worldwide economic recession. The EU and Britain represent our fifth and seventh largest trading partners respectively with hundreds of billions of dollars traded each year. Major changes in trade can affect financial markets, which in turn affect real estate and interest rates.

The long-term effects of Brexit can be summed by Socrates’ teaching, “I know one thing: that I know nothing.” While Socrates probably meant something a little more philosophical by that, it still summarizes our current outlook. We’re just not sure what exactly will happen as a result of Brexit and we’ll just have to wait and see.

What Are We Supposed To Do Now?

Keep on keepin’ on, really. If you were thinking about selling, you probably now have a larger buyer audience along with already higher property values to influence your decision to put your home on the market. If you weren’t planning on selling right now, you should look to refinance your current mortgage and use your newfound savings towards adding equity to your home.

Some Idea For An Ideal Front Door

Your front door serves many important purposes, but sometimes gets lost in the shuffle. Your entry door is one of the first things guests and neighbors see when they drive past or visit your home. Take a good look at your front door and ask yourself a few key questions. Is it serving its purpose and tough enough to withstand wind, rain, hot sun and possible intruders? Is it aesthetically appealing? Is it dated and time to buy a new one?

See why your front door is an important part of your home and the ROI of replacing it. There are a lot of different styles and colors to choose from, so we’ll make some suggestions about what you should be looking for in a new door.

Importance Of A Front Door

What’s the first thing someone sees when they come to your home? Yes, the entry door. Everyone must walk through it to enter your home. It’s important to make sure it’s sturdy and stylish.

Replacing the front door can easily enhance the appearance of your home exterior. Curb appeal is something buyers and neighbors notice. The front door needs to be strong so it can endure all kinds of weather. You also want to make sure the door is functioning as security in order to protect you and your family and keep everyone in the house safe.

Your front door is also a chance to incorporate your personal style and add some flair to your home. Don’t be afraid to go a little outside the box when selecting a new entry door. I’ll cover style and color trends so you can get a feel for what you like.

ROI Of Replacing Your Front Door

Replacing your front door becomes especially significant when you’re trying to sell your house. If you’re thinking about selling, you should consider what statement you want to make with the new updates. Charlette Seidel, a vice president with Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate Inc., says that roughly 60 percent of the calls her office receives are from prospective buyers inquiring about a house they saw while simply driving down the street. The homes with curb appeal get the most calls. Homebuyers are usually parked at the front door for a few minutes when the real estate agent is getting them into the home, so this is another instance where the visual appeal of the front door is crucial.

In addition to curb appeal, there are financial advantages to replacing your front door. According to Houzz, “Your front door with an energy-efficient model can add to the overall value of your home, save as much as 10 percent on energy bills, and qualify you for certain tax credits in the United States.” I’m sure saving some money is of interest to most homeowners. Front doors will last a long time if you take care of them. According to the National Association of Home Builders, exterior fiberglass, steel and wood doors should last as long as an overhang is in place. If unprotected or exposed to the elements, the door may last as few as 30 years.

Styles

If you decide you want to replace your front door, then you need to get up to speed on the different material options. It’s a good idea to do your research ahead of time and make sure you’re fully informed before making a final decision. Whether you custom design your door or select one from a manufacturer, time, money and material are all aspects to consider in the buying process.

The most important decision in the process is choosing what your door is made of. It’s the surface material that most affects appearance, durability, security and price (This Old House). Average door prices range anywhere from $589 to $916, depending on material and labor costs. See below for a short description of the different styles.

Wood

Wood is one of the most common materials for exterior doors. The most common materials for solid wood doors are oak, fir, pine, along with cherry, walnut, mahogany and maple. Wood doors are visually appealing and solid, but remember you’ll need to apply a fresh coat of paint or polyurethane every couple of years.

Fiberglass

Fiberglass doors are resistant to warping and bowing. If you live in a humid climate,then fiberglass is an appropriate choice for your home. The fiberglass exterior sheathing is resistant to impact damage. Because it’s less prone to warping, this door is more maintenance free than many other door types.

Steel

Steel doors are usually sheathed with 24-gauge steel that comes paneled or flush and in a variety of colors. They’re thought to be strong doors, but in fact, aren’t any stronger than solid wood or fiberglass. They shouldn’t be used on the side of a house where prolonged exposure to hot sun can heat the door. If continually exposed to scorching temps, it will bow and crack the paint.

Aluminum

Aluminum doors include a wood frame with insulation filling the spaces. What’s interesting about aluminum doors is that they’re almost exclusively manufactured and sold locally on a custom basis to fit whatever door opening you have. They dent easily, but won’t rust, and typically have at least a 20-year warranty.

Colors

Now onto the fun part, selecting a color for your new front door! The goal here is to make a statement (personalize) and send a welcoming vibe. Don’t be afraid to go bold or colorful, especially if you have a neutral exterior. Even if your neighborhood is conservative, your front door can be your self-expression piece. For example, check out this indigo door, it’s simply stunning against the white exterior!

If you’re not ready to replace your entire front door you may want to at least apply a fresh coat of paint. DIY Network offers up 28 stylish paint ideas to give you some inspiration. See what sparks your interest and have some fun with it!

Let’s Learn Tips and advice before you build a new deck

Are you considering installing a new deck? While adding a deck does add value to your home, most real estate experts don’t recommend installing one for that reason alone. The most important reason for building a deck is simply because you and your family will enjoy it.

Some of the most popular reasons homeowners choose to add a deck include the following:

Added living space: For a small house, a deck is less expensive to install when compared to a new addition. Of course, climate influences how much time the deck can be used. However, even in colder parts of the country, awnings and pellet stoves can make a deck usable almost year round.

Frequent entertaining: For families with an active social calendar, adding a deck makes perfect sense. It decreases wear and tear on carpet and wood floors inside the home, and allows guests to interact in a more relaxed setting. Decks are also great additions for homes with pools.

Love of nature: Getting closer to nature is always popular. Decks added to rural homes give a safe place to enjoy the surrounding woods and wildlife, while decks added to suburban or even urban homes offer homeowners an attractive getaway from the stress of city living.

Deck Materials

For many homeowners, cost is the most important consideration when it comes to building or repairing a deck. This is why choosing the right material is so important. Thankfully, there are more choices than ever before.

Traditional Wood Decks

When many people think of decks, they often think of traditional wood decks. Though there are several different kinds of wood used, the most popular are pressure-treated pine, cedar and redwood.

Pine that’s been pressure-treated is the least expensive. However, it also tends to be the most versatile. Some folks frown on pine because of its tendency to develop uneven color, while others prefer its more ‘au natural’ look.

Cedar is a beautifully textured wood that, while never pressure treated, does resist rot and insects. Many homeowners choose cedar because of its beautiful grain and wonderful, if faint, aroma.

Redwood is popular for rustic homes because of its rich, gorgeous color. Like cedar, it is resistant to moisture and insects with the proper maintenance.

Wood decks do require yearly maintenance to prevent deterioration from sun and moisture. Power washing followed by staining and sealing will keep a wood deck in good condition for years. They should also be checked for loose boards and nails on a regular basis, and any wood that has moisture damage should be replaced.

Composite Decks

Composite decking is made of recycled wood and plastic. The minimal maintenance required has made it a popular choice for decks large and small. When it first came on the market, some homeowners shied away from it because it tended to fade quickly and could harbor mold. The industry has improved in recent years and now offers composite decks that can withstand the assault of sunlight and seasonal changes. For some homeowners, however, the downside to composite decking is its cost. Prices vary of course, but composite decking can easily run two to four times more than regular wood decking.