What is a deck?
A deck is a structure made primarily of wood (such as hardwood, composite, or treated pine) that can either be attached to your home or freestanding. Although often built as large balconies on sloping block homes, decks can be built over flat surfaces to create design features or outdoor living spaces. A great deck design idea can take your yard from zero to hero in no time.
What makes a good deck and what types of decks are trending?
According to Houzz Australia, the most popular project for 86 percent of Australians who said they had plans for structural changes to their homes was adding a deck with 43 percent.
“Architects are using innovative wood applications in residential projects, including decking, shielding, cladding and as a decorative lining over a covered deck. There is also a trend towards longer lasting, easier to lay wooden decks with a thicker, wider and more robust profile, ”says Leon Travis, national sales and distribution director for Boral Timber. “In terms of color and type, blackbutt and spotted gum remain an enduring and popular choice.”
- Always build your deck on solid foundations such as concrete slab foundations.
- Make sure the screws, bolts, and nails that hold the structure together are galvanized to prevent rust from forming.
- Screws are best for your deck, not nails, as the nails will eventually loosen when the wood is worn and weathered.
- Always treat your wooden deck with the appropriate oils and surfaces, and maintain your wooden deck by oiling, staining or finishing it on a regular basis.
- Always sort out your approval from the council for new decks before starting construction. Otherwise, you run the risk of being asked to remove them.
- Always use post brackets on your wooden posts as setting them in concrete or directly into the ground will cause the wood to be constantly damp and eventually rot.
- Don’t forget that your deck needs to be repainted every two years to ensure a long lifespan.
“All building codes and Australian standards must be followed when building a deck,” says Leon. “The regulations for structural elements, including post sizes, stress levels, beams and beam spans, are set out in the Australian standard AS1684 Residential Framed Timber Construction and AS1720 Timber Structures – Design Methods. A licensed contractor, architect or engineer can advise you. Local councils can provide details of the relevant regulations. Depending on the size of the deck, detailed plans as well as development and building permits may be required. “
“If your deck is more than three feet from the ground, it must have railings that meet Australian standards,” says Greg Fahey, DIY expert at Better Homes and Gardens. “In general, they must be at least one meter high, must not have any gaps more than 125 mm wide and must not be climbable. Stainless steel cables have higher requirements, depending on how high the deck is. So make sure to check them out if this is the look you are looking for. “
Should a deck be covered?
“Depending on the orientation of the house, the deck can benefit from a cover to reduce the need for frequent maintenance,” says Leon. “Of course, regular cleaning and maintenance of the wood helps to maintain the color and improve the lifespan of the deck. Boral recommends applying a patio finish such as patio oil to the exposed surfaces. Decking oils and finishes manufacturers may recommend reapplying the decking finish more than once a year. “
Can a deck surround a pool?
“Since many pools are positioned in the ground, the problem of the distance between the edge of the pool and the deck must be taken into account,” says Leon. “Water retention and poor ventilation can lead to cupping of the wood. Incorrect fasteners can also stain the wood. The most important thing to remember is to build by code, make changes if necessary, completely seal all the sides, edges, and underside of the decking for protection, and make sure there is cross-flow ventilation that can also aid in water drainage spots Make sure that compatible fasteners are used for wet areas to prevent rust and stains. “
What can decks be made of?
The experts at Bunnings Warehouse suggest hardwoods and treated pine as suitable woods for decks and patios. Hardwoods are durable and resilient and include Jarrah, Spotted Gum, and Merbau. Treated pine is a versatile material that has been treated against rot, fungus, and termites
Another option for decks is to use composite decks. “Composite decks are a material made from wood fiber and recycled plastic, making them a great eco-friendly alternative to wood,” says Greg. “The best thing about composite decks is that they are virtually maintenance free. It won’t rot or warp and all it takes to look your best is the occasional washing up. While it is more expensive than wood options, it saves you time and money on maintenance. “
Austim also reports that composite woods are heavier, stronger, and denser than natural wood alone.
“Australian hardwoods are excellent choices because of their high density, toughness and durability. Blackbutt, Spotted Gum and Tallowwood are known to be great deck wood, ”said Leon Travis, national sales and distribution director for Boral Timber. “Some species, such as blackbutt and spotted gum, are bushfire-resistant woods, with blackbutt also offering termite resistance – properties that are ideal for Australian conditions.”
What types of railings can be used in the deck design idea?
“You can choose a standard like wood palings or stainless steel cord,” says Greg. “A great combination of materials [for railing] is aluminum and glass that fits a contemporary style. If your deck is facing your neighbors, add privacy screens to your railing. Pull a pair of posts over the railing and fill them in between. Grid is a great option. It gives you instant privacy and you can train a creeper over it so you will soon have a living screen that will soften the look. “
10 INSPIRING DECK IDEAS
1. The covered deck
An enclosed deck is the perfect all-weather alfresco living space. The advantage of having a closed deck is that it doesn’t take as much damage as an open deck and can be used all year round. In addition, your garden furniture is protected from rain, hail and sun damage on a closed deck. This design works particularly well because it has multiple “zones”. A conversation area with a coffee table, dining area and rocking chair for quiet reflection.
2. The pool deck
This modern pool deck idea seamlessly connects the indoor dining area with the outdoor dining area thanks to the folding doors that open directly to the pool area. This design is not only suitable for long summer afternoons with swimming, dining and family, but is also practical as the adults like to sit inside and still have a very clear view of all the children in the pool.
3. The observation deck
This wooden decking idea really takes advantage of the view. Almost like a balcony in style, this particular deck idea is sleek and simple with a white concrete fence and simple railing. If you’re attempting a similar look at home, make sure your patio furniture is set up so that conversation can flow freely while you can enjoy the view at the same time.
4. The garden deck in the back yard
If your garden is long and narrow and you are looking for a way to incorporate a small deck-like entertainment area into it, this deck design idea is the perfect solution. A concrete retaining wall means that foliage and shrubbery can be planted high for privacy and give the deck an intimate, sunken conversation room feel reminiscent of 1970s living rooms. Create a center point with a large statue or water feature at the end to create the illusion of height and length.
5. The partially covered wooden veranda
A partially covered wooden veranda plays on the colonial or country atmosphere of older houses and offers an elevated view over a large garden or a piece of land. This deck design idea is perfect for those who just need a small table and chairs to have tea or read the newspaper. It can be adapted to the size and style of the house.
6. The idea of a small deck
If you’re short on space, this deck idea is for you. Located in a corner next to the house, this adjoining patio-style deck offers ample space for an outdoor entertainment area without feeling enclosed or cramped. Lighting is important to create an atmosphere in this type of space. So invest in some weatherproof pendant lights to really play up the warmth of a little deck idea like this one.
7. The idea of not having a backyard deck
No backyard? No problem! If you only have a small courtyard or paved area to spare, don’t despair. A deck can be laid over the room and will freshen it up, give it warmth, and give it a convenient place to relax or entertain rather than a damp, rocky room for the kids to store their bikes in.
8. The modern deck design idea
Not only can decking be used as an entertainment area, it can also be used as a stylish flooring solution to surround your pool. In this case, the terrace is long, elegant and modern and seamlessly connects the indoor living area with the outdoor pool area. The unobstructed inside-out view ensures safety when children are around, and the additional length of the deck provides ample space for lounge chairs and other furniture.
9. The typical wooden deck
The ideas for wooden terraces are wide and varied, but you can’t get past a classic like this one. This deck idea is on the side of the house and has a slightly elevated view over the garden. It has wide, deep, and short steps that lead to an outdoor dining area.
10. The outdoor living area
This deck design idea isn’t particularly big or complicated, it’s just an extra space to lie down and relax in the sun. This type of deck is great for those who want an outdoor space but aren’t looking for something oversized or fussy.