Your garden is an important place! It helps you relax, entertain and keeps you happy! If your looking to start a new decking project then this garden decking ABC guide will give you all the right information to help you plan and make the most of the space in your garden.
Decking can transform your garden and make it a much more appealing place to relax. But like all good decking and building projects, it must have the right foundations to last the test of time!
What You Will Learn?
This beginners guide to decking will teach you the basics on how to utilize your garden no matter the size.
- What type of decking boards
- The shape of your decking project
- Using LED lights
- Installing stairs
- Using balustrading
- Treating your new timber
Checklist 1: What is the end game?
What is the end game? What will you use your decking for? Are you just improving your garden, or are you looking to use it for entertainment social purposes? These are the questions you will want to ask yourself before you commence your decking project!
- Will it have to hold a hot tub?
- Is it just for general dining?
- Entertaining purposes?
- Is it for a pool surround?
- Quiet reading and sunbathing?
Will it have to hold/load a hot tub?
If this is the case, then you will have to allow for the weight of the hot tub, which means stronger and thicker boards. These are the requests you must make when purchasing your board’s frames:
- Check with your DIY store before buying any materials
- You will need to use hot tub decking boards and use the right footings and frame type
- Remember to allow for draining purposes before choosing a location for your decking
- Non-slip! Remember water is slippery so make sure you purchase boards that are non-slip
- If these are past your budget, then use a non-slip paint
Hot tubs are heavy, and water is slippery! Always remember that you will have to drain your hot tub at some point! Remember this when planning your decking project because flooding can become a real issue when you release over a thousand liters of water!
General Dining Purposes?
If your just planning on using your decking space for general dining then here are some recommendations to consider:
- Allow enough space for your dining table and chairs
- Will you be able to sit and stand comfortably
- Position your decking with the evening sun in mind!
- Use hard wearing decking boards
- Build your decking closer to the kitchen or BBQ
For Entertaining Purposes
Will you be using your decking for parties and entertaining purposes? Then there are some considerations when building your decking project:
- Allow enough space for chairs, table and standing areas
- Railings are a great idea if you will have guests standing
- Stairs will avoid your guests tripping or falling
- Consider a canopy or pergola in case of bad weather
- A non-slip decking board will also prevent trips and falls
For A Pool Surround
If you have a pool and want to surround it with decking, then you will want to consider:
- Enough room for sun loungers, they can be much longer than you realize
- Always use non-slip decking boards when near water
- Handrails are still a great idea, especially for wet and dry towels
- Use stairs at the point of entry this avoids tripping
So, you have decided what you are going to be using your decking project for! Now its time to decide what decking design you are going to use. Below are some favorite designs of mine!
Here are some critical aspects of your build:
Using these simple points, you will be able to plan your decking project and have a far better idea of how your decking project will look like!
Size & Shape
The size and shape of your decking will be restricted by the size and shape of your garden. If you have a big, medium or small garden, then we have some useful tips below to help utilize your space and shape of your garden.
If you have a smaller garden, your decking can still have the wow factor! Because decking will always make your garden seem more significant here are some tips when utilizing space in a smaller garden:
- Position your board’s lengthways; this gives the impression of a more prominent area in general
- Use different levels and make use of handrails and steps
- LED lights also go well in a smaller garden especially at night times and early evenings
- Using mirrors and or reflective material will also give off a more impressive area
A common type of medium/garden is excellent for decking because your project will not suffer the restrictions of a smaller garden! You will have more space to play with, and you can have different shapes and a wider selection of extras. A medium garden can also reap the benefits of lengthways decking boards to create a visually larger area,
TOP TIP* Remember not to get to carried away because you will need to maintain this area once or even twice a year depending on the climate! To keep your decking looking fresh and to avoid deterioration we would recommend you deep clean and stain your decking regularly.
Types Of Decking
Decking is popular, and there is a wide variety of decking boards, rails and other extras sold in your local covers, Days, B&Q, or DIY store. In this section of our ABC guide to decking, you will find the different types of decking, shapes, and extras to give you some ideas for your decking project!
TOP TIP* When measuring your decking area, make sure you use stakes to mark out your space. Connect measuring string to each post and measure the area you are planning to utilize for your decking area. Using this method reduces the chances of over or even under ordering your project.
Choosing a good location for your decking is also an essential part of organizing your decking project. Here are a few tips to getting the most from the position of your project. Choosing the right location is critical to the success of your project:
- Where is your sun in the evening or midday, is your garden south or north facing? This is one of the most critical factors in positioning your project. Do you want the sun in the evening or the morning? But, remember that having the sun beaming down on your decking at midday will age it considerably within a few years.
- Decking does not have to be connected to your house or straight out the door; you can use walkways and have it sitting back from your home. Utilizing handrails and stairs will create a better wow factor and sometimes look much more professional!
TOP TIP* Plan your decking project around utility holes and underground pipes, this will avoid having to remove your decking at a later date because of a burst pipe or blocked utility hole!
Accessing Your Decking
For the final part of your decking project and probably the most basic is where you access your decking. If you’re not using handrails, then this is not something that will concern you, unless you want to use steps for safer access onto your decking! But, if you want that wow factor then using handrails, benches, LEDs and other extras will make all the difference to your project!
- Using steps to access your decking is a must, this is because there is a high chance of a tripping hazard
- In general, there should be two access points to your decking depending on the type of decking look you want
9 out of 10 decking projects will connect your outdoor space to your house, so having an entry point to your main garden will make all the difference to the finished project.