">The Anatomy of Timber Decking - Softwoods

The Anatomy of Timber Decking


No matter what size, design or complexity all timber decks share a number of distinct features. We’ll take a look at these features that make up the anatomy of a timber deck.

In essence, a deck is really nothing more than a floor, usually built outdoors. It may or may not be attached to a house and may or may not be raised from the ground. Decks extend the living area of your home and help increase its value in case you decide to eventually sell your property. Timber decks bring the outdoors in (or the indoors out, depending on your point of view) and allow you to experience endless hours of fun entertaining guests and family.

Timber Decking Substructure

A firm foundation is the key to a durable structure and that is where we will begin. These are the elements of the deck’s substructure.


Decks are often built on areas in your property that would otherwise be unusable, such as sloping and uneven areas. Posts help to stabilise the deck and secure the structure atop these difficult surfaces.



Bearers, or sometimes called beams, are the stout timbers that are connected to the posts and upon which the deck is built.



Joists are the repeated timber members laid across the bearers. They complete the decking frame.


The Deck Area

Decking Boards

The decking boards are probably the image that comes to your mind when you think about decks. These are the timber elements that are laid out atop/across the joists and form the flooring for the deck. The decking boards create the look of the deck.



Balusters may be more than optional for a timber deck, especially if the structure is significantly raised. They prevent people from falling over, define specific spaces and contribute to the structure’s general visual appeal.



Handrails are a feature of the balusters and come hand-in-hand with this element. They make the balusters easier to handle and may provide extra functional surfaces.



Stairs or steps are necessary to allow access to and from the deck or to connect areas that lie on different levels.



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Attached gable pergola with timber liningIronbark deck over sloping site with inbuilt stairs and stainless steel balustrade

Softwoods is a family owned South Australian company that has been trading for over 30 years.


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