Questions for your garden deck 

Questions for your garden deck 

Questions a designer may ask before proposing a decking solution

When you have decided to ask decking companies for a quotation for a new deck you are going to be asked as series of questions. You can wait until the meeting or you could prepare a list of answers prior to the meeting. These answers will form your brief and expedite the efficiency of the process.

Do you want the decking terrace the same as before?

This is an important question because it challenges the client’s expectations. It’s also the same as asking “why have the same when you could have something more exciting or deck that uses the space better”.

Are you happy with the elevation?

Many inherit a deck when they buy a house and assume its normal, safe and usable. In many cases, there may be a balustrade to the perimeter, this may even be when it’s not needed. It may also be that a balustrade is not present but absolutely essential because of elevation and regulations.

What colour palette are you considering?

There isn’t an obvious choice here because there are several different colour options. light beiges, warmer and richer browns, blues and whites with the grey palettes being still quite popular. Black can be a consideration but does get the hottest on sunny days.

One decking colour or two?

This really means you may consider two colours that work together, light and dark grey or light brown and dark brown. A simple colour combo can add to the style and complexity of the project. The colours should work in harmony with each other. With one colour being the main deck and the other being the perimeter boarder, fascias or steps.

Would you like lighting in your decking?

This should really be “would you like lighting in your garden”? There is nothing worse than too many ill placed up lighters that illuminate nothing whatsoever. Illuminate steps by all means, surrounding features and planting works really well. I think lighting is one of the most important questions for your garden deck.

By keeping the colour in warm white and the lighting design simple will provide more style and intrigue. By separating or spacing out the lights you will create more shadows which creates a more exciting feature.

What style of balustrade would you like?

There are many different styles, from a traditional ranch style in pine through aluminium, stainless cables and steel options. Glass and stainless remains popular but is the most expensive. Budgets range from £200 per linear metre to over £1000.

What’s your investment for the new decking structure?

Decking ranges from (smooth pine) £200 plus vat per square metre to some outrageously high numbers which depend on detail and materials. A premium composite like Millboard Enhanced Grain or Trex Transcend can be in the region of £360 plus vat per sq. m. Hardwoods are falling out of vogue whilst Modified timbers such as Accoya® and Kebony® are becoming more and more popular. Prices of modified timber structures are similar to a premium composite.

If we then assumed a decking structure that’s 900mm off the ground and measures 6 metres wide and 3.6 metres deep. The decking area to include fascia on two sides and 6 steps would be approx.’ 32.3 sq. m.

The decking would be from £5,800 for pine to £11,600 plus vat for a premium composite

The balustrade of 11.6 linear metres would be from £2000 in pine to £4,600 to £5,800 plus vat in a steel or aluminium arrangement. Balustrade is based on Trex Signature railing and Fortitude railing by FH Brundle.

The figures are all plus vat and are a guide for a Professional Decking installer to supply the materials and build your new deck.

Would you like planters, seating or other built in features?

These items look simple but are full of detail and usually require a lot of materials. This is can be a shock to some as the price is generally high for these items. Maybe consider bought in planters or furniture.

What about a fire pit?

Do consider your fire pit carefully because you may damage your decking boards due to the heat. A steel fire bowl will generate high heat directly under it which may melt your deck. Even if you create a platform for a real fire it may spit hot embers which will damage your decking.

Purpose built gas fire pits work well on a deck, generate little heat and look great.

Have you got planning permission?

Planning permission is most often either not considered or ignored. If it’s needed and ignored then you face having to retrospectively apply or you may have to remove it. You can find out more about planning permissions here

There are many questions that will be asked and this list is not extensive. It certainly gives you a good idea of what to expect when your installer or designer has questions for your garden deck.

Karl Harrison designer accoya decking amersham
Questions for your decking designer or installer

March 2023

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