Love your garden – Love decking

deckingWhether you’re looking to create a focal point in your garden or your very own alfresco entertainment space, decking is the perfect addition to any garden, creating a family-friendly, easy to maintain space for dining, relaxing, or entertaining.

Outdoor balustrades can help to define the decking area, creating the impression of an ‘outdoor room’, adding a feeling of spaciousness to your home by blurring the boundaries between inside and out.

But before you start to build your dream decking area, there are a few things to bear in mind. To help get you started there are a few handy design hints:

Planning permission

The position of your decking can depend on planning permission limitations. If you don’t want to go through the hassle of securing planning permission for your decking, make sure it’s no closer than 20metres to a main road nor more than 3metres in height. If your decking is raised above this height, planning permission should be sought. Outdoor balustrade should be added as an essential safety barrier on any raised decking area that is over 600mm above the ground. Higher decks should consider commercial 1100mm balustrade rather than 900mm domestic specification.

Building Regulations

To make sure your decks are compliant to current building regulations ensure support posts are firmly anchored by a concrete footing.  Joists also need to be properly fixed to the supports and to the house, to ensure that the deck is stable. Minimum joist dimensions should be in the region of 150x50mm at 400mm centres. You will also have to calculate the span of the deck joists between supporting posts.

 

Location Location

Before designing your decking you should consider where the sun will be at different times of the day. Also, will your new deck be protected from prevailing winds, by fences, walls or buildings? Finally, will the decking interfere with any household services; in particular will it affect access to drains or vents? If so, access to these may need to be built in to the design.

Size matters

As with any home extension, you should try to make the improvements look as though they were part of the original house. Therefore size should be taken into consideration when designing your decking. A small deck on a large house may look like an obvious addition, rather than an organic part of the house. Similarly, oversized decking on smaller houses or in compact outdoor spaces can look equally out of place.

 

On the slopes

One of the best ways to make the most out of a garden with a slope, especially one that slopes away from the house, is to fit multi-level decking and outdoor balustrade. Not only can this add interest to the garden design and break up larger areas, it also makes uneven or sloping gardens more useable and safer.

Follow these top tips to create a garden you’ll love all year round.


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