I live in Apple Valley Minnesota and it can get to 100 degrees in the summer and down to -25 degrees in the winter. I am currently demolishing my old 20 year plain deck made from treated lumber. The deck is 12 to 24 inches above the ground. And I have several questions. The supporting structure is surprisingly sound. Should I not take a chance and remove the supporting structure and start from scratch? I also want the decking to be low maintenance as possible, or no maintenance. I am looking at composite decking and plastic decking. I have heard some composites will mold. The deck will be getting more shade than sun and our cold winter weather concerns me, with respect to the plastic decking. What is my best option for decking material in Minnesota and last another 20 years? The deck will be going into an area that is 22 by 25 feet but the new deck design is not set and probably will be smaller.
I think I am a pretty good handyman and will be installing the deck myself. What are the critical areas that I should be concerned with?