The latest decking market survey by Cleveland-based market research firm The Freedonia Group forecasts U.S. demand for decking to rise 2.4% annually to 3.3 billion linear feet in 2016, valuing $5.7 billion. Driven by an expected boost in housing completions and increased homeowner spending on outdoor living spaces, the growth reverses the sector's decline during the last six years that put residential decking demand at a historically low 61% of the $2.9 billion market in 2011, according to the report.

Demand for plastic decking is expected to lead the industry, increasing at an annual rate of 15.2% through 2016 to total 150 million lineal feet, the report finds, as homeowners continue to seek out low-maintenance products and manufacturers improve technology to better replicate a wood look. The gains follow a 0.6% annual decline in demand for plastic decking material from 2006 to 2011.

Wood-plastic composite decking's demand will rise 11.4% annually through 2016 to net 420 million lineal feet in 2016, pulling an about-face on its 11.4% annual decline from 2006 to 2011.

Wood will remain the market leader, with demand totaling 2,730 million lineal feet in 2016. Still, that demand is expected to increase by less than 1% annually through 2016.

The numbers are part of a 366-page report, "Wood & Competitive Decking," that Freedonia is selling for $5,300.