Summer is the season for savouring the outdoors. It’s also the most popular time to build a deck if you haven’t got one yet.
There are many reasons you may want to build a deck for the summer.
- Extend your living space. A deck is essentially an extension of your home, built so that it gives you access to the surrounding outdoor area. Imagine yourself enjoying summer and the outdoors right from the comfort of your own home. This is what a timber deck lets you do.
- Provide space for entertaining guests. A timber deck lets you share the joys and benefits of spending time outdoors with your visitors. The deck sets the mood and provides a suitable venue for entertaining.
- Make use of unproductive space. If you have unproductive areas within your property, such as sloping hillsides or bare yard space, build a timber deck and instantly transform it into one of the most popular spots for your outdoor activities during the summer.
- Increase your property’s visual appeal. A well-designed timber deck is a beautiful addition to your property.
- Increase your property’s overall value. And because of all the improvements described above, your overall property’s value increases just by simply building a deck.
Designing the Deck for Summer
Of course the main concern during the summer will be coping with the heat. The deck should be able to provide suitable sun protection so that it’s comfortable to stay in. Some shade should be considered, an accompanying pergola perhaps? Another strategy to consider is to use the deck at night, when temperatures are mercifully lower and it’s more comfortable to stay on the deck. For this you’ll need to outfit the deck with lights.
When designing your new deck you must consider many factors including your home’s architectural style, the surrounding landscape and terrain and Council restrictions. The deck’s design must complement the house’s design. Otherwise it could have an undesirable effect on the overall aesthetic of the property such as contradicting or totally overpowering the main house.
And then there’s the lay of the land. Will you need to deal with a sloping terrain or will you be able to build on a flat, level surface? The contour of the build site will significantly affect the design, the material requirements and eventually the cost of the build.
Softwoods provide an online design tool to help you calculate the material requirements and the cost of building your deck, minimising the guesswork and uncertainty for you.
Timber Types for Building a Deck
Another consideration when you build a deck is the timber to use. Softwoods sell a variety of timber and each one offers its unique advantages and benefits.
Treated Pine is quite common and plentiful, and thus quite economical. It is technically a softwood and is therefore quite pleasant to walk on and as it tends to be light coloured it takes quite well to staining.
Blackbutt is a local species that is strong and durable and resistant to fire. If you are in an area that is prone to bushfires then this is probably the timber to use to build a deck.
Spotted Gum is highly sought after for its grain which produces beautiful wavy patterns, it’s colour is also outstanding in Aussie gardens.
Take a look at some other species and their characteristics to see if they are suited to your purpose.
Council Approval for Building a Deck
Before you even start to build a deck check to see if you need to gain approval from your local Council. There may be restrictions and regulations you need to comply with. So make sure you understand what these are and save yourself the trouble of redesigning or rebuilding should your structure be found non-compliant.
Softwoods have been working with local Councils for decades and we can help you secure the necessary approvals.
Go and Build a Deck!
If you find yourself undaunted by all these and still raring to go and build a deck, then check out these step-by-step instructions.