Now that you have decided to build a deck, there are a few things you’ll need to check up on before embarking on the task.
DECO has created a 5-point checklist for homeowners looking to build a deck in their backyard.
1. Are you living in a bushfire prone area?
Several regions in Australia are at risk of bushfires with various regulations in place to ensure only the right type of building materials is used in construction. The Australian building standard AS 3959 classifies bushfire prone areas into different Bushfire Attack Levels (known as BAL). Confirm your local BAL before selecting your deck materials to ensure compliance with the National Construction Code.
2. Know more about your decking materials
The market is overflowing with multiple options for decking materials. A timber deck, for instance, is an excellent idea, provided you are willing to invest in continuous maintenance works including regular staining or painting to keep it looking its best. Options also include aluminium decking systems such as DecoDeck that combine the beauty of a timber-look finish with the durability of a sturdy material that also requires very little maintenance.
3. Get your quantities right
Before starting work on your deck, calculate carefully how much material you’ll need to finish the job to perfection. Falling short of material towards the end of the installation can be annoying, and even expensive if you have to buy a small quantity. Once you’ve done your measurements, double check and then check them again. Also, remember to order extra materials as a buffer. For a timber deck, typically 25% extra is recommended for wastage and off cuts. However, you can avoid this problem with a decking system such as DecoDeck where you don’t have to worry about faults in the grain or planks being warped. This also means you don’t have to order as much, reducing your decking costs and possible wastage.
4. What’s under your deck?
Check your house plans for any important pipes or wires that may be buried underground beneath the area you have selected for your deck. Repairing damaged water pipes and cables can inflate your decking costs, not to mention the delay that can occur while you track down the problem.
5. Will your deck need railings?
Checking with your local council about permits or building approvals to build your deck is a good idea. Additionally, you will need to be compliant not only in terms of material selection but also the design. If your deck is more than one metre high, the National Construction Code requires a compliant handrail around. Decks four metres or higher have additional handrail requirements.
However, even if your deck is less than a metre high, you could consider a handrail for safety or even a screen to provide privacy from neighbours.
For aesthetic reasons, ensure your handrails match your deck design. Products such as DecoBatten and DecoSlat offer great handrail options for use with the DecoDeck decking system.
DecoDeck - Your Decking Solution
DecoDeck is a timber-look aluminium decking system that allows for easy installation and requires minimal ongoing maintenance. Available in a range of woodgrain finishes that promise durability with a Marine Grade rating from Qualicoat, DecoDeck is suitable for beachside applications. DecoDeck is also rated as safe to use in Flame Zone (FZ), which is the highest bushfire rating zone in Australia.