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Decking has over the years become a common feature in many gardens and outside living spaces throughout the Uk, affording home owners to create that special area in their garden where they can relax, dine and enjoy the Summer sun. Decking boards / materials are highly adaptable, you can build a straight forward square Decking area or you can construct something more elaborate that is raised up over unused ground containing various levels, steps and surrounding balustrade. The more complex your design of course the more likely you are to require the services of a good Builder or Carpenter, being especially careful to make sure that you get load bearings and joist / bearer centres exactly right.
So what do you need to build a Deck? basically it is quite simple, the core materials that you require are as follows.
The vast majority of Decking that is purchased in the Uk is Pressure Treated Softwood and whilst most of this is pretty standard there can be differences in grade and quality, the common grade of board is produced using Scandinavian Vth Redwood with a mix (circa 10% Sixths which basically have larger splayed knotts) but there is also higher quality Vth and Better Softwood productions on the market, such as Q Deck (Available to purchase online through TimberClick London & South East, TimberClick Oxford, TimberClick Milton Keynes and TimberClick Northampton). When buying Softwood Decking boards you will always more often than not get a choice of lengths, ranging from 2.4m - 6.0m, a good thing as this hopefully allows you to select those lengths that enable you to avoid too much waste and of course save time and money, certainly at TimberClick and most other traditional Timber Merchants you will get this option. Remember that Softwood Decking will fade and weather to a silvery grey over a period of time, this does not mean that the 'pressure treatment' has ceased but you will need to apply a colour stain / paint if you do not want to leave it 'grey'. It is advisable in any case with pressure treated Softwood Decking to apply a coat of stain / treatment every 3-4 years.
Most probably the most common type of Decking used in the Uk after Softwood. More expensive and of course much denser than Softwood but more durable, attractive and will last longer, note though that Pressure Treated Softwood these days will last a good 10 - 15 years, especially if maintained correctly. Common forms of Hardwood Decking are Balau, Garapa, Ipe and Massaranduba, most of these species will be available through your local TimberClick Merchant or again from other established local Timber Merchants. Once again, like Softwood Decking boards, Hardwood will also weather to a beautiful silvery grey colour over time.
Thermowood is ideal for Decking boards. Softwood is subjected to a chemical free heat treatment in kilns at very high temperatures which allows the cellular structure of the timber to change and thus become more stable and durable. Whilst more expensive than traditional Softwood boards it has the advantage of being low in maintenance with no need to paint or stain or protect from the elements. Thermowood Decking boards are predominantly Ex 32mm x 125mm, ie finished size of 26mm x 117mm and sold in random lengths or fixed lengths but not with the extensive choice available with Softwood. Thermowood Decking is available to buy online through TimberClick London & South East whilst other TimberClick regions, like most traditional Timber Merchants can supply but will in most cases not carry the material in stock.
Over recent years traditional Timber Decking has faced competition from various Composite Decking productions and there are pros and cons as to which solution is best for your Deck. Major advantages in using Composite Decking are of course that it is not a natural living product like Timber and as such is easier to maintain and protect against the elements, also it retains its colour (least it should relatively well provided that a respectable production is purchased). Composite Decks are generally also seen as being safer, especially so in respect of slipping and as such are commonly used in and around water ways / pools etc. One of the disadvantages of Composite Decking is the initial outlay cost which is significantly higher than Timber, but there is strong argument that much of this is 'recoverable' over time through savings in ongoing maintenance which is far less than Timber. Some of the leading Composite Decking productions can be purchased through TimberClick outlets, namely Trex, Lifecycle, Luna Comp, Metsa and Millboard.
Decking Calculator - How Much Do I Need?
It is actually very easy to calculate how much Decking is required to cover a square area and likewise straight forward to calculate the number of Joists / Bearers required. What is important is calculating the number of boards is that you take into account the 'Finished Size' of the board, that is the size after machining, many Merchants will quote the 'Nominal' size, ie the size before the board is machined. All TimberClick Merchants make it quite clear what the finished size is, as will most Timber Merchants. We have a comprehensive set of Calculators on TimberClick to enable you to calculate the materials required, also there is an excellent FAQ section which will again help answer the majority of questions that are raised in respect of Decking, and finally there is a project guide on 'How to build a Deck'.
TimberClick Merchants are leading National Independent Timber Merchants with fully trained and qualified members of Staff who are more than pleased to assist and advise you with your Decking project, full details of contact numbers are to be found within each regional store:-
TimberClick London & South East (London, Kent, Surrey, Essex, Sussex and Hertfordshire)
TimberClick South (Brighton, Portsmouth and Southampton)
TimberClick Milton Keynes
TimberClick East Anglia (Cambridge, Colchester, Ipswich, Suffolk, Norwich and Norfolk)
TimberClick South West (Devon, Cornwall and Somerset)
TimberClick South Wales (Cardiff, Bridgend, Newport and Swansea)
TimberClick Midlands (Birmingham, Coventry, Derby, Leicester, Nottingham, Stoke on Trent, Worcestershire, Warwickshire and Wolverhampton)
TimberClick Humber (Scunthorpe, Lincolnshire, Doncaster and Hull)
TimberClick Yorkshire (Leeds, York, Sheffield and Wakefied)
TimberClick North West (Lancashire, Manchester, Blackburn, Bolton, Huddersfield, Liverpool, Preston, Stockport, Warrington and Wigan)
TimberClick Teesside (Cleveland and Middlesbrough)