Is a Wood or Steel Framed Deck Better in Bastrop, TX?

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Wood is the go to material to build a great many structures in the modern age, especially when it comes to outdoor living spaces. It may not have even crossed your mind that you could use a steel frame to build a deck on the back of your house. Well, you can! The question is, which one is better for a deck – a wood frame or a steel frame? To answer this question, let’s take a look at how the materials compare across a few different categories.

Both wood and steel frames are relatively easy to install, but something you don’t have to worry about with steel is choosing the best pieces, because they are all uniform and built to spec whereas wood can warp and bend under different temperatures and weather exposure making some pieces fit and look better than others.

Life Expectancy

If you’re going to put in the time and money to build a deck, it better last! A wood framed deck is expected to last 10 to 15 years with proper care and maintenance. A steel frame is expected to have a life of 25 years or longer! Steel easily wins in this regard.

Required Maintenance

Wood decks always require a fair amount of maintenance over the life of the deck to get the most out of it. This includes sanding, staining and sealing every few years, but there’s also insecticides and fungicides that you may have to treat the wood with to protect it from invasive termites and carpenter ants and other wood destroying insects from eating away at the deck frame.

With a steel frame, treating is not necessary as bugs don’t find steel too appetizing. There’s no need to use insecticide or fungicide on a steel frame and you also won’t have to seal or stain it. It requires little to no maintenance other than repainting once and a while to get a long life out of your steel deck frame.


It’s always nice to have the structure you paid for guaranteed by the manufacturer or the company that installed it, but for a wood deck, about the best you’ll find (if any warranty at all) is about 10 years. A standard steel frame warranty covers the life of the frame for up to 20-25 years. It’s a lot easier for manufacturers to provide a warranty for a steel product that is built by design than to try and predict how a wood product is going to respond to years of weather and thermal expansion.

Highly Compatible

If you like the look of a wood deck, but still want to go with a steel frame, it’s entirely possible to use wood deck boards on top of a steel frame. A steel frame is also compatible with a variety of other decking materials – you could use composite deck boards, PVC, aluminum or even tropical hardwoods with a steel deck frame.

Cost Comparison

Whether it’s a wood frame or a steel frame the price of building a deck can vary greatly depending on the complexity of the design. The fluctuation of wood prices also makes it more difficult to nail down a specific price, but you can expect to pay significantly more for a steel frame than for a wood frame typically.

The Verdict

There’s a reason why steel costs more than wood, it’s much more durable, dependable and requires very little maintenance. If you like the look of a steel frame deck and don’t mind paying a little extra for it, the steel frame is a good way to go, but if you love the traditional look of a wood deck, a steel frame isn’t going to emulate that appearance very well. If you really want to go with a wood aesthetic, but don’t want to deal with all of the maintenance requirements, consider a composite deck. It can emulate the appearance of wood, but still have a longer life with very little maintenance required.

Butler Contracting Can Build A Steel Frame Deck!

Get a virtual estimate by filling out this form or get the ball rolling by giving us a call at (844) 628-8537. You can give us details in the form and we’ll walk you through what decisions to make to get the right deck for your home.