Barrette Outdoor Living Decking Review (Former DuraLife Decking)

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duralife decking

Barrette Outdoor Living Decking (former DuraLife Decking) is one of the leading nationwide companies in composite decking.

DuraLife Decking was purchased by Barrette Outdoor Living in 2019, and now goes by the name Barrette Outdoor Living Decking.

They have streamlined the buying process by limiting your choices and giving you a step by step guide.

While some aspects of the process can still be confusing, the real question is if Barrette Outdoor Living Decking is worth the cost.

In this article we aim to answer just that.

We will look at Barrette Outdoor Living Decking from all angles to find out if they stand the test of time. We also look at the advantages and disadvantages while rating the entire line and looking at customer reviews.

Read on and let’s find out if this company and their decking material is worth investigating further, and if so, what buying options do you have? 

Barrette Outdoor Living Decking Buying Process

The four-step buying process is meant to make life easier, and dare we say, more Dura-ble?

  • Choose Composite Deck Color. Barrette Outdoor Living Decking offers 8 colors to choose from, the first step is to decide which color you prefer.
  • Choose the Decking Profile. In the second step you will pick the board profile type you prefer.
  • Choose the Deck Railing. As you can guess, the third step is to choose the railing that will go around your deck.
  • Choose Decking Accessories. Finally, you can choose any accessories you need to complete your project. All that is left is installation and enjoyment.

Buyer’s Guide: Choosing The Best Barrette Outdoor Living Deck for Your Home

buyers guide duralife decking

Before you start looking for a retailer or ordering samples, you need to consider several factors first. Below, you will find those factors and why they are important to your decision making process.

Project Size

The overall project size is one of the most important measurements you can take. Square footage will tell you how much material to buy, where your joists will go and what type of fasteners and support beam systems you should install.

Board Styles

When it comes to Barrette Outdoor Living boards, you have fewer options than some brands. However the choice you make will still be important.

All Barrette Outdoor Living Decking boards are made from their proprietary polypropylene composite material and come in solid or grooved boards with either a full board plank or a scalloped plank (known as Siesta and MVP, respectively).

Colors and Features

When it comes to colors, regardless of the board type or style you choose, you have 8 choices. Four of those choices are in the Hardwoods collection palliate and include common colors of exotic woods like Walnut, Brazilian Cherry, Garapa and Golden Teak.

The Landscapes color wheel includes the earth-tone colors like Slate, Mahogany, Coastal Grey and Pebble. Each color is represented by all boards and profiles and you can mix and match regardless of your selection choices from the other two steps.

Installation Methods

How you install the boards is up to you, but the hidden fastener system is the optimal choice. It is more secure, easier to install and as the name implies, stays hidden. 

Care and Maintenance

Care and maintenance of a composite deck is quite simple., In most cases all you need to do is sweep it weekly and rinse with a garden hose. Of course other factors like barbecue grease, droppings, wet leaves and snow and ice will have other cleaning methods, but your overall costs will still be near zero.

Cost and Warranty

All Barrette Outdoor Living Decking boards come with the same 25-year stain and fade warranty. The boards are also covered against damage, splintering, cracking or peeling.

The cost, as with most composite and PVC decking is done by the board and with three size options, you will pay an average of $60 per board. This price will vary by profile, location and installation method as well.

Barrette Outdoor Living Deck Review (Former DuraLife Decking)

duralife decking review

Barrette Outdoor Living Decking enters the industry with a new model: let the consumer pick the color and performance of their deck all at once. The 4-step selection process is simple and adjustable, allowing you to get the deck you want at the price you can afford.

The Eco-friendly company makes their boards all from the same material, up to 90% recycled hardwood and polypropylene that is as durable and reliable as any other on the market. While the color and style options are a bit more limited than other brands, many owners like the approach and find it easier to shop with less choices.

Collections

There are two main collections and both deal with color, not style. The hardwood collection features four colors pulled from hardwood planks and flooring from around the world. The colors are created using a random dispersal pattern.

This means that the colors on each board are mixed slightly differently so no two boards are exactly the same.

This coloring process makes the composite planks look more natural and prevents you from having a distracting “off color” section in your deck. The Landscapes collection also has four colors that are pulled from nature. And they come with SolarGuard, a proprietary coating that protects against stains and fading.

The Hardwood collection is made up of Golden Teak, Garapa Gray, Brazilian Cherry and Tropical Walnut. The Landscapes collection has Pebble, Coastal Gray, Mahogany and Slate.

Board Profiles and Options

The first step in your deck selection process is to choose your color. After that, you move on to the board profile and performance. Technically there are 4 options here, but two choices will make up the bulk of your deck.

The Siesta Profile is the more expensive option. It features solid, grooved boards that are stronger, sturdier and more durable than the other options. These planks can hold more weight per square inch and are tough as nails, while still being extremely easy to install.

The other primary option is the MVP profile. These are also grooved boards but the bottom edge is scalloped. This makes the boards lighter and easier to install, but removes some of the durability. It also costs less per board, making them extremely popular.

The other two options are for your finished decking portion. The Starter Profile boards are grooved and square edged (one of each) and are designed to be the first row around the edge of your deck.

Using these boards gives you the groove on the inside for the hidden fasteners, while maintaining a non-grooved side facing outward.

Finally, there are the SqEdge profile boards. These are solid boards made specifically for the cap piece on top of the railings. They have no grooved edges and are colored to match all 8 options of the color collections.

Installation

Installation is fairly easy and many homeowners take the project on themselves. We cover installation methods further below, but what you should know is that you can have the decking, railings and accessories all purchased at once. This includes lattice work, screen panels and lighting, all made to match your entire project.

Whether you choose to install yourself or hire a pro, it won’t affect the warranty.

Warranty

All boards come with a 25-year warranty. This warranty protects against stains and fading on all of the boards, regardless of install method. Scratches, denting, damage and other defects are also covered, but you need to read the entire warranty to understand.

What is and isn’t covered, how to make a claim, registration deadlines and all other aspects of the warranty are clearly written out. Depending on your location, when and where you purchase your decking materials and when the install takes place will all have a bearing on the warranty.

Pros, Cons and Ratings

If you take the good, you must also take the bad. Here, we will look at both sides of the coin for the decking to see if there is a deal maker or deal breaker in there for you.
ProsCons
25-year warrantyStyles and colors not always available
DIY installation capableOrdering the correct amount is sometimes difficult
Embossed wood grain patternsMinimal color and style choices
All boards made from polypropylene and natural hardwood and 90% recycled material 
No painting or staining 
Easy clean up and low maintenance 
Decking, railings, and stair components all match 

Barrette Outdoor Living Deck Ratings

  • Selection: 3
  • Warranty: 4
  • Durability: 4
  • Installation: 4.5
  • Price: 4
  • Quality: 4
  • Eco-Friendliness: 3.5

 

  • Overall Rating: 3.8

Installation: DIY or Professional?

When installing a Barrette deck, you have two primary options, do it yourself or hire the project out to a professional. While professional installation has a lot of advantages, it has one major disadvantage. The eager and knowledgeable DIYer, though, can get the job done with great results.

DIY Installation

For DIY install, you will need the right tools, time and knowledge. While installing a composite deck with hidden fasteners isn’t too challenging, it can be a daunting undertaking if you’ve never done it before.

Along with the right tools (which can get expensive if you don’t already own them), you need the knowledge of airflow, joist placement and spacing and how to lay and install the planks. You should always start on the longest edge and with a perimeter board (such as the Starter Profile style).

From there you add the  fasteners, decking boards and repeat. Railings, posts and joist from center measurements need to be taken (and understood) for a finished project that looks great. However, if your only goal is to save money, it may be worth the time and effort to pay the pros.

Professional Installation

With professional installation, the job is done faster, usually looks better and you can begin enjoying your new deck in as little as a single day. The trade off, though, is that for this expert level installation, you will pay for it.

On average you can expect to pay between $3 and $6 per square foot for a professional. This will vary depending on the size of the project, how much work with placement, joists and support beams are needed, the pattern or design of your deck and even where you live.

Finding the right contractor is the hard part, but we can help. Our free to use professional locator tool makes finding local, reputable and licensed contractors easy to find. You can set up estimate inspections in as little as 24 hours from now.

Where to Buy Decking by Barrette Outdoor Living

The hardest part about the buying process is finding a local dealer. While some decking is found at Lowe’s and Home Depot, it isn’t a constant stocking and they never carry all the options.

You can find a local dealer, though, by using the Retailer Locator tool on the Barrette Outdoor Living website. You simply enter your zip code and desired search radius and the tool will return a map with all the retailers and dealers in that area.

Barrette Outdoor Living is nationwide, so finding a retailer or dealer in your area shouldn’t be a problem. It just may be in a location or business you aren’t familiar with.

Known Barrette Outdoor Living Decking Problems

All in all, as far as brands go, there aren’t a lot of complaints or problems with Barrette Outdoor Living. While they are still considered a smaller company, they have a product that is valuable, durable and reliable.

However, there are a few reported problems that keep popping up from around the country and we will look at those now.

The biggest complaint is that the decking is hard to find. When a retailer or dealer is located, they are either far from the homeowner, or have a limited stock or selection available. There isn’t much anyone can do about this from our end.

However, if you talk with the local retailer, they can order directly from Barrette Outdoor Living for you. You may have to wait an extra week or two, but you can get the full order all at once this way.

Another problem, though admittedly not very common, is that the decking tends to show scratches. This can be caused by a lot of things, including weather, improper care, maintenance or even installation.

Most issues are covered by the warranty and a simple board replacement fixes the whole thing. However, if it is found (or thought) to be due to negligence, it goes against the warranty and you will need to pay for the new board(s) out of your own pocket.

Frequently Asked Questions

faq duralife decking

In this section we will cover the most commonly asked questions about Barrette Outdoor Living decking. As always, if you have other concerns or questions, please feel free to use the comment section below.

Q. How do I clean Barrette Outdoor Living decking?

  1. Barrette Outdoor Living recommends a weekly sweeping of the entire deck to remove any leaves, pine needles or other dirt and debris. At least once a month you will also want to rinse the entire deck off with a garden hose. For stubborn dirt areas, though, you can use a warm water and detergent (non-bleach) mix and hand scrub the area. The decking shouldn’t need more than that.

Q. Can I sand or buff scratches out of my Barrette Outdoor Living deck?

  1. Sanding and buffing are not recommended as they will only cause more scratching and damage to the boards, plus it will void your warranty. Because the capped side of the boards are polypropylene, you can use a heat gun (on low or medium) from about 3-inches away to meld the surface and lessen the appearance of the scratches.

Q. Is Barrette Outdoor Living a green company?

  1. Barrette Outdoor Living is considered a green, or Eco-friendly company since all of their products are made from up to 90% recycled materials. 

Q. Are the Barrette Outdoor Living decking boards capped?

  1. Barrette Outdoor Living decking is capped on three sides. The bottoms of the boards are not capped, which helps moisture and humidity escape the board, prolonging the life and lessening the overall weight.

Conclusion

Barrette Outdoor Living makes a simple product. They have a couple of different board profiles with different price ranges. The content and construction of the decking is the same, though, and all options share the same 8 color choices.

While locating the material to purchase is the biggest challenge, once you do, you won’t be disappointed in the quality, durability or final look of your new deck.

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AUTHOR

Nora has more than 5 years experience in the floor covering industry, acquiring vast knowledge about installation and material selection. She now enjoys working as a writer and an interior decorator. Her work has been featured in The Spruce, Homes & Gardens, Southern Living and Real Homes. See full biography here.

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