If you have the skills to work with timber and the tools that go with it, this article will guide you on how to easily build a timber deck.
Typically, you want to construct a timber deck so you can:
- Maximise your living space
- Avoid the high cost of concrete or brick construction
- Take advantage of the greenery and the topography or layout of the land
4. Add the final stamp of high fashion to your property.
Before you begin, you will have of course, checked out hundreds of deck designs both online and in print magazines. Did you by any chance see designs with bi-fold doors? When you use bi-fold doors you can seamlessly extend your interior space into the outdoors.
I’m guessing that you will have also gone through the local council regulations pertaining to building of timber decks and that the design you’ve selected to implement meets local council regulations or can be modified to do so.
Materials you will need for building a timber deck
There are lots of different types of timber available. Whichever timber you select to work with, it must have a long life, i.e. be able to resist the elements and also be easy to work with and maintain. These days, timber meant for outdoor use is usually specifically treated for outdoor conditions so do make sure you select the variety that has been treated.
Types of Timber available for building a timber deck
2. Hardwood and,
3. Synthetic wood
Softwood is generally made from pine. In days gone by, softwood was not preferred since it had low durability because termites loved it. These days however, most timber meant for outdoor use including softwood is treated chemically so it can withstand against termites and other creatures that love to build nests in wood.
Softwood is easy to work with especially if you need to bend it a bit. You can implement very elegant deck designs, especially Pergolas using Softwood. You can also use softwood in conjunction with hardwood. Supports for example, should ideally be made from hardwood.
Softwood is relatively cheaper than hardwood.
Quality hardwood can be polished to a high sheen and has a grand effect on your timber deck. While hardwood costs more than softwood, it lasts longer and is stronger than softwood (which makes it ideal for use as supports and flooring). It is naturally resilient to insect damage and if chemically treated, will last a life-time.
Hardwood possesses a richer timber hue than softwood making it easier to polish and obtain any shade of timber colour your fancy.
When selecting hardwood, I recommend you opt for the ‘seasoned’ (i.e. kiln-dried hardwood) variety as against the un-seasoned variety. The seasoned variety is easier to polish and the seasoning increases its lifespan even further.
Timber Deck Ideas Worth Considering
Build your timber deck adjacent to your living room and use bi-fold doors to help seamless integration with your existing living space. The nearer the kitchen is to the deck, the better.
A north-facing deck will receive the winter sun while shading you in the summer. Even if you do not have neighbours in the immediate vicinity, consider installing a lattice screen.
Install railings and a child-proof gate (you don’t want children of your guests accidentally falling off).