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Everything You Should Consider About Garden Decking Before Buying

12 July 2019


Composite Decking 3 | Harrow Fencing Supplies

Garden decking is a great addition to any home. It’s customisable in shape, size and design; it’s versatile in practicality and use; it’s easy to maintain, and it’s even easier on the eye. To get the most out of your garden decking, it’s important it aligns with the style and requirements of your garden, is maintained well and is constructed correctly. This may seem like a lot to take in, but finding and installing your perfect garden decking couldn’t be easier. In this guide, we’re going to provide you with all the information you need to do just that. This is Harrow Fencing’s comprehensive guide to garden decking.

Why buy garden decking?

If you’re still sitting on the fence about whether or not to get garden decking, consider the many benefits and uses. 

  • Garden decking provides a solid foundation to place chairs, tables or other furniture. This creates a more sociable outdoor area, enabling you to host BBQs or outdoor events more easily.
  • Garden decking looks stunning. There are a wide range of finishes and styles available, providing a unique look to your garden that still aligns with the style of your home.
  • Decking balances out sloping or uneven areas. 
  • Garden decking creates a softer and more natural feel than other alternatives, such as stone paving. The natural complexion from the wood also complements plant life.

Which wood should you use?

Garden decking is available in a wide variety of timber. It’s important to consider the various features of your garden and choose a corresponding wood that caters to it. For example, if a large portion of your garden is in the sun, your garden decking will require a timber with a good level of UV resistance. This wouldn’t be as important a feature if you have a predominantly shady garden. You may even wish to implement different types of timber in different areas if your garden has patches of both sunlight and shade.

Take a look at some of the most popular timber types and their advantages:

Oak – A traditional wood that provides a rustic feel. Oak is a relatively inexpensive hardwood that is reliably stable and durable. It is also UV-resistant.

Teak – Another stable and durable hardwood that provides a contemporary feel. Teak also possesses a natural oil content that repels insects.

Pine – Pine is a great option if you’re on a budget. The inexpensive softwood is malleable and easy to work with. This is a good choice if you’re planning on building the garden decking yourself.

Cedar – Cedar is naturally weather-resistant, making it a great option for outdoor use. It is also resistant to rot, decay and insect attacks. 

Spruce – Spruce is a creamy-yellow colour that complements nature’s pallet of greens and browns. It is also very durable.

Not all woods are created equal. Make sure you look out for the Deckmark symbol when searching for timber. This is a hallmark of good timber as granted by the Timber Decking Association. It will indicate that the timber is of high quality and will be less likely to rot, warp or crack.

How to maintain garden decking

If you treat your garden decking regularly, it should last at least 25 years. Maintenance isn’t a particularly time-consuming task, but it is important if you want your garden decking to look great for years to come. Here are some tips:

  • Pressure wash your garden decking a few times a year to remove a buildup of dirt or algae. You can also use deck cleaning solutions if you so wish.
  • Check your decking regularly for any issues, including splintered wood or cracks. These will only get worse over time, so attending to them earlier is the best course of action.
  • Check for any loose boards; these could be a safety hazard. Replace or repair any boards that come loose.
  • Be wary of the shaded parts of your decking. These won’t dry out too easily and can become prone to algae and moss build up. Use a mould/algae remover if you notice a buildup.

Which layout is best?

Every garden is different, meaning garden decking layouts will differ also. The purpose of your garden decking will greatly influence its layout. Is it there for aesthetic purposes only? Or is it being used to complement a pool? You may wish to cover the entire garden in it, or only certain areas. Only you can decide which is best for you, but here are a few tips to give you some guidance:

  • You could implement your garden decking to create distinct areas. You may wish to use garden decking to signify a pool area and separate garden decking to signify a BBQ area. 
  • You could use your garden decking layout to improve the overall appearance of your home. Deck boards placed at right angles to your home tend to draw the eye towards the garden, whereas those that run parallel generate an illusion of width to the house.
  • Ensure your garden decking is placed in areas with complementary surroundings. Timber decking fitted near a lot of timber may make it feel overcrowded, but placing it near healthy greenery will generate a more relaxed feel.

How to lay a garden deck yourself

It’s possible to install a garden deck yourself. Just follow our 10-step deck building guide.

Step 1: Lay a deck of fabric over the earth before starting. This will prevent your deck from becoming infested with weeds. 

Step 2: Cut your timber into four parts of equal length and join them together with screws. This is your base frame.

Step 3:  Cut four blocks and screw them vertically to the inside of your frame at each corner, ensuring that the top of the block and the top of the frame are level. This will hoist the frame up off the ground. These legs will be taking all the weight, so ensure they are fitted tightly.

Step 4: Add three joists of equal distance apart from one end of the frame to the other. Ensure the joists are level with the top of the frame.

Step 5: Add extra legs to support the joists. Follow the same instructions as step 3 for these.

Step 6: For the facing, cut decking boards to the exact measurements as your frame. Countersink thes facing and fix to the frame.

Step 7: Measure across the top of the frame and cut a board to the same length. Place this first board level to the outside of the frame and perpendicular to the joists.

Step 8: Countersink screw holes over the centre of each joist.

Step 9: Incorporate a 5mm expansion gap to account for the wood contracting or expanding as the temperature changes.

Step 10: Continue this process until your garden deck is finished. 

Can I get professional installation?

Constructing a simple, garden decking yourself isn’t overly-complicated, but constructing a high-quality garden decking that utilises design elements, multiple materials and is guaranteed to last over two decades? That’s where you’ll need professional help.

Harrow Fencing provide an array of different garden decking to match each customer’s personal requirements. Whether you’re in need of a small decked area for relaxing or a large decked area for social events, we can help. We offer a huge selection of timber, designs and finishes, all constructed and expertly installed by our team of fully trained professionals. We serve customers in Harrow, Hillingdon and London. Contact us to hear more.


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