8 Things to Consider Before Building a Timber Deck
So you’ve decided you want to add a timber decking area to extend your living space into the outdoors. Here are 8 things you should consider before tackling your garden decking project:
It may be that your back garden only offers one position for your decking, but if you’re lucky enough to have some options, consider the aspect of the house and where the sun reaches at various times of the day and year. For example, if you are hoping to eat breakfast on the deck on sunny mornings, make sure your decking area is going to get the sun at that time of the day. Bear in mind that it doesn’t have to connect to your house, either - it could be free-standing in another part of your garden that gets more sunshine (but not too much!), or is more sheltered from the wind, for example. We also recommend avoiding building your decking underneath large trees, as leaves, bugs and dirt will fall onto it causing damp and mould that could lead to rot.
How much you want to spend will determine whether you go for a simple design or a more intricate, multi-level layout. Also consider what extras you need to factor in - such as rails, steps, accessories, lights and furniture. Do you also need to include the services of a contractor in your budget?
Plan the size and shape to fit your space, budget and lifestyle. Consider how you want to use the space; for example, as a small sunbathing terrace, a hot tub surround, or a large family barbecue area. Basic square or rectangular decks are a more straightforward option if you are doing-it-yourself, and you can even buy ready-to-fit decking kits in a range of sizes from various timber suppliers. For example, our lightweight square decking kits include the timber decking boards, timber joists, and all the fixers and fittings to complete your decking project. Or, if you want something a bit different, an attractive alternative to timber decking boards are wooden decking tiles. Ours are handmade at our timber yard using 33mm thick heavy duty decking boards. We can also offer quotations for bespoke sized timber deck kits, so that you don’t have to worry about calculations or selecting all the right components. Curved and more complex designs may require the services of an expert fitter.
Spend some time researching into the different timber options available for your decking project. The right timber will make a difference to the look of your deck, as well as the price and ongoing maintenance required. Remember to choose wood that has been pressure treated. This is one instance where it is worth investing in quality now to reduce potential problems in the future (this also goes for the fixtures and fittings). All of our decking boards are made from pressure treated, FSC certified Scandinavian redwood, which is one of the most naturally weather and rot-resistant timbers (and more attractive than pine).
Building a decked area is not a small undertaking, so make sure you have the time and DIY skills to do it yourself or, if your budget can stretch to it, consider employing a contractor. If you opt for the latter, always make sure you choose a tradesman who specialises in building decking and comes recommended.
This is a really common question if you’re not buying a ready-made timber decking kit - you don’t want to run out of timber decking boards before you complete the project, but you also don’t want a pile of timber left over when you’ve finished. So how do you calculate how much you will need? Use our handy guide: How much decking do you need?
Are you planning to add decorative timber decking panels, wooden fencing or rails for privacy screening, safety or segregation? If your timber decking is going to be elevated above a certain height, you will need to fit a suitable railing to prevent the risk of falling. What about wooden planting boxes, built-in seating, or even a combination of the two?
Also think about how you are going to light the area – with spotlights set into the timber deck, or lights hung from the fence railings, perhaps.
Stain? Oil? Paint? Varnish?... We recommend finishing your decking boards with a specialist oil, timber stain or paint that will help protect the timber from water damage, mould and grime, and a sealant resistant to UV rays (which can bleach and damage the wood). Also think about how the colour you choose will fit into your overall garden design, and whether you want to make even more of a feature of your timber decked area.
So, now you know what to consider before building your own decked area, take a look at our timber decking supplies, or call us on: 01409 231763 for more information.