Garden Decking Cost
All you need to know about getting decking installed in your garden, including costs of materials and labour, frequently asked questions and things to consider.
Decking is a great way to make the most of garden space that would otherwise go unused. With decking you can transform steep slopes and uneven areas into a level space for entertaining and enjoying the outdoors. Timber is the material of choice as wood has an inherent warmth and beauty, which fits almost all surroundings and works well with other materials. Timber is also very flexible in terms of design, offering huge scope to create unique spaces. Decking is particularly good for sloping ground and provides an easy transition between different levels, perfect in conjunction with bi-fold patio doors, helping to connect indoor and outdoor spaces.
Costs of Hiring a Decking Specialist
Things to consider when having decking installed
When planning a garden deck, there are a few things you should consider before hiring a contractor. First of all, you need to decide on the location then check to see if this will interfere with any drain covers or any other services. At this point you should also consider the impact the deck will have on your neighbours, as if you require planning permission, they will get an opportunity to object. Consider how you intend to use the decking when deciding on a location, for example, are you looking for sunny exposure or do you prefer the shade? At the planning stage, you should also think about whether you are going to add a hot tub or other heavy structure, as this needs to be taken into consideration during the design and build and is much more difficult to change at a later date.
You should also bear in mind that the decking will require regular maintenance, the degree of maintenance required depends upon a number of factors such as the quality of the timber used, the construction and the location. Well designed and constructed timber decking should last 15 years or more with no requirement to apply preservative treatments as long as basic maintenance is carried out. Fortunately, the maintenance required is pretty simple, regular brushing to remove organic debris plus perhaps a water repellent coating used to nourish the wood every other year. However, any decorative stains will also need to be refreshed to maintain their appearance every few years depending on usage and weather.
Consider also that sloping or difficult terrain will have a major impact on the cost, as will the clearing of shrubs and bushes etc. However, once decking is in place, the garden area will be much more usable and good quality decking which is well constructed will likely add value to the home come resale time.
Doing it Yourself
Decking is a big job, very labour intensive, but quicker to install than other landscape gardening tasks such as paving. The building of a deck is relatively straightforward, though high decking or decks which are required to take a hot-tub may need some expert advice. Softwood is used more often for decking as it is usually less expensive and easier to work. However some hardwoods offer rich colours and are very appealing, plus they offer more impact and abrasion resistance, so are better for projects which are anticipated to have a lot of heavy use.
If planning to build a deck DIY, note that building regulations can be an issue even with small decks. It is always worth checking with local authority before you spend any money on decking or begin any construction. If you are going to build a substantial deck, keep neighbours informed and on-side from the start and be prepared to alter your building plans if they object.
Decking is too difficult for one person to do on their own, so the assistance of a handy friend (or two) is highly recommended for any decking project. Everyone involved in the construction should wear protective safety gear when necessary and you should ensure you have all the correct tools and equipment to do the job safely.
If securing your decking with concrete footings you need to make absolutely sure there are no cables or pipes underneath where you are going to excavate. use a detector to check and if any services are found in the proposed excavation area, you should reconsider your decking plans as damage to cables or pipes could be horrendously expensive and dangerous. Plus you may have to install a hinged trap door to allow future access to the services. Remember that you cannot simply timber off-cuts as pre-treated timber decking will produce toxic smoke and ash, so you need to dispose of any off-cuts properly.
If at all possible, you should plan the decking to avoid any existing features like trees or posts, as working around them will increase the difficulty and add to the cost as they will require additional sub-structure to frame around the obstacle. If you do decide to work around a tree, you need to leave some space for the trunk to thicken and for it to move in heavy winds. The amount of room you need to leave will depend on the species and how fast growing it is.
Hiring a Decking Specialist Checklist
- Ask if they will remove any old decking, and what cost they'll charge if they do.
- Will the decking be treated
- Ask how you should maintain the decking, how often does it need doing?
- Do you want a sunny or shaded location and is privacy a requirement?
- Will the deck's location interfere with services, like drains?
- Is a hot-tub or other heavy structure going to be added at a later date?
Hiring a Tradesman Checklist
- Always get at least 2 quotes before hiring.
- Never pay the full amount upfront.
- Get the quote in writing.
- For any payment you make, always get a receipt.
- On more expensive jobs, ask for references.
- Check if the tradesman is a member of any trades associations.
- Make sure the tradesman has public liability insurance.
Do I need planning permission?
Will the deck be safe to walk on if it gets wet?
How long will decking last?
Can I install a hot tub on my garden decking?
Do I need a balustrade?
Decking approx 5.6 meters x 2 meters, height approx 7.5 meters high. One set of steps and handrail with ballustrade all round the decking. Quotes welcome for hard and softer less premium quality wood to see the difference. Many thanks
Submitted by Megan
Remove 80 square meters of rotten decking that's on a concrete pad then supply and fit new decking.
Submitted by David
Supply and fitting of decking required.
Submitted by David
Replacing existing wooden decking.
Submitted by Mark
Decking that already down needs replacing maybe not the frame just the boards on top with composite boards. It is approximately 12ft x 13ft.