Do You Need Planning Permission to Install Decking?

Making changes to your property can often cause concern, especially when you’re not sure what needs planning permission and what doesn’t. While some modifications are permitted developments that don’t need official permission, what category does decking fall under?

As leading providers of timber and bamboo non-slip decking, the team at Gripsure are here to help you navigate the regulations, understand the application of planning permission relative to your decking, and offer some insight on how to obtain retrospective planning permission.

Find out more about our decking by getting in touch!

Do You Need Planning Permission for Decking?

In many cases decking falls under permitted development, meaning you wouldn’t need to get planning permission to install it. However, depending on the specification of your decking, you this might change. The biggest factors involved here are the height and size of your decking.

In general, a common residential decking probably won’t need planning permission. It’s a perfect choice for:

  • Outdoor parties
  • Barbeques
  • Lounging
  • Dining
  • Using as a decorative feature

Decking is a popular feature for homeowners everywhere. If they planning permission was needed every time someone wanted to install one, the local authorities would probably do nothing except managing applications, so some allowances are typically made.

Where you live is also a factor – permitted development allowances change between houses and flats or maisonettes, so you’ll need to pay attention to what the specific regulations are before you think about installing any decking.

If you find that you need planning permission, you’ll want to get in touch with your local authority to get it sorted. This might be worth doing anyway, since sometimes buildings can have their permitted development rights removed, meaning the normal regulations wouldn’t apply in the same way.

Planning permission is just one part of building regulations around decking – find out more >

How Big can a Deck Be Without Planning Permission?

You’re unlikely to need planning permission for your decking unless it is raised up to 30cm above the ground or if it covers more than 50% of your garden in combination with extensions and outbuildings. That latter measurement is a bit vague, and may change depending on the size of your garden and the subsequent magnitude of the decking you install.

Another factor is the facing – if you want to add decking to your front garden, you’re more likely to require planning permission as it will impact the image of your street and therefore have an effect on other residents.

To determine the height of the decking, measure from the lowest point on the ground to the highest point of the decking. This includes any height added by a slope, which is worth bearing in mind when you’re planning your installation.

Plan your next installation right with a decking quote from us.

What is Retrospective Planning Permission?

While looking for information about planning permission for your decking, you may have come across the term “retrospective planning permission”. This refers to planning permission being granted after modifications are in the construction phase or have already been completed.

Retrospective planning permission is often sought in times when permitted development allowance was assumed incorrectly due to various circumstances, or when local authorities request a planning permission application for property modifications after they’ve begun.

Having to apply for retrospective planning permission doesn’t necessarily mean you didn’t comply with normal planning consent – in many cases, factors that occur down the line can impact the level of permission required to install decking and make changes to your property.

Does it have a time limit?

If requested to apply for retrospective planning permission, you’ll want to do it as quickly as possible so that your local authority doesn’t think you’re not complying.

However, if a feature hasn’t been requested to apply for planning permission, then there isn’t any real time limit at all. In fact, the colloquially termed “4-year rule” means that after a feature has been in place for at least four years, it may not need planning permission even if it otherwise would. This isn’t a sure thing, but the logic behind it is that if something hasn’t caused a problem for an extended period of time then there isn’t any real reason not to leave it be.

Can it be refused?

While requests for retrospective planning permission are often accepted, especially in the case of something as innocuous as decking, they can still be rejected. This might occur for a myriad of reasons, such as if the feature is not in-keeping with the visuals of the neighbourhood.

In the event that your retrospective planning permission application is rejected, you will either need to revert the changes to your property or submit an appeal.

However, the chances of needing to submit a planning permission application for your decking are slim, and the chances of it being rejected even more so. Decking is a great addition to any garden, helping you provide a sturdy space to engage in outdoor activities and spend time with your family and friends.

If you’ve already got decking, you might be interested making it non-slip – find out how >

Fit Your Space with Decking from Gripsure

Whether or not your decking needs planning permission, you’ll want something that looks great and goes the distance. With decking from Gripsure you get a beautiful product with a sleek finish, alongside added grip from our non-slip technology that keeps you safe in your new outdoor space.

To get started, check out our collection of decking options or get in touch. Otherwise, feel free to read on with some related articles below!

Keep safe and compliant with our guide to fire-rated decking and cladding materials >

Further your knowledge in our article on what makes decking slippery and how to avoid it >

How to ensure Accessibility with Non-slip Decking

Accessibility is an important consideration for any architectural project or build and can determine how useful decking is by making the design more inclusive. Accessibility is particularly important for public and commercial uses of decking such as walkways or ramps because they are used frequently by a wide variety of people.

Improving accessibility is important for the elderly, physically or visually disabled people and anyone with mobility issues. In this blog post we’ll discuss why accessibility and inclusivity is important for these groups of people and how you can ensure that your next outdoor project or architectural design can be enjoyed by, and benefit everyone.

What is Accessibility for Decking and Outdoor Structures?

According to the Office for National Statistics; in 2021, 17.7% of the total population in the UK were considered disabled or had a long-term health problem that limited their day-to-day activities. Although this percentage has decreased since the 2011 census, there are around 9.8 million physically disabled people in the UK.

This calls for a more effective approach to increasing accessibility in outdoor spaces such as paths, bridges, walkways and decks. According to a government report on building for equality; the British Standards Institution is developing new standards to help provide more comprehensive guidance on “increasing accessibility in the external environment and buildings”.

The same report identifies that the latest version of BS8300 (Design of buildings and their approaches to meet the needs of disabled people) would be the most up-to-date guidance and does not cover all considerations for accessibility; especially for outdoor structures.

Accessible outdoor spaces and accessible decking structures take into account that some people have mobility issues and consider the needs of wheelchair users so that everyone can make use of the decking structure with peace of mind that it’s safe and useful for its intended purpose.

The UK-based charity Paths for All has published extensive guidance on outdoor accessibility for boardwalks, ramps and decks which is extremely useful for architects, builders and designers looking to improve the accessibility of a project.

We have summarised parts of this guidance to help give you an idea of what is required to make boardwalks, ramps, decks and other outdoor structures more accessible

Boardwalks, Walkways and Bridges

In addition to the specific design recommendations that we’ve outlined below, Paths for All emphasise the importance of proper maintenance of boardwalks, walkways and bridges to reduce the likelihood of accessibility issues. Regular checks and proper maintenance work are therefore necessary, especially for bridges.

Design Guidance:

  • The width of boardwalks, walkways and bridges should consider the width and condition of connecting paths, the amount of traffic on the decking boards and whether or not it will be one-way system.
  • A minimum width of 2000mm between handrails or edging boards
  • For areas with lower traffic, a width of 1200mm and space for ‘passing’ every 100m (depending on visibility).
  • The threshold between the boardwalk, walkway or bridge should avoid a level change of 5mm high
  • Decking ramps should be used as opposed to decking steps
  • To allow drainage, there should be a gap that is not greater than 12mm between each non-slip decking board
  • Edge boards should be at least 75mm high or the railing should be at least 75mm above the decking boards.
  • Handrails and rest points should be used where possible
  • Chicken wire should not be used to improve the grip of decking boards as it increases the chances of tyre punctures or injuries to pets. Instead, non-slip decking or anti-slip decking inserts should be used.

Ramps, Gradients and Raised Decks

As mentioned above, ramps are recommended over decking steps and provide far greater accessibility, although accessible steps are also possible.

Design Guidance:

  • A gradient steeper than 1:20 (5%) is classified as a ramp
  • A ramp should not have a gradient more than 1:12 (8%)
  • There should not be significant changes in gradient, and it should be as gradual as possible
  • An anti-slip surface is essential for safety, especially in wet conditions
  • Ramps should not be longer than 10m and need a level platform if they are more than 500mm off the ground.

For additional guidance on ramps and specific guidance on raised timber decks, please refer to the code of practise for raised timber decks from the Timber Decking and Cladding Association. This information is based on a variety of standards and regulations, so it is comprehensive and covers everything from joist spacing and beam size to safety parapets and balustrade systems.

How Non-slip decking can be used to improve Accessibility

Effective non-slip decking solutions are essential for making an outdoor structure like a bridge, boardwalk or ramp more accessible. There are other ways to increase the slip resistance of surfaces like anti-slip timber coatings, and of course the dreaded chicken wire technique. However, as we mentioned earlier, these approaches are not reliable, long-term solutions that can ensure accessibility without regular maintenance.

By using purpose-built, non-slip decking or anti-slip decking inserts, you can ensure that the slip resistance of each surface is sufficient enough to support even high-traffic outdoor spaces. This doesn’t mean the non-slip decking boards won’t need to be maintained at all.

It is important to make sure that the decking boards remain structurally sound, the surface is clean and regular checks for trip hazards are carried out to guarantee that the structure is accessible.

Why you should use Grispure Non-slip Decking to ensure Accessibility

With a unique 15-year guarantee that our boards won’t fall under a PTV (slip resistance rating) of 55, you can trust our non-slip decking boards to serve as an effective solution for your outdoor project and ensure that it is accessible by everyone.

Our wide range of softwood non-slip decking, bamboo non-slip decking, hardwood non-slip decking and modified timber decking ensures that you will be able to find the best choice of decking boards for your project.

Get in touch today to find out how we can help you find the right decking boards that will enhance the accessibility of your raised deck, boardwalk, walkway or ramp.

Choosing Natural Decking Materials: Timber Vs Bamboo

In the UK, the trend of enhancing outdoor spaces through decking projects is on the rise. The debate between traditional timber and contemporary bamboo is relevant as ever. This analysis will guide you in choosing between hardwood, softwood, and bamboo. We will show you a strong focus on the differences and nuances between these materials.

In 2005, Mike and Ross founded Gripsure to tackle wet weather challenges in Cornwall. They introduced non-slip decking boards, and today, Gripsure is a leading European brand. Unsure of the right provider for your decking? Choose Gripsure today as a safe and durable choice. Contact us now for expert advice on your project.

 

Hardwood Timber vs Bamboo

The Charm and Resilience of Hardwood Timber

Hardwood timber has a long history in garden design. People value it because it is strong and visually appealing. Varieties like oak, teak, and iroko dominate the market, each offering unique qualities.

  • Durability: Hardwoods resist damage and wear due to their dense structure. This makes them ideal for high-traffic areas.
  • Design: Hardwoods have diverse grain patterns and hues that enhance designs. They work well with both traditional and contemporary styles.
  • Maintenance Requirements: Regular maintenance, including sealing and staining, is essential for longevity.
  • Cost Implications: Hardwoods are often more expensive, reflecting their durability and aesthetic value.

Bamboo: The Eco-Friendly Contender

Bamboo’s popularity as a decking material is due to its sustainability. It is also chosen for its modern appeal:

  • Sustainability: Bamboo is a fast-growing grass, making it a sustainable resource. It offers an eco-friendly option instead of slow-growing hardwoods.
  • Strength and Durability: Advancements in bamboo processing have made it as strong as hardwoods. This makes it suitable for decking due to its durability.
  • Maintenance Ease: Bamboo decking requires less intensive upkeep, often just regular cleaning.
  • Cost-Effectiveness: Bamboo’s longevity and low maintenance make it cost-effective over time. Though the initial costs can be high, the benefits outweigh them.

Softwood Timber vs Bamboo

Softwood Timber: The Price-Friendly Option

Softwood timber, like pine and spruce, is affordable for decking in the UK.

  • Affordability: Softwoods are generally cheaper than hardwoods, making them accessible for various budgets.
  • Treatment and Maintenance: To enhance durability, softwoods need treatment against rot and pests.
  • Lifespan and Performance: Treated softwoods have a decent lifespan but don’t last as long as hardwoods and bamboo.
  • Aesthetic Versatility: Softwoods have aesthetic versatility with a range of finishes. They can be painted or stained to suit design preferences.

Bamboo: Uniformity and Eco-Friendly Appeal

Bamboo’s uniform structure contrasts with the natural variability of softwoods.

  • Quality Consistency: Bamboo provides a uniform quality, reducing the occurrence of weak spots.
  • Environmental Benefits: Bamboo is still eco-friendly, with minimal pollution and high renewal.
  • Modern Aesthetics: Its sleek, contemporary look is well-suited for modern garden designs.
  • Resilience: Bamboo is more resilient against moisture and temperature changes than softwoods.

In-Depth Considerations for Your Decking Project

Understanding Your Surroundings

When picking materials for your deck, think about the weather in your area. Bamboo does well in various climates. It’s good at handling moisture and temperature changes, so it doesn’t need much upkeep.

However, regular wood might need extra care in tough weather. This includes treatments to stop it from bending or rotting. If you choose a material that suits your local weather, your deck will last longer and look better. It’ll also handle local weather problems better, with less work needed to maintain it.

Costs Now and in the Future

It’s important to balance the initial cost of your decking with its long-term value. Softwood decks might be cheaper to start with, but they can cost more to maintain as time goes on.

Bamboo might cost more at first, but it’s a better value over time. Its strength and low upkeep mean you’ll spend less in the long run. Think about both the costs right now and in the future to make a smart, budget-friendly choice.

Matching Your Style

Your deck should look good with your house and garden. Hardwood is classically beautiful – perfect for traditional styles. Softwood is flexible in looks and can be easily changed with paint or stain. Bamboo has a modern, clean appearance and is great for up-to-date outdoor areas.

Think about how each option fits with the style of your home. You want your outdoor space to be unified and appealing.

Eco-Friendly Choices

Choosing sustainable materials is very important. Bamboo grows fast and can be replaced easily, so it’s kind to the environment. It’s better for the planet than hardwoods, which grow slowly, and softwoods.

Picking bamboo for your decking helps the environment. It fits with green living and lowers your environmental impact.

Setting Up and Looking After Your Deck

Think about how easy it is to install and maintain your deck. Bamboo decking is simple to put in place and doesn’t need much care. This is because it naturally fights off bugs and moisture, so you don’t have to treat it often.

On the other hand, wooden decks need more effort to set up and keep in good condition. Choosing bamboo can save you time and work in both putting it in and looking after it long-term.

Conclusion

Selecting the perfect decking material requires considering aesthetics, functionality, sustainability, and budget. Timber appeals to various preferences and needs, offering traditional charm and reliability. Bamboo stands out for its environmental credentials. It also has a modern appeal and resilience. When considering your needs and preferences, weigh these factors first. This way, you can choose a material that enhances your outdoor space and aligns with your values and lifestyle.

Incorporate Gripsure into your project today and experience the difference for yourself. Our non-slip decking solutions provide top safety and durability. Contact us today to get started!

 

Related articles:

UK timber shortage: can I still get decking for my garden?

Gripsure celebrates double ISO accreditation for quality and environmental sustainability

Alternative decking solution from Gripsure made with innovative Accoya wood

Gripsure performance warranty and strength graded decking

A Guide to Fire-Rated Decking and Cladding Materials

Whether you’re planning a residential deck, a commercial terrace, or incorporating cladding into your architectural design, understanding the principles and options of fire-rated materials is crucial for ensuring the longevity, safety, and compliance of your project.

In the following guide, we delve into the fundamentals of fire-rated materials, exploring the various types of decking and cladding options available on the market. By the end of this, we aim to empower you with the knowledge needed to make informed decisions based on your specific project requirements.

Fire Rated Decking Materials

Understanding Fire Ratings

Fire-rated decking and fire-rated cladding materials play a pivotal role in mitigating the risk of fire incidents in outdoor spaces. To make informed decisions about materials suitable for specific applications, it’s essential to understand the Euroclass system — a European standard that categorises the fire performance of construction products, including decking materials.

  • Euroclass A1 and A2: These classifications represent the highest level of fire resistance. Materials falling under A1 and A2 have minimal to no contribution to fire and no production of flaming droplets or particles. They are suitable for areas with stringent fire safety requirements.
  • Euroclass B, C, D, E, and F: Materials in these categories exhibit varying degrees of fire performance, with B being the most fire-resistant within this group, and F indicating materials with little or no performance. The classification helps users select materials based on their specific fire safety needs.

Common Fire-Resistant Decking Materials

Pressure-Treated Wood:

  • Traditional decking material, such as pressure-treated wood, can be rendered fire-resistant through chemical treatments. These treatments penetrate the wood, creating a barrier against ignition. Understanding the treatment process and the longevity of fire resistance is essential for effective use.

Composite Decking:

  • Comprised of a blend of wood fibres and recycled plastics, composite decking offers a fire-resistant alternative to traditional wood. The materials are inherently less combustible, making them a popular choice for those seeking a balance between aesthetics and safety.

Aluminium Decking:

  • Aluminium decking is known for its durability and resistance to fire. Its non-combustible nature makes it an attractive option for areas where fire safety is a primary concern. Additionally, aluminium decks are resistant to moisture, reducing the risk of mould or decay.

Fire-Rated Non-Combustible Fibre Cement Decking:

  • Fibre cement decking materials are non-combustible and offer excellent fire resistance. These materials are composed of cement, sand, and cellulose fibres, providing a durable and fire-safe option for decking applications. This hardwearing and low-maintenance profile is Euroclass A2 fire-rated. Check out our SHERA Fire Rated Decking range for a top-quality option.

Bamboo Deck Boards:

  • Bamboo, a rapidly renewable resource, is gaining popularity as a decking material. A sustainable substitute for tropical hardwoods and composite products, this option excels in environmental sustainability, strength, stability, and longevity. It proudly holds a Euroclass B fire rating without requiring additional external treatment, making it a top performer in both durability and eco-friendliness. At Gripsure, we are proud to be the UK’s exclusive distributor of MOSO® Bamboo Decking – a safe and stylish solution for eco-projects.

Fire-Resistant Coatings:

  • Some decking materials can be coated with fire-resistant substances to enhance their ability to withstand flames. These coatings act as an additional layer of protection, contributing to the overall fire performance of the decking.

Fire Rated Cladding Materials

Composite Cladding:

  • Similar to composite decking, composite cladding offers fire-resistant properties. It consists of a mix of materials that contribute to its ability to withstand flames and heat, providing an aesthetically pleasing and safe option for exterior walls.

Bamboo Strips:

  • Compressed and thermally modified bamboo strips offer a unique and fire-resistant option for cladding. Subjected to high temperatures (around 200°C), these bamboo strips gain enhanced fire resistance while maintaining their natural beauty, providing both sustainability and safety.

High-Pressure Laminate (HPL) Cladding:

  • HPL cladding is made by layering resin-impregnated sheets onto a core material. It is known for its versatility, durability, and fire-resistant properties. HPL cladding is often used in both residential and commercial buildings for its aesthetic appeal and performance.

Metal Cladding:

  • Metal cladding, particularly using materials such as aluminium or steel, is inherently non-combustible. Metal cladding systems are known for their durability, resistance to fire, and low maintenance requirements. They are often used in high-rise buildings and other structures where fire safety is a critical consideration.

Brick Cladding:

  • Traditional brick cladding is inherently fire-resistant due to the nature of the material. Bricks do not burn, and their use in cladding provides a robust barrier against fire spread. Brick cladding is not only fire-resistant but also offers a classic and timeless aesthetic.

Stone Cladding:

  • Similar to brick, stone cladding provides excellent fire resistance. Natural stone materials are non-combustible and can be used for both functional and decorative purposes. Stone cladding is often chosen for its durability and ability to withstand external elements.

How to Choose the Right Fire-Rated Materials for Your Project

Choosing the right fire-rated materials for your project is critical for ensuring safety and compliance with building regulations. Start by assessing the local fire safety codes and regulations applicable to your region. Consider the specific requirements of your project, such as the type of structure, its intended use, and the environmental conditions it will face.

Next, you’ll want to evaluate the fire ratings of materials based on recognised standards such as Euroclass classifications or local equivalents. Understand the material’s composition, whether it’s pressure-treated wood, composite decking, or cladding made of fibre cement or metal. Look for certifications from reputable testing agencies, ensuring that the chosen materials meet or exceed fire safety standards.

You’ll also want to consider the aesthetic and functional aspects of the materials, keeping in mind your design preferences and project goals. Seek materials that strike a balance between fire resistance, durability, and visual appeal.

Finally, engage with knowledgeable suppliers and consult with professionals in the field to make informed decisions tailored to your project’s unique requirements.

Here at Gripsure, we have almost 20 years of experience helping our customers create beautiful and safe spaces using decking and cladding materials. We’re committed to continuously improving how we operate and are always seeking to achieve the highest environmental, ethical and safety standards. If you’re looking for guidance on fire-rated decking and cladding materials for your next building project, feel free to drop our team a message – we’d love to help!

Slippery Decking Day 2023: when are decks most dangerous?

We have named Sunday 29th January ‘Slippery Decking Day 2023’. That’s because this is when all the contributing factors are aligned, putting us at the greatest risk of an accident as decking in the UK reaches ‘peak slipperiness’.

Traditional timber and composite decking boards become dangerously slippery when wet or icy and as the result of the build-up of algae and leaves. We have pinpointed the last Sunday in January as the day when ordinary decking is potentially at its most treacherous.

January is the wettest month of the year, with ice more likely as average temperatures drop towards the end of the month. Mean monthly evaporation is at its lowest, causing decking to stay wet for longer. Algae is also most likely to be prevalent during the winter and after a wet spell, while fallen leaves are decomposing and becoming slippery.

Short daylight hours add to the risk and, with people more likely to venture into their gardens at the weekend, this increases the likelihood of accidents.

Gripsure Managing Director Mike Nicholson said: “Despite its many benefits, traditional decking has one major disadvantage: it becomes dangerously slippery when it’s wet. And that’s a big problem, particularly here in the UK where it can make a garden a no-go area for much of the year.

It’s fair to say that at Gripsure we’re obsessed with the slipperiness of decking. We understand the combination of factors that can make decking dangerous because it’s what we’ve been tackling for more than a decade. We’re not only committed to increasing safety, we also want people to make the most of their outdoor spaces throughout the seasons.

Our team of decking experts has assessed all the risk factors and the combination of wet, cold weather, damp conditions and rotting leaves and algae creates a perfect storm. We believe Sunday 29th January is the day in 2022 when decking will reach peak slipperiness, putting people at risk of accidents.

While we created Slippery Decking Day as a light-hearted event, it does have a serious message and we want to highlight the dangers. We hope Slippery Decking Day will make people think about changes they can make to safely enjoy their gardens all year round.

The slip ratings of surfaces, including decking, are measured using the Pendulum Test Value (PTV), with a rating of more than 36 being regarded as ‘low slip’. Crafted from sustainable timber and aggregate inserts, all Gripsure decking achieves a minimum value of PTV 85, which is classed as ‘very low slip’, and exceeds the British Standard for slip resistance.

Gripsure has experienced a surge in demand from homeowners during the pandemic. We are also proud to have provided our non-slip decking to high profile customers, including Kew Gardens, the Eden Project, Center Parcs and the University of Cambridge.

#SlipperyDeckingDay2023

Building decking at a holiday home or caravan park

We've put together a list of things you will need to take into consideration when installing decking for both a static caravan within a wider caravan park and a holiday home.

Adding decking to your caravan park, static caravan or holiday home is a great way to create extra space. It allows you or your guests to enjoy the great outdoors all year round. However, there are some key things to consider. As well as the look and price, you also need to think about the health and safety elements.

Do you need to carry out a risk assessment? Is everything fire safe? Are there more requirements necessary?

We have put together a list of things you will need to take into consideration for both a static caravan within a wider caravan park and a holiday home.

Caravan parks and static caravans

Adding decking or skirting to your static caravan can be a great way to provide more space for your living area. It can also help to reduce draughts and protect pipes.

Firstly, it’s important to check with the caravan park if you can do so. You will need to look at your pitch licence agreement, as this could specify any guidelines or requirements. Most of the time, particularly with decking, you need to have permission first. They may also have specifications or a decking fitter in mind to build it.

Fire safety

Obviously, with timber decking, the biggest risk to tourists is fire. The UK Government provides fire safety risk assessment material to anybody responsible for sleeping accommodations. This would include static caravans within a caravan park. It explains what an assessment is and how to carry one out. They also advise on further precautions to make sure everyone is kept safe.

Fire can spread rapidly between caravans if they are not adequately spaced. Therefore, adding decking to your caravan is likely to reduce this distance even further. So, it’s important to consider this when thinking about the shape and size of your desired deck. It may also be tempting to use the underneath of your caravan decking for storage. But if what you are storing is particularly combustible this can also be very dange

Proper ventilation

The British Holiday & Home Parks Association (BH&HPA) and the National Caravan Council (NCC) have published guidelines for good practice for those who own a static caravan. One section refers to precautions regarding skirting or decking.

Adequate ventilation needs to be considered before your decking is built. It’s a matter of health and safety and some caravan parks will enforce this. Installing ventilation prevents the build-up of dangerous gas underneath the decking.

The guideline of good practice recommends that ventilation should provide ‘at least twice’ the amount of ventilation that is provided in the caravan. It should also sit ‘as low as possible within the skirting wall.’ Should the caravan sit on sloping ground then ventilation needs to be provided at the lowest point. The exact specifications for ventilation within a static caravan can be found in the EN721 document available from the British Standards Institution (BSI).

Holiday homes

Installing a decking area to your holiday home can add both financial value and experiential value to your property. It not only extends the size of your home, but also makes the garden accessible all year round. It makes for a great outdoor dining or entertainment area while also making space to relax.

First things first, you’ll need to investigate whether planning permission is required. You don’t normally need it if your decking area is going to be lower than 300mm high. The best way to check is to go to your Local Planning Authority.

Escape routes

As with the caravan park, a fire safety risk assessment is a legal requirement for all holiday homes.

If you choose timber decking and you’re likely to be having a BBQ or a fire pit, there is a fire risk. If this is something you’re concerned about, bamboo decking is non-combustible.

All floor surfaces within escape routes should be ‘maintainable, even and slip resistant’. If your escape route includes your new deck, ensure that it’s cleaned regularly and has non-slip properties. To cater for all types of guests, also consider installing a ramp or slope to and from your decking for accessibility.

Slip hazards

Minimising slip hazards is also going to be one of the biggest considerations when installing decking in your holiday home. Non-slip decking is a safe and stylish alternative to other, more slippery styles of decks. Our products boast a non-slip guarantee of 15 years. Be sure to clear the deck of algae and moss regularly to maintain it to its fullest.

Installing a sturdy railing or balustrade can also help to prevent an accident if your guests are likely to be families. This will ensure your outdoor decking area is perfectly safe for children to play on.

Do you offer your guests the luxury of a hot tub or a swimming pool? Of course, where there is water, there is a slip hazard. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has guidance related to running and managing swimming pools specifically. They recommend that all surrounding floors have:

  • Slip-resistant finishes
  • A steady, even gradient
  • Surface roughness
  • Moisture displacement
  • Foot grip

Our non-slip decking ranges are safe and bare-foot friendly for use around hot tubs and pools. When it comes to treating the wood, the higher the Usage Class the better. 3 is recommended as a minimum, however, if the deck is constantly exposed to moisture, UC4 or SS4 is best.

Get in touch

There are plenty of key considerations to make when choosing to build decking at a caravan park or holiday home. Ultimately, it will make a great addition to any property so long as you’ve taken precautions and completed risk assessments. The health and safety of your guests will no doubt be a priority.

Our non-slip decking range can give you the peace of mind you need. Know that your guests will be safe no matter the weather or the number of people in the pool!

You can request a quote from us here or get in touch with one of our friendly team members if you have any more questions.

Non-slip decking: what is the best timber to use?

We’ve compiled a comprehensive timber analysis to help guide your decision when choosing anti-slip decking.

Non-slip decking is a great way to make use of your garden all year round. Not only can it be customised and personalised, but it also allows you to create alluring and safe outdoor spaces. Many people choose garden decking to create functional areas for families whilst some just prefer it to a traditional garden.

Softwood and hardwood have their own individual qualities so it’s important to consider what the space will be used for when it comes to choosing the best timber for decking. We’ve compiled a comprehensive analysis between the two, to help guide your decision.

Softwood and hardwood

Hardwood timber comes from trees which are slower to mature. Oak and Beech are just two examples of hardwood trees you might find in the UK. They’re made up of a more complex structure, will lose their leaves in autumn and regrow them in the warmer months. They’re more often found in temperate countries where they will only shed occasionally.

Softwood trees are much faster growing and in great supply. They’re coniferous and retain their needles all year round. Some examples are Pine, Redwood, and Cedar.

Price difference

Price will most likely be one of the biggest deciding factors when it comes to choosing the timber for your non-slip decking. Due to its fast-growing nature, softwood is widely available meaning it has a lower price than hardwood. Hardwood’s complex structure makes it more difficult to process. When combined with how long it can take a hardwood tree to grow, you can justify the higher price.

Other pricing factors may also influence your decision. For example, softwood decking will need treating or staining. It will also depend on where you are building your garden decking and on what type of surface. Will you need to prepare your ground? There are extra costs to consider but, ultimately, adding non-slip decking to your home can add value to a property.

Durability and ease of maintenance

In terms of their durability, softwoods are generally less dense which makes them more susceptible to moisture and rot. However, if the wood is treated and sealed before the decking installation, you can improve its resistance to bad weather. Bear in mind that softwood decking will need annual maintenance to ensure it keeps its look and durability. Most softwood timber decking boards will have a 15-to-20-year lifespan.

Whilst hardwood decking boards require less maintenance than that of their softwood counterparts, it’s still advisable to do so. Softwood or hardwood decking boards are still timber. This natural material is likely to weather and age naturally, so staining, oiling, and cleaning your deck as needed will help to keep it looking fresh.

Hardwood decking is known for its longevity. Woods like Yellow Balau and Cumaru are renowned for their water resistance and their stability and can last for up to 50 years. For the most part, it can be left alone and will uphold its robustness. The average life span for a piece of hardwood decking is from 30 to 50 years.

Look and feel

Look will no doubt be a priority when choosing the best non-slip decking. A garden is an extension of a person’s home. So, the look and feel of it needs to reflect that. As well as coming in a variety of different shapes, sizes and heights, the wood you choose will have the most noticeable difference.

Hardwood decking is more comparable to having an indoor floor outside. It’s typically smoother due to its more complex structure. The shades tend to be dark with a much warmer tone. These can be anything from a brown tone to a darker, golden brown. Hardwood decking is also unlikely to need staining unless you’re after a different look for your garden.

Softwoods are typically a much lighter shade of timber decking. When treated it has a pale green tinge to the wood. Just like a tan, after a few weeks outdoors, it will turn more golden. If you choose to use a stain, then you can make the wood much darker, even closer to a hardwood shade. With softwood, you have more options to customise it.

When you should use each

It’s good to think about what you will be using your garden for when considering the best timber for decking. Will it be exposed to the elements? Will it be a high-traffic area? For example, if you have a swimming pool or a hot tub, hardwood generally has a better moisture resistance.

How heavily will your deck be used? For the average household, softwood decking is perfectly suitable and durable for an average amount of use. If your deck will need to withstand heavy foot traffic and will see lots of use, then consider hardwood.

Another more sustainable alternative is bamboo decking. Bamboo is in plentiful supply so it’s great for the planet. It’s also durable, low maintenance and can last for 30 to 50 years. If you’re trying to make more environmentally conscious choices, then definitely consider bamboo decking as it also absorbs carbon over its lifetime.

Should you choose hardwood or softwood, it can still be done sustainably if you buy from Gripsure. All of our timber is certified under the industry flagship standards of FSC and PEFC and we plant one tree for every order placed with the help of Plant One Cornwall.

Round-up

  • As the price of softwood decking is lower, if you’re on a budget and are more interested in having a great-looking deck for the near future go for softwood
  • If you’re willing to spend a bit more money on your decking and want it to withstand the test of time, hardwood is a great long-term investment
  • Consider bamboo decking for a more sustainable choice or buy soft and hard woods directly from Gripsure where the timber is FSC and PEFC certified
  • Both softwood and hardwood require maintenance – it’s inescapable if you want to preserve your decking
  • We can guarantee a minimum of a 15-year lifespan for softwood and 30 for hardwood and bamboo as well as our 15-year non-slip guarantee

So what is the best timber for decking?

There is no definitive answer to what the best timber for decking is as it all comes down to an individual’s needs, budgets and wants. Both softwood and hardwood have their own unique qualities that make them great for garden decking—it’s all just a matter of preference.

We hope this information has guided your decision. However, if you’re still looking for answers as to which non-slip decking will be the best for your home, have a read through our FAQ or get in touch.

Preparing your ground space for installing decking

So, you’ve decided that installing decking is going to be the latest job for the garden. Whether you’re looking to create an outdoor dining space or just want to spend more time outdoors this year, non-slip decking is a great way to create an inviting garden space all year round.

Apart from our 15-year performance warranty, people choose Gripsure because laying our decking is simple and can easily be installed at home. Before the installation can begin, however, there is one very important first step to get right. Preparing the ground for decking. You need a strong and sturdy base upon which to start installing your deck boards.

Of course, how you prepare the ground will depend on the surface upon which it sits and whether you want ground-level or elevated decking. Here are some of our tips for preparing your ground space for garden decking installation.

A concrete plan

There are plenty of things to think about before you start building your decking; what weight will it hold, how high do you want it to be and what do you want to use it for?

If you are building up from a hard surface such as concrete, then you don’t have to worry about preparing the ground. However, you will need a solid subframe to get things going. Our base plate pedestals can assist with easily and efficiently setting up decking subframes made from wood, wood-based materials or aluminium.

Are you working with uneven or sloping concrete? While level gardens do make it easier to install your own decking, it can be fitted to even the steepest of slopes and still be level.

We offer a range of height adjustors that work to the nearest millimetre and attach to the base plate pedestals. They’re designed to increase the height adjustment between the substructure and the foundation. Construct the subframe of your decking first and from there you can measure the height needed for each adjustor. This gives much more flexibility when you’re installing the deck. Not to mention, they are all heat and frost resistant making them the perfect, hard-wearing accompaniment to your outside decking.

Lay the groundwork

If you are working with grass or soil as opposed to a more solid surface, it doesn’t necessarily mean groundwork needs to take place, but some light work will be needed. Regardless of whether you’re having elevated or ground-level decking, be sure to clear all the debris from the area. Anything that would live underneath the foundations whether it be flowers or weeds needs to be cleared.

Of course, if you consider yourself an adequate landscaper and you’d like to level the ground yourself, that is one way to ensure sturdy, balanced patio decking. Before starting any digging, it’s advisable to rent a cable avoidance tool (CAT) to check for pipes or cables in the area you’re levelling.

Whilst Gripsure’s decking can be laid flush to the ground, we also recommend the use of our base plate pedestals and height adjustors as they can be laid onto uneven ground without having to perform strenuous groundwork. Plus, they’re not only weather resistant but they also offer improved surface drainage which avoids joists being submerged in standing water.

Remember the membrane

If you’re building upon soil or grass instead of concrete, then it’s a good idea to install a membrane underneath your deck first. This helps to prevent weeds from springing but still allows water to permeate back into the ground.

Give any existing weeds a spray with weed killer before you put down the membrane. It can also be a good idea to place a layer of gravel above the membrane to really prevent them from growing.

Pest control

Whether it be bugs, rodents or birds, decking can be just as much of an attraction to pests as it can be for humans. If your decking is surrounded by lots of overgrown hedgerows and uncut grass, then this can be a real magnet for attracting wildlife. So, if you want to keep pests away then it can help to keep on top of garden maintenance.

Wooden decking can also fall foul to things like woodworm. However, if you seal your wood then it will not only sustain your decking in harsh weather, but it also protects from rot, decay and fungi.

Cleaning your decking properly as well as cutting your boards in a way that forms a neat finish with no gaps for pests to sneak in can all help with pest control.

Don't forget!

It is also important to note that some decking can fall under building regulations if they are over 300mm in height, take up more than 50% of your garden or are built within certain proximities to other properties. If you are unsure, we recommend getting in touch with your Local Planning Authority about your project plans before you start.

While there is plenty of work that goes into preparing your ground space for the installation of decking, taking the time and care to do so will really make all the difference to the result. If you have any questions or would like more information, get in touch with one of our friendly team.

Creating a summer garden to make the most of your outdoor space

If you want a beautiful summer garden, now’s the time to stop dreaming and take action. What changes could you make now to improve your outdoor space and make the most of your garden this summer?

From peaceful afternoons relaxing in the shade to balmy evenings under the stars with friends, spending time in our gardens over the summer can be wonderful. Perhaps you are planning a complete garden makeover or just want to spruce up your outdoor space. Whether it’s large or small and whatever your budget, putting in some work now means you can enjoy your garden over the summer. Spring is finally here, so now is the ideal time to get outdoors and start creating your summer garden.

Tackling a major garden project

Taking on a major landscaping project or garden redesign can be a daunting prospect. However, there is still time to upgrade your garden ahead of summer. Maybe you’ve been inspired to add an exciting new element, such as a garden building or children’s play equipment. Or perhaps you want to finally tackle a long overdue landscaping job, such as replacing your old paving or decking.

Any landscaping project, including creating a new deck, needs careful planning but upgrading your garden can seriously enhance your lifestyle. Creating a level space in your garden for seating and outdoor dining, for example, could give you more opportunities to spend quality time outside with friends and family. Installing a deck is usually the cheapest and most cost-effective way to achieve this.

While you’re probably picturing yourself enjoying your new deck on a perfect summer’s day, the British weather means this will not always be the reality. Non-slip decking stays safe when it’s wet. That means you can enjoy your garden between the showers.

A timber deck can completely transform any outdoor space. If you want a really simple way to install a garden deck, our decking kits give you everything you need.

Creating a summer garden planting scheme

If you’re a keen gardener, you’re probably already bursting with ideas for your summer garden plants. Those of you who are less green-fingered can still improve an outdoor space by growing plants that bring colour to your garden over the summer.

Most summer bulbs can be planted outside, in pots or directly in the soil, once the risk of frost has passed. Depending on where you live, April or May is usually the ideal time to plant bulbs, such as agapanthus, dahlias and cannas. That means that you can start researching and buying your bulbs now.

Bedding plants, including lobelia, marigolds and salvias, can usually be planted out from late May onwards. These plants, which you can usually buy fairly cheaply in bulk, are ideal for filling empty spaces in borders. They also work well in pots and hanging baskets. Just don’t forget to regularly water them if we have a dry spell.

Recent years have seen garden trends leaning towards simple colour pallets, with a focus on white and pastel shades. Garden designers and horticulturalists, including experts from the RHS, have predicted a return to colourful gardens in 2022. That could mean bold red, orange and pink summer flowers seeing a comeback. Whatever your taste, you’ll find flowering plants to suit your style and bring your summer garden to life.

Accessorising your summer garden

Little touches can make a big difference in a garden. Picking out a few accessories, such as cushions, wall hangings, lamps and rugs, will turn your outdoor space into a welcoming and comfortable summer garden. Colourful accessories perfectly complement a timber deck. We love these stunning outdoor cushions from Gardenista, which come in a range of stylish colours and patterns. Like Gripsure, Gardenista has designed its products with the unpredictable British weather in mind. Their cushions are weather resistant. That means, although the fabric is beautifully soft, it can withstand a rain shower.

Brightly-coloured accessories look dramatic against dark timber decking, such as our Bamboo non-slip decking. Fresh pastels, on the other hand, complement light timber, like our anti-slip Contemporary decking.

If, like many people, you want to use your deck on summer evenings, you’ll need to consider lighting. Festoon lights and Moroccan style lamps can turn a deck into an enchanting night-time space to enjoy with friends and family.

Sprucing up your garden

Most of us are guilty of neglecting our gardens over winter. It’s likely that yours will need a tidy up to get it ready for summer. The days are now getting longer and temperatures are rising, so this is a great time to get outside and deal with any cleaning and maintenance jobs.

It’s much easier to fix trellises and repair and treat fences now, before the growing season gets underway. Some shrubs and larger plants need pruning to encourage growth over the summer. Before you get too enthusiastic with the secateurs, though, check that spring is the right time to prune your plants.

According to news reports, the shortage of garden furniture is set to continue this year. Rather than investing in a new set, you may instead want to restore your table and chairs. While all garden furniture will benefit from a good clean, you may also need to treat timber items to ensure they stay weatherproof. Alternatively, painting your old timber garden furniture could give it a completely new look.

Spring is a good time to clean your decking and get it ready for summer. We recommend using a good, stiff brush to clear away any debris before giving it an annual clean with a pressure washer. If you have had your timber decking for a few years, it may have faded into a silvery grey. Many people like this look, but you can treat your decking with paints, oils or stains to restore the original colour.

While summer may feel a long way off, warmer weather is just around the corner. Spending some time preparing your garden now will help you make the most of it over the summer.

Looking for some inspiration?

Why not request a free sample of one of our decking products to help you decide what is right for you and your next project?

What’s the best decking? 6 questions to help you make the right choice

1. You want to buy the best decking for your garden, but how do you know what will suit your project?

You’ve decided to go for it and install a deck in your garden, but what’s the best decking to choose? There’s a lot to consider, from your budget to the look and feel you want to achieve. Here are six important questions to ask yourself so you can make the right choice and create a beautiful, practical space to enjoy all year round.

2. How will I use my deck?

It’s a good idea to start by focusing on what kind of space you want to create and how you’ll use your deck. Perhaps you’re longing for a practical space for outdoor dining, a safe area for the kids to play or a relaxing spot to sit and read.

Knowing how you plan to use your new deck could help you decide on the look you want to create. Smooth dark timber boards could be a striking surface for a smart dining area, for example, while grooved light wood decking can beautifully complement traditional planting.

Spending time planning how you’ll use your deck will also help you identify some practical considerations. For example, if you want to host family and friends on the deck, you will want to ensure it’s safe and non-slip, especially if anyone has mobility problems. Equally, to make full use of a quiet corner of your garden all year round, anti-slip decking will stay safe and accessible throughout the seasons.

3. What look do I want to achieve?

Modern or traditional? Cosy or elegant? Country cottage or tropical idyl? The aesthetic you want to achieve in your garden is a personal choice and, when it comes to decking, there are options to suit everyone’s taste.

Consider your house and any other buildings around the deck, as well as the colours in your planting scheme, to decide whether light or dark timber would work best. You could opt for smooth decking if you want a clean, sharp finish. Alternatively, you may prefer the character of grooved timber boards. The Timber Decking and Cladding Association (TDCA) has some interesting insights on smooth and grooved decking.

For a look that’s unique to your garden, you could add some graphic elements. Gripsure DeckArt allows you to incorporate an image or slogan, injecting some personality and fun into your deck.

Bear in mind that, as it is a natural project, timber decking will change colour over time. Many people like this gradual weathering. However, you can maintain and restore the colour using UV stabilisers and stains.

4. How environmentally friendly is the decking?

People are – quite rightly – increasingly conscious of the environmental impact of their purchases. When it comes to timber decking, you can look for two certifications: FSC and PEFC. These industry standards show that the timber has come from responsibly managed forests.

It’s also worth checking out the manufacturer’s environmental credentials. At Gripsure, this is something we are passionate about. That’s why we’re committed to a range of environmental sustainability initiatives, including planting a tree for every online order placed with us. We have also just been awarded ISO 14001, a prestigious internationally-recognised certification, for our commitment to environmental sustainability.

If sustainability is a priority, you may want to consider bamboo decking. Gripsure Bamboo non-slip decking is crafted from Moso bamboo, which grows much faster than other timbers and has a net carbon sink over its lifespan.

5. What's my budget?

While it’s fun to dream of the ideal garden, most of us are constrained by budget. At some point, you’ll have to decide how much you want to spend. The cost of a deck will vary considerably, depending on the size of your plot, whether you need to incorporate steps, and, of course, the type of decking you choose. And don’t forget to budget for the cost of installation if you’re hiring someone in to build your deck.

Generally, boards made from hardwoods are more expensive than softwood decking. However, on average they last longer. That means they could be a good investment, saving you money in the long run. Remember, cheap doesn’t always mean good value. Poor quality decking boards will probably need to be replaced sooner. They may also may not prove to be a good investment when you come to sell your home. On the other hand, experts say the best decking could add as much as 10 percent to the value of your property.

Check out manufacture’s reviews, as well as any guarantees and warranties before making your choice. At Gripsure, we’re so confident in the quality of our decking that it comes with a 15-year performance warranty and every product in our residential range has an expected in-service life of 15 to 20 years.

To get a quote for your deck, you’ll need to measure the size of the space so you can work out how many boards you need. We’ve created a handy decking calculator to do this for you

6. How safe is it?

Whatever your budget and chosen aesthetic and however you want to use your deck, safety should be a serious consideration. While traditional timber decking is a beautiful addition to any garden, it can become dangerously slippery in wet or icy weather. The build up of algae and leaves adds to the problem. Sadly, many people invest in a deck but then find that it’s off limits for much of the year. If you’re building a deck, you want to know you will get the most possible use out of it. Opting for non-slip decking means you can enjoy your deck all year round, whatever the weather.

The best decking for your garden will depend on many factors. Taking the time to consider these key questions will help you create a deck that’s perfect for you.

Looking for some inspiration?

Why not request a free sample of one of our decking products to help you decide what is right for you and your next project?