Living in Australia we are spoiled by the abundance of an outdoor lifestyle. Australia’s love affair with the great outdoors and hosting family and friends over the festive seasons are the prefect reason to build a deck. Not to mention adding additional $$$ to your property value.
Decks are an extension of your property. Not only are they a great space to relax year round, decks are now seen as an integral space within the home unit. How many times have you visited friends and family, only to find yourself migrating towards the deck and staying there!
Known as entertainer spaces, decks have come a long way from what they used to be. From open to covered, kitchens or bars, right down to fireplaces and fans – the choices are endless! However, there are two things to consider before you jump right into building a deck. Functionality and local regulations.
Step 1 – Functionality and Local Regulations
If you are considering adding a deck you need to think about the year round functionality of the deck. If the deck is not being used, then it is a waste of money! Think about what you want to use the deck for, especially during the hotter and colder months. In the 1990’s decks had an average build cost of $10,000-$15,000, but now average $50,000-$60,000 – so this is one room you want to get right!
Think about the space, and consider splitting the deck into sections, space permitting. Think about the surroundings, do you want a deck that blends in with the environment or stands out as a feature? Do you want a deck with privacy, or a deck that you can sit with a glass of wine and chat with your neighbours? What about sun exposure? Is this a space that will get the morning sun (south facing) or afternoon sun (west facing) …? Right about now you might be thinking this is to much – I just want a deck! But, thinking about these functionality aspects will save you a lot of headaches down the track.
When it comes time to building your deck, you will also need to make sure that you have approval from your local council. All councils will have their own sets of regulations regarding deck builds. These regulations cover such things as structural integrity, materials you can use, minimum construction standards (height & size) and privacy that must be met. Doing this will avoid a costly fine and the possibility of having to remove the deck if it is not compliant.
Step 2 – Design & Construction
Now that you have addressed the functionally and local regulation, Congratulations! You can begin designing your dream deck! Remember to consider what you would like to achieve, maintenance requirements and most importantly your budget.
A seamless transition from the inside to outside, a deck will not only increase your floor space, but the value of the home. Do you want a deck that is attached to your home or free standing? What type of installation methods and materials are you going to use for your deck? Decisions, decisions…
Decking Material – Price and maintenance are key considerations here.
Hardwoods – Extremely durable and highly resilient. Hardwoods require a timber finish such as oil to be applied to retain their durability and prevent them from deteriorating. Quantum’s complete range of residential and commercial timber deck finishes will protect your newest investment!
Quantum’s unique range of timber deck finishes will defend your deck against the elements from mild to extreme, leaving your deck looking newer for longer with minimal maintenance. Take a look at our complete preparation deck coating products.
The time you put into preparation will greatly benefit the longevity of the coating. For best results clean all timber prior to application of finishes to prevent early adhesion failure and drying issues due to contamination from tannins and extractives. Quantum’s complete range of cleaning and preparation products are easy to use and designed to remove the toughest sap, chemicals, old and weathered finishes and sealers and to ensure your timber surfaces are ready for application.
Our deck coating products come in natural, transparent stain colours or solid opaque colours to suit any residential or commercial style. Click here for our Decking Product Selector Guide for more information on the different types of decking finishes and preparation product.
Treated Pine – Treated to withstand decay, fungi and termites, treated pine is a more affordable timber option. Leave to weather or stain to a colour of your choice, treated pine is easy to install, but will still require maintenance to keep it looking prime.
Remember: If you choose hard wood timber for your deck, you will need to re-apply the decking coating when the deck shows signs of wear and tear. Depending on the condition of the deck and environmental factors this could vary from 6 monthly or yearly.
Construction – Frame support
The base of a deck consists of a frame, posts, joists and bearers that the decking boards will be attached to. There are numerous ways to attach the chosen decking to the joists including, nails, screws or fasteners. Every Spring you should routinely inspect the deck for signs of deterioration and coating maintenance.
Deck Design – What are you going to use your deck for? – Plan appropriately.
Look at your lifestyle and space. Take into consideration what you want to include in your deck. An outdoor kitchen for example will require more planning. The gas and plumbing work will need to be installed prior to the construction of the deck. Failure to properly plan could result in costly blowouts should you need to add additional inclusions. Consider the position of the BBQ, furniture layout and built in seating or storage. Undercover decks (including shade sails) create an all year entertaining space. Lighting and installation of fans should also be considered in the build process.
So there you have it! If you have been thinking about installing a deck in your home, maybe now is the time to make that move and maximise your homes square footage and lifestyle.