How to build the perfect garden deck

Planning on adding a decked area to your garden? When it’s finished, we want you to be able to relax, knowing you’ve got it right and are getting the most out of your garden. So, here are a few things to consider before you start.

What type of decking should I use?

Unlike cheaper wood-plastic composite decking, timber decking brings a really natural, contemporary look and feel to a garden. It also lasts longer. Although timber decking has grown in popularity over recent years, it gets very slippery when it’s wet. As well as the rainwater itself, algae, fallen leaves and foliage all make traditional timber decking dangerously slippery. Opting for non slip decking means you can still have the beautiful, natural look of timber without compromising on safety. Gripsure deck boards, which are now available from Homebase, Jewson and Travis Perkins, have an innovative anti-slip finish, so you can enjoy your decking all year round.

Are you looking to build a deck on a balcony or terrace, where weight is an issue? Or do you just want a really quick and easy deck to install? If so, Gripsure decking tiles would be a great option.

Do I need planning permission?

In some circumstances, you need to secure planning permission before building a new deck. You should contact your local authority for advice on this. In most cases, planning permission will be needed if the deck will be higher than 30cm from the ground, is positioned within 20 metres of the nearest road, is set to occupy more than half of the garden, could affect your neighbours’ privacy, or if your house is classified or in the grounds of a National Park or conservation area.

How should I lay my decking?

There are no hard and fast rules about which way you should lay your decking boards. However, if the decked area is thin and narrow, it is a good idea to lay the boards across the short edge. This means that the end-to-end butting doesn’t cause a trip hazard.

Other than that, it depends on whether you want to emphasise the length or width of your garden. Boards placed at right angles to your house draw the eye away from the deck and into the empty space, making your garden look longer. Boards laid parallel to the wall of the house emphasise the width of the decking area.

Decking boards will expand and contract depending on the weather. This means you will need to allow for a suitable drainage gap – between 4 and 6mm should be fine.

Get creative

How do you picture yourself making the most of your new decked area? Perhaps you’ll be enjoying a coffee and a good book with the sounds of nature around you, or maybe you’ll be making the most of a sunny day by inviting friends round for a barbecue and a few drinks. Are there any features that will make the space work even better for you? How about a fire pit with built in seating so you can enjoy evenings under the stars? For a family garden, what about storage boxes for outdoor toys? You could also build in planting boxes or boarders to introduce more greenery and create a really calm and restful space.

Are there any issues in your garden that you need to work around? If the decked area will be exposed to the prevailing wind, you could install protective screens – there are some stunning screens on Houzz, which should get your creative juices flowing. If you need to incorporate steps or ramps, non-slip decking can really come into its own. Pinterest has some great ideas for steps with decking.

We hope this helps you start planning your new deck. Enjoy!

Get in touch

If you have any questions or would like more information, get in touch with one of our friendly team.

How to clean and maintain your garden decking

Summer is just around the corner and with it the excitement of spending more time in the garden and enjoying the outdoors. If you are anything like me then any fair weather day is an opportunity for a barbecue. If you have non-slip decking then a quick break in the rain gives you chance to fire up the coals. Whether it’s standard or anti-slip, here are some simple steps to get your decking safe and ready for summer.

Cleaning your garden decking

There are a couple of options when it comes to cleaning. Pressure washing is a popular choice for cleaning a deck as it is very quick and easy. However care must be taken to not damage the timber. Timber is made of fibres which can open up if it is exposed to a high pressure water jet. Once the fibres are opened it can leave the deck more susceptible to issues such as rot. Always keep the head of the pressure washer at a minimum distance of 200mm with a wide jet spread and, if possible, reduce the pressure of the output to prevent damage to the timber.

An alternative is a good old-fashioned scrub with a bucket of water and a stiff brush. While this may be slower and harder work than pressure washing it reduces the risk of damaging the timber. It also has the added benefit of giving you a good cardio workout! Timber decking cleaner is available from most DIY stores and garden centres and can help with those stubborn, hard-to-clean areas.

Oiling and staining

Oils and stains are a great way to bring life back to older timber, improve the longevity and performance of your decking, and to make next year’s clean down that bit easier. There is a huge range of products on the market, all offering slightly different benefits and value for money. Oils and stains not only enhance the look of the deck, but stop water penetrating into the timber. This helps prevent algae build up, which can make traditional timber decking very slippery.

For hardwood decks, applying a UV protecting oil soon after the deck has been installed will prevent the sun bleaching the timber to a silver-grey colour. Restoration oils can help to reverse the bleaching effect of the sun to bring back the original colour of timber.

With a bit of effort you can keep your decking looking tip-top and ready to enjoy this spring and summer!

Get in touch

If you have any questions or would like more information, get in touch with one of our friendly team.