[Guide] How To Plan Decking For The Garden

A garden deck can be a great structure to extend your living space to the outdoor area and enhance the home value. While the planning process is relatively daunting and time-consuming, it can save you a lot of time and money. Keep reading to find out important factors and necessary steps on how to plan decking for the garden.

1. Plan the budget

Just like any other DIY project, the first thing you need to do is planning the budget. The design and building of your deck will heavily depend on how much you are willing to spend. Keep in mind to take into consideration the cost of labour, materials, permissions, and any landscaping during the project.

Also, make sure to make a budget before designing the garden deck so that you can know what to include or exclude.

2. Determine your needs

Determine what you will be using your garden deck mostly. Do you want a space to organise lots of outdoor parties during the summer?

If so, it is sensible to design a wide-open and large deck. If you just need a spot to relax and sit outside, a smaller structure is ideal. Always think about the function of your deck so that you would design it accordingly.

Also, decide which type of furniture you will be putting on the deck. In case you want to place a fire pit, a table, or a couch, keep in mind to leave adequate space for those items in the plan. Also, keep the area spacious enough for easy manoeuvrability.

3. Create your desired design

For this step, you can pay attention to the deck at your friends’ house for inspiration. Also, it is a good idea to search online to see some trending styles and designs. Here are a few decking ideas to get inspiration for your design:

Next, you need to figure out the shape and size of your garden deck. The most popular option is typically rectangular because it is easy and cheap to build. If you have more money, consider adding angles and curves to your decking design for an improved look.

Also, break up space with shapes to make it practical. For instance, if you want to place some chairs or loungers on your deck to create a sitting area, a circular design can extend off the space and work well with the chairs.

Also, plan the size of your deck as well. Always keep in mind that a larger design will cost more to construct. Also, make the deck size proportionate to that of your garden and house to ensure the harmony. You might not want a deck which is larger than your home or covers most of the grass in the yard.

Basically, a deck should be around 20 or 30 per cent of your house’s total square. As said earlier, breaking up the decking space with shapes in an effective technique to make a large deck fit well with the existing structure.

4. Select a colour

It is not unusual to leave a deck unpainted if you want the surface look more natural. But when you decide to paint the deck, make sure to select a tone which can pair well with your house’s exterior.

To make it outstanding among other structures around, consider adding bright shades such as green or blue. Go with charcoal or grey if you want to hide dirtiness.

5. Choose the right material

The decision on decking material will mainly depend on your needs. If you have a tight budget, pressure-treated wood is the most affordable option to build a deck. However, it is also less durable than other materials, so you need to stain the whole surface once per year for long-lasting use.

For the best durability, there is no option better than cedar. While it can be relatively expensive, this material can last up to 15 or 20 years without cracking or warping.

A composite deck, which is typically constructed from recycled plastic and wood, requires least time and effort on maintenance tasks. It is more expensive than cedar and pressure-treated wood, but you won’t need to worry about it cracking, warping, or rotting. All you need to do is washing off the deck with water and a good decking cleaner to keep it in the best conditions (algae are everywhere!).

Other popular options include exotic woods for appealing visuals and aluminium for insect and water resistance.

6. Add extra touches

Once you have finished planning the deck, consider adding some extra touches for other benefits.

a. Transition area

You can design a path running from the stairs of your deck to the garden to create a transition area. This will help connect this structure with the whole yard and garden. For better results, it’s better to plant some flowers or shrubs around the edges.

b. Skirting

Skirting can hide dead grasses or anything that you are keeping under the deck. To have more dimension, you should select skirting with a strong and bold colour or design. If you want a more minimalist appearance, go for a plain skirting with the same tone as the deck.

c. Covered area

Adding a covered area can be a great option to create shade in your deck, especially in the summer. If you only want partial shade, consider building a pergola. For full shade, have an awning incorporated into your decking plan.

Here is our guide on how to build decking for a sloped garden.

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