How to design a decking area?

When you want to design an area of decking for your garden, you want to make sure that you get it right and don’t waste time, money and effort. So what are the best ways to go about it?

Most DIY outlets, especially the big multiple store groups, will have their own websites that offer free online advice covering all of the stages. But if you don’t have access to the internet, approach your local DIY firm who may have leaflets or might even print off pages of advice from a website for you.

Take your time and think carefully about each aspect of your project: the area you have to site your decking, any practical issues such as drains or pipes that you will need to allow for, the type of wood you want to use, how you want it to look, whether you need non-slip surfaces. You may also want to consider whether you want to build in any lighting.


Where is it going to be?
Survey the area you want to add decking to carefully. Make a plan, using measurements, of the area you want to deck. Make sure that you note any differences in the level of the ground you are going to build on. Don’t worry, it is an easier matter to level the ground for a wooden deck than for a concrete or paved patio. Also mark out any drainpipes, external water outlets, power outlets, and drains that you need to be aware of when you are building so that when you start to build you don’t discover something that means you have to stop and address an issue you have not previously identified.

Think about the position you want your decking to be in; for example, do you want to catch the sun, or the shade, or a mixture of both? Consider this and mark out the area you want to deck so that you have a visual representation of the space you are going to deck.

Who is going to use it?
When designing your deck ensure that you give sufficient thought to identify who may be going to use it and if they will have any special needs; for example, those with mobility problems, small children, or those who will need support in accessing the exterior of the building it adjoins.

What shape is it going to be?
The versatility of decking allows for almost any size and shape you can imagine; whether you want a circle, a semi-circle, long, short, square or triangular, you will be able to realise it provided you give ample forethought and design your deck from the start.

Whatever the shape you decide upon, you should ensure that your deck slopes a little away from your home, and using fluted decking boards will ensure that, if the flutes point towards the end, rainwater does run away and not sit on the surface. Consider this when you plan any pattern you want to use as well.

How to choose composite decking?
There are a number of different styles of decking to choose from, varying in colour, pattern and width. Choose your decking to match your design. Decking can be stained with a variety of different wood stains, so be sure to consider this when choosing your decking. More info

How can I design my own deck?
Think about whether you are going to need or want bi-fold doors, lights or handrails. Click here

Do I need council permission to build a deck?
When you have designed your decking, check with your local council to make sure that you do not need any kind of planning permission. This will depend upon where you live and the type of area and property you live in. Also, be sure to let your neighbours know what you are planning; if for no other reason than they will not be surprised by any noise that they encounter during your work. More info

Be safe
And in everything that you do, always, always consider safety first. Not just for you when building your deck, but for those around you and those who will use it.

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