Garden decking is a great way to expand the usability of your garden, especially when entertaining in the Summer months. A simple low level deck is a great surface choice in general, but usable areas can also be tiered across different levels, creating a stepped effect that paving is unable to achieve. When high quality materials are used, and installed with expertise, garden decking can last for an incredibly long time.
Hardwood is the best option for long lasting effects on a reasonable budget. Available in a wide range of woods and finishes, with treatment options that can really make your decking area really unique and in keeping with the rest of the garden. When cared for each year the life expectancy of a hardwood deck is likely to be upwards of 25 years.
If you’re on a tight budget, softwood is a great option. The life expectancy is generally lower, but if it’s cared for over time it could be last over 15 years.
Composite solutions have grown in popularity in recent years, as the quality has equally improved. Generally speaking, composite decking can be divided into two categories – wood/plastic and wood-free decking boards. Both options are available in a variety of colours and finishes.
Wood/plastic composites are made from a mix of recycled plastic and waste sawmill wood chips. Some low cost manufacturers produce cheap hollow boards, although the life expectancy has been disappointing in our experience. Our recommendation is to always go with a solid board option wherever possible.
Wood free boards are completely synthetic, and as such are more resilient to harsh weather conditions. The lifespan is very long, and there’s less change in the appearance of the boards over time. They still need cleaning of course, but the general maintenance requirements are low. These Wood-free boards are the most technically advanced and long lasting option, and as such likely to be the most expensive. But with decking that doesn’t rot or naturally degrade over time, you could be installing a decking that lasts 30 or 40 years!