Decking has become wildly popular over the past decade, replacing patio as the most common “outdoor living space” extension for the home. Decking has become increasingly popular, especially in places with a dry climate, thanks to its versatility and ability to give people al fresco living.
There are, however, some important considerations that need to be made first before you decide to go ahead and install decking, ranging from picking the right material to how much you want to spend. Here’s the lowdown.
Think About What You’ll Use Your Decking For
Different people use decking for various things. Some people use it as an extra space to lounge around in the warmer months of the year. Others use it for things like cooking and barbecues. If you plan on using it for the latter, you’ll want to include a prep and serving area, perhaps with built-in perimeter seating. You might also want to install a wide, flat handrail around the edge of your decking so that your guests have a place to put their drinks while they’re chatting.
If you plan on using your decking to chill out and snooze, consider installing a fire pit (if local building codes allow it) to keep you warm on those long summer evenings.
Test Your Layout
Before you get decking installed, it’s a good idea to think about the layout and how it will look in relation to the rest of your property. Mark out the footprint of your decking on the ground and then place furniture to simulate what the space will be like. You’ll soon discover whether you need more decking or less. Check whether there is enough room to walk around between the furniture and the edge of the decking.
Get To Grips With The Materials
When it comes to decking, there are many different kinds of materials. The two most popular are artificial manufactured boards designed to look like wood and actual wood. Pressure-treated wood is perhaps the best from an aesthetics point of view, but it’s prone to warping and cracking and requires regular maintenance. What’s worse, real wood can quickly become infested with termites, according to Terminix, especially if it is left in all seasons in an exposed location. The alternative to real wood is manufactured board composite. The good news about composite is that it will last a long time, so long as it is cared for properly. It won’t splinter, crack or rot like an organic material, like wood. The only problem is that it tends to look a bit cheap and tacky compared to real wood and spills can leave nasty stains.
Finally, there’s PVC, another type of manufactured board. Because it’s plastic-based, it doesn’t swell or shrink if it gets wet and it’s very resistant to termites and rot. The only problem with these boards is that they often don’t look very much like wood. Having said that, they’re easy to maintain.
The bottom line is that new decking is a fashionable and exciting way to add more space to your home. But before you jump in and get new decking, do some careful planning first.