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Decking: ideas and designs

Decking is a type of building material made of wood or timber and used to construct floor surfaces, usually outside and often connected to a building. As a design idea it's used to expand living spaces or as an alternative to a patio or area of garden. Decking can be used to create pathways, an al fresco dining area or as a platform for sunbathing.

Decking design ideas

  • Build more than one decking platform at alternative heights to delineate between spaces. Try using one as an alfresco dining area and the other for a hot tub.
  • Treat the decking area as if it is an indoor room outdoors. Decorate with trailing plants, garden furniture or with decking lights to create an atmospheric space at all times of the day.
  • Swap the traditional stone pathway for a sleek modern decking walkway. Use a non-slip decking for added safety in the wet weather.
  • Decking doesn't have to be square. Play with the design - try a circular or asymmetrical platform to add a artistic touch.
  • Mix and match with other materials. Channel the orient by mixing decking with stone or pebble. Shape the decking platform around natural features such as a tree or a garden pond.
  • Functional decking is usually laid in straight lines but for something funky and eye-catching try laying decking tiles in unusual patterns or at opposite angles.
  • Dispense with the traditional light brown and green colours and try something darker. Current design trends are for dark browns and blacks. Or brighten up for the summer with white decking. Lay back and imagine sun, sea and sand is but a short stroll away.

Installation and maintenance

Decking can be laid at any time of the year but it's best to wait until the spring when the weather is dry and the mud has dried.

Modern decking can last for up to 40 years if it is properly maintained. Powerwash and apply a new coat of sealer once a year.

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