For those that love to spend a lot of time outside, outdoor decking offers the best way to create the perfect entertaining, relaxing, dining and sundowner space.
With its year-round good weather, South Africa is blessed with plenty of sunshine and mild days, making a deck even more of a good investment for your home.
In fact, many property agents list decks and well-designed outdoor areas to be one of the top factors that can increase the value of a property. This is because the garden area will often leave the biggest impression on potential buyers – particularly if there is ample space for enjoying leisurely sundowners, al fresco meals and lazy afternoons on a beautifully made deck.
How do you go about choosing the right outdoor decking for your home, and what should you keep in mind to make sure that you get the most from your deck?
Getting Started with Outdoor Decking
There are a few things to consider before you begin the process of setting up a timber or composite deck in your garden. If you have some DIY experience, you can do the installation yourself, but for best results, it is usually best to consult an expert who can help you design and install the deck properly. Some of the things that you will need to consider include the following:
The two main types of decking material to choose from are wood timber decks, and composite decks. Composite decks are made from a combination of recycled materials such as wood and plastic, resulting in a long-lasting, good looking deck. Timber is a traditional material used for decking and lots of other outdoor applications. The natural textures and colours compliment the environment it is often used in.
Planning your Deck
Once you have decided what material to use and whether you will install it yourself or have it installed by an expert, you will need to do some planning and measuring. You will need accurate measurements, so use the right tools (tape measure and spirit measure will be needed). Determine where you want the deck to be positioned, and whether any structural changes are required to the ground, nearby trees or the property. You can also consider how you will be using the deck. Will it be placed around your pool, be positioned for a Jacuzzi or set up to make a small space to fit a few chairs?
Look and Style
Maintenance and Care
Decide on how much time and money you are prepared to spend on maintaining your deck. Timber, when used for decking, should not be varnished. It should be oiled to keep the natural moisture and colour. If maintained regularly, timber decking can last for years. Composite decks can be cleaned easily without any special care.