Two tips for building a durable deck

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Harry's Home Improvement Blog

Hello, my name is Harry and this is my home improvement blog. Welcome! On this blog, I will be discussing many different home improvement and construction topics. I should explain that I am not a professional contractor. However, I have just come to the end of a home renovation project which took over 2 years to complete. During that time, I worked with dozens of different contractors in order to get my house into shape. I have spent hours working alongside plumbers, electricians, surveyors and roofing specialist. I learnt so much about their different trades that I decided to start this blog.


Two tips for building a durable deck

21 August 2017
 Categories: Construction & Contractors, Blog

A deck is a fantastic addition to any property; in addition to providing a comfortable space in which to dine or relax outdoors, it can also potentially increase the overall value of your home. Here are two ways to ensure that your new deck stays in excellent condition for years to come.

Choose the right decking timber

No matter how skilled your chosen contractor is and how carefully they install the deck, the completed structure will not remain standing for very long if the wood you purchase from your decking timber supplier is not appropriate for the climate in which the deck is to be built.

For example, if you live in an area which is susceptible to heavy rain or consistently high humidity levels, you must use a timber which will be able to withstand regular exposure to moisture. In this scenario, hardwoods such as oak or teak would be the wisest option, as these are naturally resistant to moisture-induced damage. In wet or humid conditions, softwoods like pine are likely to develop wet rot and mould within a matter of months.

Whilst hardwoods are generally more expensive than their softer counterparts, decking made from the former is likely to perform far better (and survive for much longer) than the latter. As such, hardwood decking should be seen as an investment that will almost certainly save you a lot of money in the long run.

Make sure your contractor preps the construction area correctly

If a deck is built on a weak foundation, it will quickly develop structural issues which will not only be costly to fix, but could also make the decking dangerous to stand on.

For instance, if your deck is constructed on loosely compacted soil, it will eventually begin to sink into the ground. If this should happen, the surface of the decking might start to slope to one side and the entire structure may become unstable and unsafe to use.

Given this, it is crucial for your contractor to create a stable foundation for the deck. This should involve removing rocks, shrubs with large root systems and weeds from in and around the area in which the deck is to constructed. They should then dig a shallow trench and fill this space with concrete, in order to establish a structurally sound base. The construction of the deck itself should only begin after the concrete has fully hardened.