Before you start to build your dream decking area, there are a few things to bear in mind.
1. Location, location, location
Before designing your decking you should consider where the sun will be at different times of the day. Also, will your new deck be protected from prevailing winds, by fences, walls or buildings? Finally, will the decking interfere with any household services; in particular will it affect access to drains or vents? If so, access to these may need to be built in to the design.
2. Size matters
As with any home extension, you should try to make the improvements look as though they were part of the original house. Therefore, size should be taken into consideration when designing your decking. A small deck on a large house may look like an obvious addition, rather than an organic part of the house. Similarly, oversized decking on smaller houses or in compact outdoor spaces can look equally out of place. Richard Burbidge offers a wide range of decking balustrades in a variety of styles and finishes, as it’s also important to choose the right balustrade to make sure they are in keeping with the overall look and feel of your garden.
3. On the slopes
One of the best ways to make the most out of a garden with a slope, especially one that slopes away from the house, is to fit multi-level decking and outdoor balustrades. Not only can this add interest to the garden design and break up larger areas, it also makes uneven or sloping gardens more useable and safer.
4. Online planning
To make decking design easy, Richard Burbidge offers an innovative online planning tool called DECKPLANNER. The free service allows you to plan your dream decking and balustrade system in just a few simple steps.
Do you need planning permission?
According to Gripsure, a specialist supplier of non-slip decking, planning permission is required if:
• The deck has a height of more than 30cm from the ground.
• It is positioned within 20 metres of the nearest highway.
• The decking and other possible extensions (conservatories/sheds) occupy more than 50% of the garden area.
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If you’re in search of a garden feature that will add a touch of calm and serenity to your newly-landscaped space, then look no further than these contemporary water features.
Product in focus
PRODUCT in focus EnviroBuild, the green building supplies manufacturer, has launched DURATRAC, a wood-polymer composite (WPC) decking board that is recycled, sustainably sourced and over three times more durable than timber. The DURATRAC product is made of 60% recycled wood and 40% recycled high density polyethylene (HDPE), environmentally gentle bonding agent, additives and tint. The decking is non-slip, non-splinter and has a lifespan of 30 years, without the need for maintenance or treatment. Traditional wooden decking, by comparison, lasts around 10 years and needs treating every 12 months. DURATRAC is suitable for use in both domestic and commercial gardens, roof terraces, balconies and outdoor spaces. DURATRAC is available in two ranges and 10 different colours. ‘Pioneer’ in oak, rosewood, walnut, granite, stone and white ash; and ‘Frontier’ in slate, iroko, teak and marble. It can be laid in with a smooth or ridged finish. The decking substructure uses recycled plastic joists which are manufactured in the UK from plastic sourced in Great Britain.
Caring for your decking
A well thought out deck can transform an outdoor space. Wood decks are pleasant underfoot, make a safe play surface for children and are wonderful spaces for just kicking back and enjoying the great outdoors, says Nick Taylor of Silva Timber.
“Decks should be kept free of organic debris and cleaned as required. Environmentally-friendly deck cleaning agents are available and these can be diluted according to the level of cleaning required. Simply apply the diluted liquid to the deck surface, leave for a few minutes then wash off with a hose or pressure washer. Once the deck has been cleaned, all that is required is to apply a single top-up coat of finish – no sanding or stripping is required.
“Decks typically need maintenance every two to four years. Maintenance is necessary when the surface shows signs of fading or erosion. Cleaning and refinishing a deck on a regular basis will ensure long-lasting colour retention, dimensional stability and effective water repellence.”