A new outdoor deck is an exciting addition to your home and a great opportunity to extend your living and entertaining area outdoors.
Finding the right type of decking to suit your lifestyle, climate and future needs is an essential step that, when done correctly, will ensure your deck adds to the value of your home.
Here are few ideas to consider before diving into your summer decking project.
Rain, Hail or Shine
Is your area prone to heavy rainfall during spring, or a dry, dusty heat during summer? The climate in which you live will determine the decking material you opt for, as well as the decking finish.
For example, if you live in a tropical climate that experiences heavy rainfall or high humidity, a classic timber decking that is prone to dampness, mildew and rotting may need to be reconsidered. Do your research into fibre cement decking options—these decking systems are often available in a timber finish and are resistant to termites, moisture and splintering as a result of sun exposure.
Replace weathered timber for a modern look without the upkeep! HardieDeck can be sealed with a tint to match the exterior of your home.
Entertaining vs. Relaxing
A good deck is an extension of your home as well as your lifestyle—it should reflect your interests, tastes and manner of living.
In order to determine how your deck should fit in with your lifestyle, ask yourself:
- Why do you want a new deck?
- Is your outdoor area used mostly for entertaining or relaxing?
- Do you have children and / or pets?
- Do friends, family and other guests often visit your home?
Answering these few simple questions will help determine everything from the size of your deck to the decking material itself. If you often find yourself playing the role of host, a larger deck that is easy to clean and maintain will be of the most benefit to your lifestyle. However, if you’re more interested in soaking up the sun with a good book, you can afford to downsize to a smaller patio.
Before you build your deck, make sure that you have approval from your local council. Rules and regulations differ between councils so it’s important to talk to your local council office about building standards that may apply to your project.
During the planning phase, it’s important to calculate timelines— to what deadline are you working towards? Do you need your deck for a specific event e.g. Christmas day lunch? Is this project part of ongoing renovations to your home? Working out a timeline will help keep your project on track.
Next, consider your budget. Begin by getting a quote, this will give you a ballpark idea of just how much the project is going to cost. Be clever about it, always add an extra 10% to your budget to cover any unforeseen expenditures like additional labour costs, delays and bad weather.
A modern grey finish completes this deck by Three Birds Renovations.
Plan, plan, plan!
While some plans like spontaneous road trips are best left to the last minute, decking is not one of them. It’s imperative that you thoroughly plan for the future state of your deck—what will you be using it for in five year's time?
Future home renovations or landscaping projects will need to be accounted for in your planning. Intentions to modernise your cottage home will require a more contemporary style of decking, while ideas about installing a pool may lead you away from a classic wood decking towards a moisture-resistant solution.
It’s also worth thinking long-term about the maintenance of your decking. Be honest about your commitment levels—are you willing to spend your weekends staining your wood deck? Alternative decking options like fibre cement or wood plastic composite (WPC) may need to be considered if you’re not one for long-term commitment.