When you are considering improving your area outdoors, you will find that installation of a deck is a cost-effective and quick way for creating an attractive as well as durable spot for entertaining.
Not only does decking add value to your home, it is simple to care for and help in enhancing the amount of usable space inside the garden. Created from timber, decking is a natural product which infuses warmth in an outdoor area while looking beautiful and staying timeless.
Types of Timber
There are various kinds of timber available in the market for use in decking. These include softwood and hardwood timber decking.
Most common species of timber in the market are:
Yellow Stringy bark
These have some specially created alternatives like:
Modwood (plastic/ wood fibre composite)
Laminated Enspire bamboo decking
Lunar European softwood which is thermally treated
Accoya European softwood which is specially treated
Pros and Cons of Timber Types
One type of softwood is Treated Pine, which being cost-effective, is very popular. It is preservative treated against termite attack and fungus growth. Cypress Pine is not very common for decking in Australia but has the advantage that even without treating; it is immune to termite and fungus attack. It is used for making Pergolas, Picket fences etc.
Durable species of hardwood include Spotted Gum, Merbau, Yellow Stringy bark and Black butt. Merbau is an import from Malaysia and others are hardwoods of Australia. Cypress Pine and Treated Pine are cheaper than hardwoods of Australia.
Colours You Are Seeking
Cypress and Treated Pine are timber of light colour. Merbau is a dark shade of red, while Spotted Gum ranges from cream to red to brown. Yellow Stringy Bark and Blackbutt are hardwoods of paler colour.
Hardwood or Softwood
Softwood such as Treated Pine marks easily and cannot withstand much foot traffic. So the superior choice is hardwood.
Treated Pine wood has an expected life time of 25 years. Durable hardwoods of Class 1 and Class 2 have a service life of around 30 years. But, ultimately durability of timber depends on maintenance procedures.
For instance, nature of coating used (oil based or water based), completion of re-coating based on guidelines of manufacturers, and fixing of suitable hardware (galvanized or stainless steel screws/ nails), determine the longevity of the decking timber.
Age of Timber
This is not crucial, provided timber merchant has stored his timber for decking in a well-protected area. Otherwise, unprotected timber for decking will twist or warp if exposed to moisture or set out in the open yard. Hence, always be firm that timber is as straight as possible.
Choosing a Deck Builder
In some cases, timber merchant may provide a few references to carpenters/ builders, who you can call. You can even approach them to view the work they have done and reaction from clients.
Check if they are a building practitioner with registration and if they are a member of a recognized industry association like MBA Vic or HIA. Ascertain what timber they will recommend, what they have used in their previous projects and whether they will comply with official regulations.
These are all some tips for process of decking.