Adding a timber deck to the outside of the home is like adding another room. Just as you would when adding to the indoor space or any other renovation, decks should be designed to reflect your personal style and your lifestyle needs.
A well designed deck can serve many functions: entertaining, relaxation, play space for children, and you will need to give thought to all of these uses in the planning stage.
For entertaining consider the size of the space, access from the house, cooking and bar facilities, televisions and even heating. Decks can be used in either summer or winter with planning and the right design. In fact, our sub-tropical climate in Brisbane is perfect for outdoor winter entertaining of friends and family.
A renovation incorporating a deck or outdoor living area adds space to your home and is a relatively inexpensive way of increasing your relaxation and entertainment areas. A well designed deck will also add real estate value to your home.
A deck is a raised floor structure built off the ground and can be roofed or unroofed. Generally in Queensland with long hours of sunshine and frequent summer storms it is best to have a roof to maximise the use of your new outdoor living area. Refer to the “patios” page for the types of roofing materials available.
The design criteria are the same as for patios with the additional consideration of the decking surface:
- Proposed use of the area – for sitting, dining, outdoor cooking
- Location in relation to the house
- Access from the house
- Impact on other adjacent rooms
- View from deck area
- Style of roof – attached at gutter line, flyover, integrated into existing house roof
- Type of roof covering
- Type of flooring and the substructure
- Type of balustrading
The first eight of those criteria are discussed on our “patios” page.
As for the flooring and substructure, the most common system used in Brisbane and surrounding areas is a timber or composite decking fixed to a timber substructure. For the timber framing, we normally use H3 treated pine timber with a guaranteed service life, such as Hyne T3, but we can also use DPR hardwood, normally spotted gum, which also has a long service life.
There are a variety of species of timber decking boards available as well as an increasing range of composite boards. Composite boards are manufactured from recycled timber and plastic products, and normally fixed with concealed stainless steel clips and screws.
The alternative to a timber decking finish is a tiled surface. If you use a timber frame, than a subfloor of compressed FC sheeting will need to be installed first as a surface on which to lay the tiles. A better sub-surface for laying tiles is a reinforced concrete slab. This needs to be designed and approved by an engineer. Our team of tradesmen is skilled in either method of construction.
Timber or composite decking can also be laid over concrete slabs. This is generally done to upgrade the surface of a concrete slab on ground when the homeowner wants a timber deck look instead of the traditional tile finish. We use a variety of low profile fixing systems that are now available on the market to achieve this style of deck construction.
Balustrading comes in many styles: traditional timber, stainless steel wires, and powder coated aluminium screen panels. Make sure firstly that the style chosen is safe for the situation and looks good to add value to your deck.
Last but not least, consider the electrical installation and the addition of “detailing” which will give your deck the look and atmosphere you are after. Well-designed lighting is not only functional, but adds to the “WOW” factor along with detailing such as screens and valences.
Our design and construction team at Inntec Refurbishments is skilled in all aspects of renovations and deck building. Call or email us today for a free, no obligation appointment at your home to discuss your renovations dreams.