How to Choose the Right Outdoor Decking for Your Home

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 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:

Deck material.

Wood may seem like a good choice, but there are many benefits to considering composite wood decking, which is not only better for the environment, but also more durable and easy to maintain compared to traditional timber. Composite decks are made from a combination of recycled materials such as wood and plastic, resulting in a long-lasting, good looking deck that does not splinter, wear down, mould or perish with wear and tear. In coastal areas, this is especially useful, as wood decking is prone to damage over the years due to wind, moisture and salt.

Decking installation.

Depending on your DIY skills, you could choose to do the installation yourself, or hire an expert with experience in dealing with deck installation. If you are using composite deck material, the installation is fairly straight-forward. If you are unsure or would rather leave things to the specialists, it is essential to find an installer who is accredited and qualified to do the job properly. A badly installed deck can be unstable, so it’s best not to take chances.

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.

Another benefit of composite wood decking is that you have a wide range of choices in designing the look and feel of your deck. Envirodeck decking boards are reversible in texture, with a ribbed design on the one side and smooth finish on the other. This type of versatility allows you to create a tailored aesthetic design to suit your outdoor area.Some styles are made to mimic the look of real wood, so if you are traditionalist, there is an eco friendly solution to a more natural feel. Practical is always better than trendy – aim for a simple colour and style that suits the rest of your house rather than something flashy that may not be ideal in a few years time.

Maintenance and care.

Wooden decks require regular care and upkeep, which could include recoating, sanding, replacement of boards and any number of things. Composite decks on the other hand are easy to care for, and can be cleaned easily without any special care. Individual boards can be easily repaired or replaced, without the entire deck being affected. This means far less chance of expensive maintenance or repair down the line, which in turn, increases the value of this decking option immensely.

If you’re looking for a cost-effective, environmentally friendly outdoor decking solution, Envirodeck offers a diversity of deck options to suit your needs.