Pros and cons of garden decking

A deck can give your garden a fantastic upgrade and provides avenue for outdoor entertainment and relaxation when you are at home with your family. Unfortunately, there are so many deck options out there, making it difficult to choose the right one for your garden.

In this article we have laid out the different types of decking, pros and cons, as well as their cost implication. Just read through and pick the one that suits you most.Pros and cons of decking

What are the factors to consider before choosing a deck?

There are some things you need to consider before choosing a particular decking option, some of which are:

What materials do you want to use?

You need to decide the material to be used for your decking, if you’re choosing hardwood decking, you must have it in mind that it is quite expensive. Also, softwood decking is easier to work with but lasts for a shorter period of time. Be aware if you go for a cheap alterntaive that it might turn out dangerous.

Can you do the work yourself or you will need the services of a professional?

Obviously doing the labour yourself will be much cheaper if you are up to it but remember to incorporate all the costs including your time. If you opt to make your own decking and damage materials in the process then you have to take responsibility for the costs.

Which size are you going for?

Size is another thing you need to consider, a large deck is always more expensive and it requires more time for you to maintain it. So, think on the best size for you whether you want the decking to run the entire lenghth of the property or if you want a smaller, standalone decking.

Are you going for a simple or complex design?

desking install
Decking can come in intricate designs and if you opt for one you should have it in mind that you will need to pay extra amount compared to a simple one. Not only will you be paying the labour costs but you may need to incorporate an extra budget for the design. The choice is yours; you know the one that suits you most.

How much can you afford?

Make sure you consider what you can actually afford to spend on decking, you don’t want to be left stranded all because you want to enjoy the benefit of a fresh outdoor space.

Different types of garden decking and the costs involved

The most common options for decking include –
1. Softwood Decking
2. Hardwood Decking
3. Composite Decking
4. PVC Plastic Decking

1. Softwood decking

Softwood decking originates from fast growing trees, like pine, and can be replaced quickly, making it the cheapest decking material.

Pros

– It is the cheapest wooden decking material.
– Easy to install.
– It can last more than 20 years when well maintained.
– You can easily change the colour and finish.
– Softwood is easier to work with during construction.

Cons

– Weaker than other decking materials and won’t last as long as other options.
– It requires close observation and the most maintenance.
– Doesn’t look as luxurious as other decking options.
– It tend to have poor fire resistance unless treated.

2. Hardwood decking

Hardwood decking are made from slower growing trees, like Oak, which can be very rare and is usually the most expensive decking option. You have nothing to lose if you put your money on this decking material because they are aesthetically pleasing and usually last longer than softwood decking. They also require much less maintenance.

Pros

– It requires less maintenance than softwood.
– Can last for over 50 years (when well maintained).
– It looks very nice and attractive.
– Easy to maintain.
– It has enough strength.
– It offers a higher fire resistance than softwood.
– Very safe and comfortable because it is insect proof and splinter-free.
– It is made from recycled material, making it environmentally friendly.
– It is easy to clean with a hose or pressure washer.

Cons

– Most expensive decking material.
– Harder to work with during construction.
– If damaged or faded, you must replace the material.
– It can be soft and wear.

3. Composite decking

Composite decking is a unique, modern material which is made from both wood and plastic. It looks the most appealing and fascinating of all the options. It is 100% waterproof, requires little maintenance and can also last for more than 50 years with proper maintenance.

Pros

– Easy to maintain.
– It rarely get mould or algae growth.
– Some come with inbuilt LED lights.
– It has wide range of colors, textures and price points to choose from.
– Doesn’t attract insects.
– It doesn’t fade under sunlight.
– It can perform very well for many decades.
– Rarely requires repair.

Cons

– It is quite expensive.
– The color can’t be stained or changed.
– The initial cost is quite high.
– It gets hot in direct sunlight.
– It can be easily stained from grease and food.

4. PVC decking

PVC decking is a common exterior installation made from polyvinyl chloride (PVC), a special type of plastic resin widely used in the manufacture of various products. It provides an ideal play and recreational area for family and guests.

Pros

– Offers variety of sizes, shapes, colors, and styles to choose from.
– It is one of the most affordable decking materials available on the market.
– Very quick and easy to install.
– Longer lasting due to its weather-resistant properties.
– It doesn’t develop scratches easily.
– It requires minimal maintenance.
– Eco-Friendly.

Cons

– Although PVC doesn’t fade easily, but if it is exposed to UV rays for a long time it will begin to fade.
– Not isn’t easy to repair a PVC deck, if a section gets damaged, you will need to replace the entire deck.
– It decays under a prolonged, extreme heat.
– It can easily crack in cold weather.

How much does decking cost?

There are several factors that will affect the total cost of your deck, some of which are:
– The size you want.
– Type of timber to be used.
– Amount of landscaping work needed.
– Amount of extra add-ons like stairs, a balustrade and/or roofing.
– Site conditions.
– Soil type.
– Potential permits required from council.

However, the average cost of decking are as follows:

1. Softwood Decking
£10-£20 Per Square Metre.

2. Hardwood Decking
£35-£50 Per Square Metre.

3. Composite Decking
£50 to £70 Per Square Metre.

4. PVC Plastic Decking
£7 to £15 Per Square Metre.

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