If you want to enhance the look of your garden, but don’t have the time for lots of gardening, then timber decking may be the solution. Nowadays decking comes in a variety of colours and patterns, and with a little bit of once-a-year care can last for years.
Decking is traditionally used in place of a patio, leading from the back door down to the grass. However there are plenty of other outdoor spaces that are suitable for decking. If you’ve converted a garden shed in to a home office, then decking outside the door can add to the look of a professional work space. If you have a pool, decking instead of a tiled surround will be less cold in the spring, and less rough on bare feet, as well as being less slippery when wet.
Other alternatives include using decking on the floor of a balcony, or if you are considering a roof terrace (if you have a flat roof space over a garage for example) then decking makes an excellent base. The wood is light enough to not damage the ceiling underneath, and it can be decorated with potted plants, or a trellis along the edge with vines, to create a quiet outdoor space without losing any lawn.
If you think that decking will be a series of dull, straight-marked planks set in a square or rectangle, think again! A good fitter will work with you to work out a particular pattern or setting that suits your style. From a basic, diagonal setting through to a herringbone. You can also have unlined wood, which could be laid to make a central diamond shape, or used to frame the edges of the pattern.
Traditionally decking is kept brown, but at least with different stains you can have different shades that look like other types of wood, from a dark chestnut or elm, through to the paler creamy tones of cedar, or the reddish hints of teak. Alternatively if you think brown wouldn’t match with the outside of your house, you can also stain the wood with a few shades of grey, such as slate.
A lot of people are concerned about how frequently they need to clean their decking and whether the wood rots in the damp British winters. The good news is that decking is easy to maintain. The wood is treated to prevent it moulding and rotting, but you can add a layer of clear varnish if you want. As for cleaning, a hose and a quick scrub with a stiff brush at the beginning of spring can help refresh the colour for the warmer weather.