There are many materials to choose from that have good track records and have eliminated the problematic issues with composite decking. Trex, Timber Teck, EverGrainmand Choice Decking by Loews are all popular brand names you can trust and choose from. Each company offers a wide variety colors, and textures to fulfill your visual desire.
The most common wood used in Suffolk County is red cedar. As an experienced deck builder, I always recommend using red cedar if a customers elects to go with wood. The reason that red cedar is so commonly used is because of its rich color, pleasant fresh smell and most importantly its ability to evaporate moisture quickly. Cedar is a very porous soft wood that has a naturally dry disposition, which resists mildew. Moisture is what causes rot and leads to the decay of many woods that are left out in the elements. Cedar has a lifespan of about 15 years but this depends on a few factors. If your deck gets direct sunlight everyday this will prolong the overall life of the deck. Direct sunlight will help evaporate any moisture produced by the elements. On the flip side of this if your deck gets direct sunlight all day long this can have the opposite effect on the wood by removing all the moisture. This can create, warping, cracking and twisting. The color will become very grey and weathered. All these things can be avoided by properly treating the decking surface every two years by painting, staining or ceiling the wood.
The second most popular soft wood that is used for decking in Suffolk County is pressure treated wood. I would highly recommend this wood if you are looking to save some money on material costs and if you plan on painting your deck. Pressure treated wood is saturated with chemicals that will prevent it from rotting and keep bugs such as termites from eating it. It will last the life of a home if properly maintained because of these properties. Pressure treated wood has a grey color to it so it is not as appealing visually as a red cedar in its natural state or colored composite material.
Ipe and mahogany are the two most popular hard woods used for decks in Suffolk County. They are both very similar in that they have rich brown colors and have hard wood properties. They will not be dented or scratched easily. I know for many pet owners this can be a concern. A large dog can mark, dent and scratch soft wood with their nails with heavy traffic around a door area or in front of the stairs so this is desired reason for hard wood. Ipe is close cousin to mahogany but is from Brazil. There are a few negatives when considering these hard woods. First they are both considerably more expensive then cedar or pressure treated wood. Second, because of its dense property it is hard to install with screws and nails. In most cases this wood has to be hand predrilled and screwed which can take twice the installation time. Third, the dense nature of the wood produces an effect where the moisture is draw out of the board primarily through the end of the wood. After a board is cut, it must be sealed with a special finish. If it is not sealed properly then the ends of the boards with split and splinter over time. If treated and installed properly hard woods will add a beautiful and durable finish to your deck.