Timber decks have become an integral part of contemporary outdoor living. When properly designed and built, they become a fantastic feature of a home that adds external living space to the property, creates lifestyle benefits and generates a terrific return on a relatively inexpensive investment.
Alternatively, they can be poky, uncomfortable and high maintenance. To ensure that you get the outdoor lifestyle you want, make sure your deck is well designed from the outset:
- Make sure it’s oriented to catch some sunshine that you can enjoy during the cooler months but sufficiently shaded to allow you to use it at the height of summer.
- Make sure it’s big enough for entertaining, including room for furniture, circulation space and ‘summer essentials’ like barbeques and cold drink storage. Consider also whether you want to incorporate food preparation benches, an entertainment system … or even a pizza oven!
- Make sure you specify durable timber and fixings. Decks are invariably exposed to weather and deteriorate rapidly if they are built using inferior materials.
- Make sure you check whether development or construction approvals are required prior to construction … and get them if they are!
- Make sure you maintain the finished “thing” properly to keep it looking good and staying sound for years to come.
- Make sure your builder is registered – or – if you’re doing it yourself – that you have registered yourself as an ‘owner-builder’.