An outdoor deck can make a fabulous addition to your home.
Not only is it a great DIY challenge but you’ll be able to enjoy all the benefits an outdoor space can offer, from reading outside in the sun, to hosting an al fresco dinner party for friends.
A deck doesn’t just make your outdoor space more accessible, it can also add real real value to your property when you’re ready to sell.
So let’s get started.
Find the right material
One of your first steps will be to select the right decking material. Ask yourself:
- How much repair and maintenance are you willing to do?
- Do you want a deck that can withstand the elements?
- Will you want to update the look of your deck on a regular basis?
- Is choosing a ‘green’ decking material important to me?
To help answer these questions, we’ve put together a simple guide to help you choose the best decking material to suit your needs.
Your guide to decking materials
Timber decking is not only aesthetically pleasing, but it’s also extremely durable – so long as it’s well maintained. A high quality timber can look gorgeous and is definitely worth the investment.
‘Merbau decking’ – a richly coloured, durable hardwood
Maintenance is something you’ll need to factor in with a natural wood deck. Exposed to the elements, it can weather over time, so if you don’t want it to split, crack or rot, you’ll need to stain and seal the timber on a regular basis.
Wooden decks need maintenance over time, so be prepared to stain and seal the timber regularly.
There’s a range of attractive stains and sealants available (with UV-protection or water-repellency) to help you achieve the look you want.
‘Spotted Gum’ – a durable Australian hardwood
Are you one of those people that loves walking around barefoot in summer? Believe it or not, natural timbers can stay a comfortable temperature in the sun, especially when compared to other decking choices.
Compared to other choices timber stays relatively cool in the sun.
For the environmentally conscious – a lightweight and economical plantation pine
Natural woods are also great for wet climates, and for those with pools, because although the wood will absorb a little water, it actually makes for a safer non-slip surface.
Composite decking is a popular, environmentally friendly alternative to natural wood as it’s weather resistant, stain resistant and lightweight.
Weather resistant composite decking is excellent poolside.
Being comprised of wood fibres and recycled plastics it doesn’t have the same potential to rot or splinter like timber, which makes it a relatively low maintenance option.
The beauty of composite decking is that it never needs staining or sealing.
The beauty of composite decking is that it never needs staining or sealing. It’s likely to maintain its wood-grain look, texture and colour for much of its lifetime. Simply wash the deck for great results.
If you prefer the look of natural wood but are concerned about the future sustainability of rainforest hardwoods, bamboo could be the ideal option for you. It has all the natural beauty of timber, at a longer length, and requires about the same amount of maintenance.
Perhaps the biggest plus of bamboo is that it’s highly sustainable.
Perhaps the biggest plus of bamboo is that it’s highly sustainable. This is because bamboo grows quickly, which means it’s easy to harvest. Choose your bamboo material carefully though, as it needs to be properly treated to maintain it’s strength and durability during deck construction