Your clients want great design; you look for strength and durability. They ask for tiers and terraces; your mind is on safety. When it comes to reconciling homeowners' big dreams for outdoor living with the mechanics and maintenance of a well-built structure, decking manufacturers offer plenty of solutions. From low-maintenance composite planks and deck protection products to strong but classy railings and accessories, decking resources and design inspiration abound.

Universal Forest Products. New railing options are available in the Latitudes Ornamental Railing line, which combines composite handrail and post options with metal accents, including balusters, post caps, and centerpieces. Designed to imitate the look of traditional wrought iron, the heavy-gauge aluminum balusters are available in black, white, stainless, or bronze with a powder-coated enamel finish to resist wear and tear. 877.463.8379.

GeoDeck. The new Designer Post Cap series offers the Merrit, Vero, and Cocoa lines to add custom touches to decks with a variety of profiles. Of the three, Merritt caps fit budget-conscious applications, while the Vero style has better quality for more prominent locations. The elegant Cocoa caps are the highest quality with colorful finishes for fine applications. Pictured are Vero Dentil Plateau, Merritt Top Ball, and Cocoa Tiffany High Point. 877.804.0137.

Duradek. Offering an alternative to deck coatings that peel, crack, or delaminate, Duradek Ultra waterproof vinyl flooring is available in five styles. The material is made of textured PVC laminated to a polyester reinforced fabric for strength. Roll out 54-inch-wide sheets to protect decks, sunroom floors, hot tub or pool surrounds, and more. Installation involves heat-welding the sheets at the seams. All necessary adhesives, sealants, drains, scuppers, and perimeter fastening devices are available from the manufacturer. 800.338.3568.

DeckTools. For this company, “deck tools” are more than just hammers and nails. Its DeckTools Software includes easy design features for capturing any custom deck in photorealistic 3-D. The software includes a 3-D Materials Library of brand-name parts and upgrades, and the fast estimating engine lets users watch the labor and materials estimates update as they change deck specs. Use the system on sales calls or in the showroom to keep clients engaged. 877.276.0762.

TAMKO. The new Elements Grain composite decking features varying wood grains on both sides for a natural look. Available in four naturally weathering colors — Cape Cod gray, cedar, redwood, and weathered wood — the extruded decking material is made from a combination of recycled plastic and wood fiber that the maker says is low-maintenance, easy to install, and doesn't require painting or staining. Matching railing systems are also available. 800.253.1401.

Xccent. Offering “snap and lock” technology, DryDeck Aluminum Watertight Decking gives moisture nowhere to go but off to the integrated gutter system at the edge of the deck. The patented gasket between planks provides a watertight seal and gives a clean, finished appearance. Available in parchment white or desert tan, DryDeck can easily span 24-inch on-center framing and is lighter and stronger than alternative decking products, the maker says. 800.933.4748.

Grace Construction Products. Protect against corrosion and joist rot with Grace Vycor Deck Protector self-adhered flashing. Installed between the connector and pressure-treated wood, the flashing membrane seals the tops of deck joists against moisture, reducing the likelihood of rot. The flashing also protects galvanized connectors and the galvanized nails used to fasten them from corrosion caused by treated wood. 866.333.3726.

CertainTeed. EverNew SnapWrap vinyl post wrap offers a quick way to wrap wood porch posts to improve their look and endurance against the elements. Available in sizes that fit 4x4 or 6x6 posts, SnapWrap can be field-cut to fit lengths up to 10 feet. The eight-piece system includes four vinyl post panel sections and four corner trim pieces. 800.233.8990.