It’s easy to get over-excited about the prospect of a shiny new deck without considering exactly how it fits in with your existing lifestyle. Here are a few considerations to ensure your deck enhances rather than hinders your lifestyle this summer.
The big question
The purpose of your deck will influence more than just the design—it will also impact the decking materials you choose, your timeline and budget.
So, begin by asking yourself the big question— “what is the purpose of my deck?”
Typically, decks that will be used for entertaining need to be more durable due to high levels of foot traffic. Decking materials that won’t be damaged by dancing shoes or spilt drinks include everything from PVC plastic to fibre cement decking. These materials are easy to maintain, making the post-party clean-up a cinch.
If your new deck is being installed as a value-add to your home, consider the aesthetics of your design. Does it tie in with the existing look of the house? What are the key selling points of the deck? Opting for decking materials that can be customised is a key benefit when it comes to re-sale.
Familial factors like children and pets are essential considerations that need to be resolved before construction of your deck gets underway.
In this context, safety is the number one factor. In addition to ensuring your handrails and balustrades meet regulatory height requirements, research decking materials that are child-friendly. If you live in a damp or arid climate, avoid wood decking that is prone to rotting and splintering, and always be sure to consult government publications for more safety tips and advice.
The safety of your family will determine the materials and design of your decking project.
Are you ready for the upkeep?
Wouldn’t it be lovely to be able to install a new deck and never have to think about it again? An ongoing commitment, your deck will require continual upkeep to ensure it looks as good as the day it was installed.
Seriously consider your ongoing dedication to the project—do you have enough time (and budget) to maintain the deck? Are you physically able to keep up with maintenance duties will you have to hire external help?
Those who are time poor or simply enjoy their lazy Sundays should consider hiring a part-time contractor to stay on top of upkeep, or research low-maintenance decking alternatives such as wood plastic composite and fibre cement.