If you have the outdoor space, installing a deck is a fantastic way to maximize your entertainment and/or leisure area(s). Outdoor “rooms” have become increasingly popular over the last decade or so, but whether you have an existing patio or not, a deck has a certain look and feel about it which is great for relaxing and entertaining.
Your deck can wrap around a section or the whole of your house’s perimeter, it can surround a swimming pool and it can even be free-standing. Creating a raised walkway through your garden and maybe even adding a gazebo are also great ideas when installing a deck.
You can find plenty of inspiration for decorating your deck using everything from outdoor furniture and soft furnishings to gardening elements like planters or creeping plants. Depending on the location and height of your deck, you might also want to add a railing. You have several options in the railing department, including everything from attractive wood or wood-substitute rails to see-through polymer options which won’t obscure your view.
You can add a roof to your deck in the form of adjustable blinds, shading net, or a pagoda. A pagoda is the perfect foundation for pretty flowering creepers like bougainvillea or wisteria. This way you can cut out the sun altogether, enjoy varying amounts of dappled shade or simply keep the worst of the elements off your deck.
When planning the construction of a deck, there are several benefits to using reconstituted materials which are well worth considering, whether you will be building the deck yourself or not. It is obviously the most ecologically responsible choice, since it is composed of recycled materials, but you might be surprised by the many other benefits this type of material has over traditional decking material such as solid wood.
Besides being “green”, reconstituted materials offer fantastic value for money as they have a very long lifespan. This material will never need sealing or staining and will not warp from exposure to the elements, therefore saving you money and effort by requiring almost no maintenance. Most decking material of this nature also comes in shapes and sizes that make installation so easy you won’t have to hire a contractor to build your deck. Just remember that composite decking can be even heavier than solid timber, so take care when carrying these products.
While reconstituted – or composite – decking has the same warm feel as wood, it offers several benefits over wood. The composite material usually consists of recycled polymer resins and reclaimed or recycled wood fibre. Even though it does include wood, it is far less prone to corrosion and rotting and there is no chance of splintering.
Composite decking components come in various attractive shapes and colours, closely resembling the beauty of solid timber, but without the hassle, cost and maintenance. The surface is non-slip, making this an ideal solution for decking surrounding a swimming pool or Jacuzzi. These products are often guaranteed not to warp, rot, crack or split, and are also impenetrable to fungus and termites.
Teresa Huyzers hails from Bredasdorp but currently lives in Cape Town. She completed an Honours Degree in English Studies at Stellenbosch University before entering the field of online publishing as a translator. She is currently a content writer at R.O.I. Media, one of South Africa’s leading digital media agencies.