Garden rooms have become one of the most popular trends of recent years. Homeowners everywhere are adding these extensions to their homes and using them for a variety of functions, including yoga rooms, dining rooms, home offices, gyms and more.
There are many materials that can be used to build a garden room but plastic composite is becoming a popular choice. Read on to find out why it may be the best material for your construction.
What Materials Can Be Used to Build a Garden Room?
Garden rooms may be built of a variety of materials. The most common are wood, concrete, glass and plastic composite.
What is Plastic Composite?
Plastic composite is made from recycled plastic and small wood fibers. It is a relatively new product, but it has seen astronomical growth in the construction industry. It experienced a 200% increase in sales from 2000 to 2006 and has been on a trajectory to boost those numbers by 20% every year moving forward.
Plastic composite can be used in a variety of applications and is typically integrated in outdoor construction products. It is a common material for deck floors and is often used for railings, fences, cladding and siding, park benches, prefab houses, window and door frames, furniture, molding and landscaping timbers.
Benefits of Plastic Composite
Plastic composite offers several benefits, many of which make it preferable to wood, a commonly used garden room construction material. Here are some of the advantages it may offer.
Resistant to Rot and Decay: As compared to wood, plastic composites are much more resistant to rot and decay. This makes them a low maintenance, durable option.
Environmentally Friendly: Many of us are pitching in to save the planet and eco-friendly materials will help us reach our goals. Plastic composite is an environmental choice as it is made of recycled plastic material and leftover scraps of wood.
Easily Molded: Plastic composite can be easily molded into almost any shape, including arching, curves and more. This opens doors for design options and it makes it easier to work with, which cuts down on construction time and costs.
No Need for Paint: If you love colors, you’re in luck. Plastic composite is manufactured in a variety of colors so there is no need to paint over it. This will also help cut back on time and expenses.
A Good DIY Option: Because plastic composite is so easy to work with, you may even be able to use it to build a garden room yourself.
Disadvantages of Plastic Composite
Plastic composite has its share of benefits, but there are also downsides to consider. These include the following:
High Fire Hazard: You may think that nothing burns faster than wood but you’d be wrong. The chemicals in the plastic make plastic composite susceptible to fire and the wood content adds to the risk. It also heats up quickly making it a poor choice for the summer.
Environmental Issues: Although plastic composite is made of renewable materials, it has its share of environmental issues. The petroleum-based polymers that are often used are made with non-renewable raw materials. Combined with the non-biodegradability of plastic, you can see how it may do harm to the environment.
Expensive: Plastic composite is more expensive than wood, however, it is less expensive than concrete.
Prone to Rodents and Weeds: Because plastic composite generally comes in the form of slats, you run the risk of having weeds go through it. It also makes it a target for pests and rodents looking to build a home.
Plastic Composite VS Other Materials
Now let’s take a look at how plastic composite compares to other popular garden room materials like wood, concrete and glass.
If you put each material in order from most to least expensive, you will come up with the following results:
- Plastic composite
Lifetime costs refer to how much you will pay for the maintenance of the material over time.
- Glass: Glass requires the most upkeep considering cleaning and possible breakage.
- Wood: Wood is the next most expensive because it is susceptible to warping and rot.
- Plastic composite: Plastic composite is less prone to warping than wood, but it is not as durable as concrete.
- Concrete: Concrete wins the prize in this category.
Colour and Design Options
- Glass: It’s a little unfair to put glass in this category because it’s such a different beast. While glass is typically clear, design elements can come into play in the framing. You may even consider stained glass options, although these are quite costly.
- Concrete: Concrete is available in unlimited colors, although it costs extra to add these to the mix.
- Wood: You can paint wood any number of colors but you will have to take the time and effort to paint.
- Plastic composite: Plastic composite is manufactured in a variety of colors, although choices can be limited. It is easy to mold and shape, which makes for unique design options.
Eco-Friendly Garden Room
In todays increasingly eco-friendly world, the sustainability of each material must be considered. Here’s how our contenders add up.
- Glass: Glass is 100% recyclable, and it does not release harmful chemicals into the air.
- Concrete: Concrete is made of all green materials and it can be manufactured with little waste.
- Plastic Composite: Plastic composite is made from recycled plastic and wood bits. The fact that it is recycled makes it an eco-friendly choice, but the plastic can cause harm to the environment once discarded.
- Wood: Wood is recyclable and it is a natural material, however, some people don’t appreciate that it makes use of natural resources.
Is Plastic Composite the Right Choice for My Garden Room?
Just like any other type of building material, plastic composite comes with its share of pros and cons. Before deciding, ask yourself what your budget is, what you’re looking for in design options, whether DIY is a possibility and how much the environment comes into play.
Taking all this into account, will you be choosing plastic composite for your garden room?