Graduate Thesis Or Dissertation

Consumer perceptions of decking material

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  • Wood remains the most popular material for deck construction. For centuries, consumers have chosen wood because of its desirable qualities and aesthetics. In recent years, wood plastic composites (WPC's) have seen rising demand as alternatives to wood decks, despite a large price premium. In addition, the removal of CCA treated wood from the residential market has resulted in substitution of more expensive wood preservatives that will lessen the price gap between the two products. Little research has been performed on homeowner perceptions of WPC's as decking material. Data was accumulated from consumers through computer aided questionnaires using choice-based conjoint analysis at home shows. The four locations are Atlanta, San Diego, Toronto and West Springfield. Consumer attitudes and desires were measured concerning decking material to provide decking manufacturers information for constructing marketing decisions. A sample of 1,285 respondents demonstrated consumer preferences for decking material attributes such as material, price, maintenance and lifetime. Results include the universal negative perception of treated wood and the growing acceptance of WPC's. Although results varied from region, overall naturally durable wood represented the most preferred decking material by consumers.
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