mInstalling a decking area can create a versatile zone for property owners to make the most of their outdoor space.
Properly planning a decking area will ensure the perfect space is created. This article will look at how you can ensure your decking is finished to the highest standard and stands out from the rest.
The article will consider the installation process and extra touches needed to transform your outdoor living space and give your property an area that is perfect for families and entertaining.
Choosing Your Deck
The first step to creating a perfect outdoor living space is choosing the decking boards. You will need to ensure the decking area is sturdy, safe, and looks great.
A long-lasting, low-maintenance deck board material is recommended for decking areas. This will guarantee longevity for your investment and minimise the time and expense of maintaining it.
Composite decking is a popular choice in the UK because of its durability. The UK is known for changeable weather and a decking material that can withstand strong sunlight in the summer and strong winds, rain, frost, and snow in the winter is needed.
Unlike wood alternatives, composite decking will not rot, warp, or split. Composite boards do not require treatments or have to be painted.
Ecoscape offers two high-quality composite options, Clarity and Forma. Ecoscape’s Clarity composite decking range is a first-generation option that comes with a 20-year warranty.
Clarity composite boards are slip, scratch, and moisture resistant, making them the perfect choice for safe, UK decking projects.
Ecoscape’s Forma composite decking range is a second-generation composite option that uses state-of-the-art co-extrusion technology to cover high-quality Clarity decking boards with a durable membrane.
This additional protection means warranties for the Forma range are 25 years and they also come with a 25-year colour warranty.
Choosing the colour of your decking is especially important when dealing with composite deck boards. This is because you will not need to use decking stain or paint on the boards and will have this colour for the duration of the decking.
You will be able to tie in the colour scheme from your interior to create a flow that carries the consumer from indoor spaces to the exterior. Alternatively, you might want a contrast or colour scheme that ties in with nature.
Ecoscape composite deck boards are available in an extensive range of colours for you to explore. You will also be able to match Ecoscape composite decking colours with other composite products including balustrade systems, fencing, and cladding.
Many people like a traditional wooden deck because of its natural finish. Composite offers more versatility with options available in natural wood grain or grooved.
This allows property owners to create a contemporary look for modern homes or more traditional decking projects on older properties.
How your decking looks and performs will be down to the decking you choose and how it is installed.
Professional installation is advised as you will be able to choose experienced or recommended installers. Checking references and getting examples of previous work is a great way to ensure the suitability of the installers.
Decking installation is relatively straightforward, but it is best if the installer has some relevant experience. DIY jobs can be accomplished to a high standard by following the installation guides provided.
The correct installation of decking boards according to the supplier’s instructions is essential. This is because the installation guide provided by the supplier is specially designed for the specific materials you have.
You should also use the accessories provided by the supplier as these will be designed to work with the product.
Ecoscape provides detailed installation guides for all products, following these guides will ensure the products are installed safely.
Your product warranty will also be dependent on how the deck is installed. Deviating from the guide could lead to poor performance from the materials and your warranty being invalidated.
Leaving a thermal expansion gap between deck boards is essential. Composite deck boards can expand and contract in different temperatures, so allowing thermal expansion gaps will minimise the risk of the boards pressing against one another.
How you position your decking will be important. You should take the time to check how the sun interacts with your garden at different times of the day and in different seasons.
If you want a decking area where you can relax in the sun, position it in an area that you would consider being the best sun trap in your garden.
You should also consider where the sun shines as it is going down. Decking in this area could mean you are squinting or shading your eyes from the low sun.
A landscape or garden designer can help you consider the best location for your decking area if you are unsure what would be best.
Finish to a High Standard
When finishing the deck, Ecoscape offers a range of ways to complete your decking project in the installation guide.
Fascia Board – Installing a fascia trim will create a clean edge to the decking area.
Angle Trim – You could use additional deck boards to finish your decking area. Countersunk holes and deck screws can be used when this area of decking is not in direct view.
Solid Edge Board Flush – A flush finish looks great as there will be no fixings in view.
Solid Edge Board Overhang – An alternative to a flush finish is allowing an overhang.
No matter what finish you choose, you will find detailed instructions on how to achieve it in the Ecoscape composite decking installation guide.
Install a Balustrade System
A balustrade system can add a stylish finish and increase the safety of a deck. Deck railings are required on raised decks built over 30 inches. Even decks below this that have a raised edge can benefit from deck railings.
Ecoscape offers a range of balustrade systems that are perfect for finishing off a decking project.
The composite balustrade system allows you to match the colour of the deck board with the balustrades and spindles.
If you are looking for a way to improve the safety of your outdoor living area without obstructing the views or restricting light, the composite and glass or wire balustrade systems are an excellent option.
Any steps leading up to a deck from the garden will benefit from railings as a safety feature. When planning a decking project, you must comply with building safety regulations.
Speaking with your local planning authority to ensure your plans are acceptable is also something you should consider.
Turning outdoor spaces into versatile living areas can be done by adding additional furnishings.
Taking the time to ensure the style and appearance of your chosen decking boards, outer frame, and outer joists meet your expectations is important. But what you do with it after this can completely transform the space.
The following options can all be used in versatile outdoor spaces to create great family areas and spaces for entertaining friends.
Outdoor lighting can make a significant difference in how an area can be used and its ambience.
You will be able to look at free-standing lighting, wall-mounted lights, or lighting that can be installed on the deck boards or stairs.
The furniture you use on decking can help to dictate the mood or uses for the area. When shopping for garden furniture, you should consider the risk of damage to the composite surface that the furniture can cause. Furniture pads can minimise this risk.
Outside dining furniture can provide an excellent alternative to indoor dining areas. You will be able to choose from wood, cast iron, plastic, glass, and other materials to achieve your desired style.
External dining furniture can be used all year round and is particularly useful if you like to entertain, are planning on installing a barbecue area, or just love al fresco dining.
There are lots of outdoor seating options that are perfect for decking projects. Built-in seating is one option that is great for those that like to entertain regularly.
Outdoor sofas and suites are great for those that like to relax. Comfortable seating areas can be ideal for those trying to create additional living space.
Storage for soft furnishings and cushions should be considered for the winter to keep them in good condition.
Hammocks can create the ultimate relaxing area. Installing a hammock to look out over a garden, enjoy the sun, or relax with a book is the perfect way to destress and make the most of outdoor spaces.
Decking can be great for enjoying the sun, but the UK does not enjoy year-round sunshine. Covered areas or shading for particularly hot summer days or allowing use of the deck area in poor weather can be beneficial.
Canopies are typically semi-permanent structures that cover decking. They can use a hard material as a permanent cover, or soft materials that can be removed.
Awnings are attached to the exterior wall of the property and can be extended to provide cover.
They are typically seen outside restaurants and cafes and can be made from canvas, vinyl, cotton, and other materials.
You will be able to select a colour or pattern for an awning to suit the colour scheme and style of the decking or patio area.
Gazebos are large removable structures that are typically open-sided with a covered roof.
Sides can be an option if you are looking for a more enclosed space. Gazebos are often used at events such as weddings or outdoor parties.
A large patio umbrella can be a great way to enjoy the shade on hot days without installing an expensive cover.
Umbrellas are available in a range of sizes, styles, and colours and are typically held in place by a weighted base.
Shade sails are low-cost options that see a piece of fabric stretched and held in place between fixed points to create shade.
Pergolas are an excellent option for anyone looking for a stylish way to enjoy the shade in their garden.
They are usually built over a seating area with a latticed or beamed roof that can be covered or left open excellent options.
The furnishings you use to decorate your deck can also make a huge difference. If you are creating a seating area, a rug can be a great way to make the area feel more homely.
Outdoor heating can make a deck significantly more useable during the evening and all through the year.
You will be able to choose from a wide range of patio heaters that are designed specifically for this purpose.
As composite contains plastic, you should be wary about heating options that are low to the deck.
Raised gas or electric heaters are a great way to provide heat in a decking area, as are infrared heaters.
Installing a home bar is many people’s idea of a dream, and that dream can be a reality with a well-designed decking area.
Whether you are looking for a small tiki-bar style area to entertain friends and family, or are looking for something a bit more permanent with refrigeration and a TV in place, you will be ideally positioned to create it.
Some people might install a decking area around an outdoor pool as an alternative to a hard and unforgiving patio surface, but another option to enjoy the water is by installing a hot tub.
Hot tubs are significantly more common in the UK than swimming pools and installing a hot tub can be a great way to enjoy your outdoor space at any temperature.
You will have the choice between installing the hot tub on the decking area or sinking it into the deck that will be built up around it.
If you plan to sit a hot tub on top of the decking, the decking boards and subframe must be strong enough to take the weight of the filled hot tub. This should be investigated beforehand to minimise the risk of damaging the boards or substructure.
Al fresco dining is one thing, but having the opportunity to cook outside can often be a liberating experience.
You will be able to choose from simple barbecues to state-of-the-art grills that have multiple functions. Outdoor pizza ovens are also proving to be popular.
If you are interested in installing an outdoor cooking area, you must check first that the heat from the appliance won’t damage the composite decking.
Plants and Flowers
A great way to tie in a decking area with the rest of the garden is by introducing some plants or flowers.
You will be able to minimise staining or dirt by using plant pots with dishes beneath them to capture soil and water.
If you have children, a great way to minimise the risk of them damaging the deck surface with toys is by creating a dedicated play area and investing in deck-friendly toys and games.
Soft toys or items without sharp edges are best for this. Creating a designated play area on decking can help to keep the rest of the area free from toys, and include the children by giving them their own outdoor space to enjoy.
Storage to put away toys, portable barbecues, soft furnishings, cleaning equipment, and other essential items that you need for your deck can help to keep it looking tidy.
Sheds and garages can be useful places to store things that aren’t being used, but there are also other options available.
Built-in bench seating that can be lifted to reveal storage is a great way of incorporating storage solutions into your design process.
Shelving in the same colour scheme as the deck can also give a rustic charm and help you keep certain essentials close to your hand without cluttering the deck area.
Ecoscape Composite Decking
The best way to make your deck a cut above the rest is by investing in high-quality materials. Ecoscape provides an excellent range of high-quality composite deck boards in a variety of colours to suit any need.
The long product warranties that range from 20 to 25 years, as well as the durable scratch, scuff, and weather-resistant materials, provide a long-lasting deck that requires minimal maintenance.
The attractive finish of Ecoscape composite deck boards, as well as a selection of other features, can be investigated by browsing the site and looking at the composite decking page.
As well as high-quality components and accessories, Ecoscape also provides detailed installation guides to ensure your deck is built to the highest specifications and adheres to the warranty terms and conditions.
How do you maintain composite decking?
Investing in high-quality composite decking to ensure a great finish can be rewarding, but you must look after your deck to keep it performing to a high standard.
Unlike traditional wood decking alternatives, you won’t have to stain, paint, or treat your composite deck boards, but you will have to wash them.
Washing composite decking boards is straightforward. Using warm water and mild liquid soap, you can scrub composite decking with a soft-bristled brush before rinsing.
Alternatively, a power washer can be used carefully to remove dirt and grime.
Always use a fan jet so the spray is not as concentrated, hold the nozzle a safe distance from the decking, and never exceed 3,000 PSI.
Is composite decking expensive?
Composite decking is typically more expensive than traditional wood decking but requires significantly less maintenance.
Because composite decking lasts longer, is more durable, and won’t need the time and expense required for painting, treating, or staining, it is seen as a cost-effective way to enjoy a high-quality decking area for longer.
Ecoscape Clarity composite decking boards cost £41.55 per square meter, and the Ecoscape Forma capped composite decking board range costs £66.12 per square meter.
Is composite decking environmentally friendly?
Another excellent way to ensure your composite decking is a cut above the rest is by buying from a conscientious source.
Ecoscape composite products are created from 95% recycled materials including FSC-certified reclaimed wood chips.
This means that the wood fibres used in Ecoscape composite products are responsibly and ethically sourced.
As well as saving wood fibres from landfills, Ecoscape minimises the production of new plastics by recycling thousands of tons of HDPE every year.
Ecoscape also works with several environmental bodies to ensure a greener business model.
How important are thermal expansion gaps between composite deck boards?
Thermal expansion gaps allow deck boards to expand without the risk of them pushing against each other and causing the boards to warp.
They are also a useful part of the drainage and ventilation system that helps to keep the area dry and minimises the risk of water pooling on the flat surface.
Embarking on a garden design project can be an exciting time. If you are going to invest a lot of time and money into improving your outdoor space, you will have to ensure you plan appropriately to get the space you want.
Composite decking can provide a great-looking, long-lasting surface that requires minimal maintenance. There are lots of ways you can finish a decking area off and ensure it is perfect for you and your family.
The installation process is an integral part that must be carried out to a high standard, you will then be able to explore ways to make the outdoor space perfect for your intentions.
A well-designed decking area that makes use of high-quality materials and is finished to a high standard can make a significant difference to the property, in terms of value and useable living space.