The possibilities of garden decking

Consider a decked area as an extension to your property. Either free-standing or built against a wall, there are so many possibilities so that the area can be enjoyed by all.

Many homeowners will opt for decking to provide an outdoor entertaining space, a barbeque area, or comfortable seating for relaxation. Alternatively it can be transformed into a child’s play area, which is ideal if the garden isn’t suitable for the children to have free reign.

A decked area can disguise slopes; areas of poor grass growth; it is often a less expensive option to landscape gardening.

Early stages

If you like the idea of incorporating a decked area into your garden, start by sketching out a basic plan for your property and grounds. You can then mark the areas most suited to being decked.

Take into consideration which parts of the garden see the most sunshine, offers the most privacy from neighbours and is in close proximity to your house. Be mindful of any pipes and drains that could be covered by your decking and ensure that you retain a level of access to them.

Once you have decided on the exact location, get measuring! This will allow you to work out the materials that you will need as well as calculate the cost of the build.

The build

Preparation is the key, so use your plans to mark out an accurate perimeter of the decked area with lengths of string. Ensure the ground beneath has been thoroughly cleared and flattened before laying the decking fabric to prevent weed growth.
The installation of decking will begin with erecting the framework for the structure, and is followed by fixing the deck boards into place.

Deck boards are pressure-treated with a long lasting preservative treatment but the colour will fade after a few months. Many like the faded, rustic look so will allow the wood to naturally change colour, whilst others will elect to use exterior penetrating oil which will soak in and nourish the timber.

Wooden decks will always require a level of maintenance for as long as you intend to keep them, so at least once a year you will need to;

(1) Check all boards, look for protruding screws and splintered wood. Carry out repair work when necessary.

(2) Wash the deck with a clear solution (available from garden centres), to remove dirt and algae.

(3) After you have carried out repairs/cleaned the deck, always re-apply wood treatments.
All year appeal

As a form of hard landscaping, the benefits of timber decking compared to other traditional hard terraces and patios are:

(1) Wooden decking provides a comfortable surface to walk, sit and even lie on.

(2) It can be designed in a way that enhances the visual appeal and usability of your garden.

(3) It is excellent at concealing unsightly necessities such as drains and inspection covers.

(4) It can be easily modified or extended without compromising use or original design.

(5) Reduces the requirement for hard landscaping such as excavations.

(6) It is good for the environment compared to other materials that are used in the garden. Not forgetting the efficient usage of the by-products, such as sawdust and chippings.