Decking is one of the least expensive ways of extending the living space of your home. Timber has historically been the only material available for your decking construction. Today though, we have a few choices. There are many timber varieties to choose from for your timber decking. Talk to your local deck builder about considering bamboo decking, composite decking, recycled timber or uPVC decking as these options might better suit your needs or style.
There are also many decking designs available. From simple flat decks, rectangular decks or you can consult with a deck builder, such as Acura Developments, to assist with building more complex decks to suit your needs. This article outlines the best things for you to know when it comes to outdoor decking.
If the natural timber look is what you prefer, then the first choice to make is the type of timber you will use. Among the decking timbers available, some popular ones include:
Treated pine would be the least expensive choice. You can stain and polish it so you end up with the look of a more luxurious timber. Pine can easily end up with scratches and dents though as it is one of the softer timbers available. It may be a good choice, but often doesn’t fare well with rough treatment.
For generations, Merbau has been very popular as decking timber as it can be a less expensive option than other hardwoods. The drawback with merbau is it’s a tropical timber and you could be unaware whether sustainable harvesting processes were used or not.
Blackbutt, spotted gum and silver ash are Australian native timbers which are grown and / or harvested sustainably. The spotted gum takes staining well, so may be a good substitute for treated pine wanting a stained deck. Ironbark is termite and rot resistant as it is among the densest of timbers available but it is quite expensive, though. A timber well-loved for its beautiful colour is jarrah. However, there are some concerns that stocks of this slow-growing timber are being exhausted far too quickly.
If living in an area that is known for bushfires, talk to deck builder, Acura Developments, to find out more about which timbers can be used safely in bushfire hazard zones.
Another available option, recycled timber, comes with many advantages. For environmentally conscious home owners, you can be sure that you are not using freshly harvested timber. Second-hand recycled timber has cured over the years and may have that weathered look when raw. After sanding and sealing it though, recycled timber provides you with beautiful patinas.
Any timber chosen will need oiling, sealing and / or polishing. Timber that is oiled and sealed will look more natural in appearance or for a glossier finish, the deck can be sealed and then polished. Before sealing the timber, you will need to sand it and also fill any nail holes.
Bamboo is technically a grass, but is frequently used for a “timber” decking effect. Its fibres are extremely tough. As part of the bamboo engineering process, it is stained so it resembles natural timber types. Engineered bamboo typically comes as long lengths (to max 6.4 meters) and may also be wider compared to a natural decking timber. Bamboo is often considered a “greener” alternative to using natural timbers as it is fast growing as well as often being plantation produced.
Bamboo is a very durable product that will not attract termites, but it still requires maintenance the same timber does. You will need to periodically clean and reseal your bamboo. Pressure washing is also recommended, followed by a thorough resealing.
Composite decking, a wood-plastic composite (WPC), took a while to become popular but these days, it’s now used by many a deck builder as an alternative to using natural timber. The composite decking is produced using a mix of timber off shoots and plastics (sometimes recycled) with chemical agents. WPC is manufactured with the use of moulds allowing for a timber-grain feel and look. Available colours can include natural timber looks as well as a number of different stained look effects.
Composite decking can cost the same as premium decking timber, but keeping it maintained is much easier. It doesn’t require the periodic sand and reseal that natural timber does and is UV-treated so it will resist deterioration and fading. As there can be no rot or termite infestations with composite decking, it would be an ideal option for decks that are in in contact with any grasses or in wet areas including outdoor spa surrounds and pool decking.
Composite decking is a lot harder wearing today than it was in the past. If choosing composite decking, try to choose a long warranty product. It may cost more to get a better-quality deck, but ultimately you will be much happier and your deck will last longer than if you go with an inferior quality of decking.
A second type of non-timber decking is the uPVC (Polyvinyl chloride) decking. In the early days, uPVC decking was known to crack with heat exposure, but your deck builder will confirm that this problem has been overcome with the latest uPVC decking. Design improvements also mean that the uPVC of today resists fading a lot more than in the past. This decking is also termite resistant and when it comes to maintenance, its easy. The same as composite decking though, ensure you choose a higher quality uPVC decking that also has a lengthy warranty. If living in bushfire areas, be sure you look at uPVC decking that is bushfire resistant.
Design Tips for your Deck
You can have an open fair-weather deck or you can enclose it allowing enjoyable use of your deck all year round. With the addition of bi-folding doors, it can turn your deck into an actual home-extension.
Whatever decking material chosen; you will have many design options available. It is best, with the help of your deck builder, to settle on your design before choosing which decking material to use. Elevated decks better suit using timber. Providing it’s high enough to let both top and bottom surfaces of timber “breathe,” the deck will resist rot and remain stable for longer.
You may use natural timbers in your wet areas, but a good deck builder, like those at Acura Developments, would advise that composite or uPVC decking would be better suited. Natural timber placed around any wet area such as a pool or spa requires more regular maintenance than covered timber or areas that only receive minimal rainfall or moisture.
Why stick to just one single level? The installation of multi-level decks creates a stylish and quite often, a more useable deck area. For example, the upper level can be used as a relaxation or entertainment area while the lower deck level is made available for a separate purpose altogether. A multi-level deck installation is a great way of dividing your deck area into zones providing a perfect solution for improving the style and useability of larger decked areas.
Do you have concrete for your patio and wish there was decking installed instead? Talk to an Acura Developments deck builder about installing your deck over your existing concrete patio.
Acura Developments Servicing Brisbane and the Bayside
Even as Restriction are lifting Acura Developments are Managing the risks of exposure to COVID-19 for both our Client and our employees. We are stringently following all the advice and requirements outlined by Safe Work Australia Including but not limited to:
You can download the Building and construction industry: Minimising the risk of exposure to COVID-19 h or visit this link Safe Work Australia. A Business resource kit can also be downloaded here: Business resource kit – COVID-19 .
We are all going through unprecedented times with COVID-19 virus threatening our very way of life. We find ourselves temporarily separated from our families and communities. Acura Developments want you know that we remain at close hand, and we are ready to help and assist with any of your requirements.