We build and install decking.
There are timber and composite decking options readily available now from many sources. Timber decking can be machined from either softwood or hardwood planks and there are various options on the surface finish, either smooth, ridged or some now have anti slip tread in them. These are largely through your choice but most clients have a ridge finish to aid anti-slip properties.
Composite decking is gaining in popularity; it offers greater choice of colours and requires less maintenance than timber. There are various surface finish options available but like all products you get what you pay for. To clarify that for you…. If you are looking at composite decking products bear in mind you are essentially installing plastic slats on the floor, when wet these can be very slippery, especially with beer or wine added!
Decking needs to be laid with a suitable timber sub-frame, softwood treated timber is fine for this purpose but needs to be kept from contact with wet earth. Most guarantees on timber explicitly exclude this in the warranty! This deck sub-frame should be constructed from treated timber and fitted at suitable spacing offering enough support. Done badly your nice hardwood table will create sag (or worse in that collapses) in the deck and all that effort (and expense) is for nothing.
Done well, timber decking can provide useful space and enhance a garden. It is ideal where it is impractical to remove large amounts of spoil or sloping ground where importing vast amounts of hard core to create a level base for paving is not practical.
To be done well it is important to remember that in our UK climate the deck needs to be kept from wet ground contact. I have seen many a nice looking deck actually built and set down on to earth which will get wet. This in turn soaks the timber and within a few years the base is rotting and the deck is beyond help in some cases.
Please bear in mind that decking done right is not a cheap alternative to patios. If you have timber decking it will require regular maintenance to keep the timber in good order. More details on maintenance can be found here.
Below you can see a series of pictures of a deck build that covered an old concrete base and was extended across and adjacent piece of lawn. This work was completed in 2014 but is a good example of softwood deck using basic materials but constructed in the best possible way! We also carried out the adjacent brick edging, raised bed and gravel garden works.
Please click on the images for details.