Decking is booming. Beautiful timber decks are the star attraction in plenty of gardens throughout the UK, and no wonder. When fitted with care, the result is stylish yet practical, durable, easy to maintain and packed with exciting possibilities.
It’s a sound investment, too. A recent UK survey found that house values rise by at least 2% where owners have installed high-quality decking. It seems, then, stone slabs and crazy paving have had our backyards to themselves for far too long!
In this article, we’ll explore several decking area ideas; different approaches to complementing your outdoor space with the natural beauty of wood. But first, let’s get some frequently asked practical questions out of the way.
Do you need planning permission?
A decking platform requires planning permission if:
- It’s more than 30 centimetres above ground level.
- It covers more than 50% of your garden.
That means any raised or multi-level decking is likely to need planning permission. If you’re in any doubt, don’t hesitate to check. In England, visit www.planningportal.co.uk. In Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland, contact your local authority.
Need planning permission? You’re also probably obligated to attain Building Regulations approval from your local authority. This document should include an architect’s drawing, proving that your project is safe and fit for purpose. Remember, above all, that a deck is a load-bearing structure. Cutting corners on materials, design, or construction is putting your family and friends at risk.
What lies beneath?
If you’re laying new decking over part of your garden, it’s likely to be there for years to come. That’s why you need to think about what’s happening under your feet when you’re enjoying the outdoors.
It’s vital to clear all plant life from under a low deck and stand it securely on a stable, level surface. That means removing all grass or other vegetation from the area, then laying down gravel or weed-suppressing sheeting, so it doesn’t grow back.
You also need to think about an unpleasant subject for a moment: vermin. If your decking allows scraps of dropped food to fall through the cracks, or if the ground is full of nasty weeds, space underneath could become a magnet for critters you’d prefer not to have at your home.
Do you need equipment to help with preparing the area? Then, you’re in precisely the right place. HSS hires out a superb range of the latest gardening, landscaping and site clearing equipment, from mini diggers to skips, shredders and chippers.
OK, that’s the practical stuff out of the way. Now it’s time to explore those dazzling decking and paving ideas we promised.
Enclose your decking to create a separate zone