Planning Your Deck
Posted by Kerry Wilson on
Whether you’re planning a brand new space, replacing a tired timber version or covering on old paved patio, before you start it’s worth considering the following:
What will you use your deck for?
Dining? Sunbathing? A hot tub or paddling pool? Just sitting and enjoying the fresh air (or a glass of wine after work)? A safe place for children to play games? Or simply to make more of an area of garden that currently serves no purpose?
How big does your deck need to be?
There may be a fixed space like a balcony or terrace that needs filling. But how many people are going to be using it at one time? Just you or you and your partner? Or will the whole family be out there? Will you be entertaining? What furniture do you have and what will you need?
A 3m x 5m deck (15sqm) against the back of house will comfortably sit two people in chairs or loungers; a bistro table set would also fit leaving plenty of space to get through doors and to add planters or a barbeque.
A 3m x 8m (24sqm) deck should be enough for a family of four, giving space for dining and seating
Add another 12sqm and you can plan for some serious entertaining!
One last thing to consider: don’t let the deck dwarf the house or the garden. One rule of thumb is that a decking area should be no bigger than the largest room in the house; another is that it shouldn’t take up more than a third of the garden.
Will you want to be in the sun or the shade?
Where do you currently sit in your garden – in full sun or in shady corners? Consider where the sun is at different times of the day or the year. Will you be using your deck all day, every day or just evenings and weekends? Adding an awning, parasol or sail will give you best of both worlds while a permanent gazebo or pergola gives you protection without the hassle of setting shade up each time you need it.
Does it need to be next to the house as an extension of an indoor room?
Or can it be in a quiet corner to escape the daily bustle indoors? Somewhere you can’t hear the TV or the washing machine or the kids bickering..? Consider how and where you’ll be storing cushions and furniture in bad weather (and this is the UK after all!). You don’t want to be sprinting too far if the heavens open and you need to get kids, cushions, drinks, books, toys etc inside in a hurry. Your deck needs to be an easy space to use – not one that needs careful planning and weather app consultation.
What will you use it for in ten years? Twenty years?
If properly installed our composite decking will last for decades. Is your family still growing or will children be moving away soon? How many bedrooms does your house have? If those rooms aren’t filled with children, will you have regular guests? And will the way you use your deck change as you and your family get older and want different things from the space?
The one thing you can be sure of is that once built, your composite deck won’t fade, warp or rot; it will never need sanding, staining or painting. And, if you’ve planned it well, you’ll be able to use it all year round – adding shade if it’s hot, heating and blankets if it’s cold. A beautiful, useful extension to your home for many years to come.