August 11, 2010 | US decking demand is forecast to grow by nearly 25% – to over $5 billion dollars – by 2013, according to industry leading research firm, The Freedonia Group. Wood will continue to lead the way, representing over 75% of material sold and 56% of sales dollars. More than 60% of decking will go into residential construction, with over 90% of residential demand slated for the improvement or replacement of existing decks.

Gains will be driven by the continued popularity of decks as an outdoor space for entertaining, along with growth in the size of decks preferred by today’s homeowners. Demand for outdoor kitchens, spas, hot tubs, fire pits and other amenities will also grow as consumers extend both the size and the functionality of their outdoor space.

Acceptance of wood-plastic composite and PVC decking will accelerate as homeowners look for more low maintenance materials. Improvements in aesthetics, increased availability, and higher quality railings and accessories will help fuel this growth.

The southern and western portions of the United States are forecast to post the most rapid decking gains due to increases in population and housing stock. The Northeast will trail the national average as a result of less favorable economic expansion and construction growth.

Homeowner safety will be a priority, as injuries from falls and structural collapses continues to rise, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Regular inspection of existing outdoor decks, including repair or retrofit as necessary, will prevent injuries and ensure the long-term safety and enjoyment of one of America’s favorite home features.

By Jim Groff, Wolf’s Chief Marketing Officer