Decking Ideas and Advice

February 25, 2021


Spring has sprung and it’s understandable that you might want to start thinking about updating your garden. Garden decking is a great way to create a space for hanging out with friends and family and to encourage you to get outside. Read on to discover some great, modern garden decking ideas that will totally transform your garden. Whether you are looking to repair and remodel an old deck, or if you want inspirational decking ideas for a new build, we have you covered!

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What Type of Decking Is Right for Me?

If you want to lay decking in your garden, you might be overwhelmed by the number of options that are out there. Before you can delve into decking ideas, you need to work out what type of decking will work in your space. So, which option is right for you? You should take into consideration your budget, the type of garden you have, and what you intend to use your deck for.


Ground Decking Ideas

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Ground Level Decking

Pros: Ground level decking is incredibly popular in households across the UK. It’s not hard to see why, as ground level decking is usually very easy to install. Ground level decking is also often the cheapest type of decking to install due to its popularity.

Cons: Ground level decking can be susceptible to rotting. This is because the wood will be sitting directly on the ground, which means that it is in constant contact with the water in the soil. You can avoid this problem by adding proper ventilation underneath the wood. Talk to your deck installer about ventilation before you begin.


Multi-Level Decking

Pros: Multi-level decking looks very impressive and it can really improve the overall look of your garden. Multi-level decking tends to cover a large area, so you can customise the area to fit your needs. If your garden is sloped but you still want to install decking, multi-level decking will help to solve this problem.

Cons: Unsurprisingly, multi-level decking is one of the most expensive types of decking. It can take a while to install. You also need to make sure that your multi-level decking is properly supported, as the weight of seating and other furniture could compromise the deck.

Whatever type of deck you choose, we have plenty of decking ideas for you. Read on to find out how you can make the most of your garden decking.


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Modern Decking Ideas to Suit any Garden


Multi Level Decking

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1. Decking Ideas for a Sloped Garden

Many people wrongly assume that decking won’t work in a sloped garden. Of course, if you want to learn how to lay decking yourself, a sloped garden will be trickier than a flat garden. However, if you are ready to take on the challenge, raised decking is a great option for you.

So, what are the pros and cons of laying raised garden decking?

Pros: Raised decking can provide an attractive focal point for your garden. If you want to sit in your garden and enjoy the views, a raised deck is an ideal choice. Raised decking also allows you to avoid the issue of rotting which is prevalent with ground level decking.

Cons: Raised decking is trickier to install. This means that the cost of a raised deck can sometimes be far greater than ground level decking. If you are new to D.I.Y., this won’t be a project that you can tackle on your own.


Dark Wood Deck

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2. Dark Wood Decking Ideas

Some decking ideas look beautiful online, but they can be hard to maintain in the long run. Staining and discolouration can be particularly annoying if you are trying to maintain garden decking. Thankfully, dark wood decking helps you to avoid many of these issues.

There are two primary types of wood decking materials, timber and composite. Both can be great options for your decking plans, with numerous unique benefits from stunning aesthetics to better rot resistance. To find out more about which wood decking material is best for you, take a look at Austim’s Timber vs. Composite Decking guide.

Of course, if you are building a new deck you can opt for a dark wood. If you already have a deck made from a lighter wood, you can stain the old deck to modernise and update it. Choose a wood stain that also promises to preserve the wood underneath. This will save you time in the long run because you won’t have to excessively maintain and repair the deck.

So, if you are looking for decking ideas that won’t require lots of aftercare, dark wood decking could be perfect for you. Opting for a darker wood will also look great in winter, whereas a lighter wood tends to suit the summer months more. If you are unsure about where to begin with staining, why not consult a deck staining specialist before you start? They will be able to advise you on the right products to use and how to prepare your deck for staining.


Decking Light

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3. Decking Lighting Ideas

Lighting is one of the key areas where you can get really creative with your deck. The right lights transform your garden decking into a space that looks just as great at night as it does in the day. Decking lighting allows you to entertain guests or just chill out in your garden once the sun goes down.

Lights that are embedded into the wood are a very popular way to add light to a new deck. There are several key benefits to adding lights into your deck. Firstly, this lighting tends to be safe if you have small children, as it avoids using visible wires. Secondly, the bulbs don’t tend to be too bright, so the lighting will subtly compliment your deck and it won’t be intrusively bright.

Even better, decking lights tend to be fairly cheap. So, once your new deck is in place, adding embedded lights won’t break the bank, but it will make your new build look stylish. Lights also make your deck far more versatile, because you will be able to sit out on in during the day or night.


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Bright Decking Paint

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4. Bright Decking Paint Ideas

Plain, varnished garden decking looks beautiful and classic. However, you can run the risk of building a deck that looks boring and uninspiring. So, if you are more interested in unique decking ideas, adding a colourful decking paint could be right for you.

Sometimes adding colour to furniture can make people nervous. It’s understandable that you might want to avoid garish colours that will fade considerably over time. Your deck is likely to receive heavy footfall, so you might want to consider that when you are choosing your colourful decking paint. Make sure that you apply a couple of coats of paint to make sure that your deck stays fresh.

Colour makes a huge impact in a garden. A brighter deck looks especially striking in the sunny summer months. If you want something bright but still fairly neutral, you might want to choose a shade such as light blue.

Bear in mind that paint will look very difficult on different types of wood. So, do a patch test on a piece of the same wood before you cover your new deck with paint. If you are looking for colour inspiration, consider the colours that are already in the garden. If you have previously planted flowers in your garden, you can compliment them by matching the colour of the deck to your plants.

Whatever shade you go for, you need to make sure you are using appropriate decking paint. Make sure that you choose a paint that can withstand moisture and offers your wood some protection. Opt for a garden paint to make sure that you get great results that last a long time.


Circular Shaped Deck

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5. Curved and Circular Decking Styles

Standard square or rectangular decks are classic shapes that won’t go out of style. However, if you are investing in new garden decking, you might want to raise your game. Often raised decking and multi-level decking has in the past provided gardens with an interesting focal point.

However, ground level decking tends to be quite traditional. But now, even with ground level decking, people are increasingly interested in experimenting with shape.

Curved decking is also a good choice if you want to avoid harsh lines and if you want to create a gradual border between different areas of your garden. Be warned, circular decking and curved decking is harder to install than normal ground level decking. It also requires more skill to install. So, just be aware that if you choose circular or differently shaped decking, you will need to factor in the extra cost into your budget.


Plants in Decking

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6. Make Your Deck Look More Natural with Plants and Foliage

It can be fun to build brightly coloured, eye-catching garden decking. However, sometimes you might want to help your decking to blend in, especially if it is in a small space. One of the easiest ways of doing this is to add plants and foliage around the perimeter of your decked area. This can help your decking to look softer and more natural.

Plants can be helpful when you are adding decking to a small garden, and they can also improve the appearance of decking in a large space. Adding potted plants will help you to break up large sections of decking. You can add paving and gravel to keep the plants in place, which will add a new colour and texture to your decked area.


Wendy House

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7. How to Add Shade and Coverage to Your Garden Decking

In the UK, it may seem incredibly optimistic to consider adding shade to your garden decking. However, decking can be a sun trap. You may be surprised by how sunny it gets when you are relaxing on your new decking in the warmer months.

If you are looking for practicality and versatility, adding a retractable awning to your garden decking is a great idea. However, retractable awnings can be costly, as they are usually cut to your specific requirements. They are substantial structures, so you will need to hire an awning installation specialist to install it for you. Although it is a bit more expensive, the results tend to be worth the price.

There are cheaper options available if you are on a budget but you still want shade. Canopies offer a good mid-range solution. They will still shelter you well from the sun but they are cheaper than an awning. However, the structure is usually immovable.

If you want to make a real statement, you could even add a Wendy house to your new deck, like the one above. If you have kids, they’ll love having a small space to play in outside. Depending on the size of your Wendy house, you can add a sofa to make the space comfortable and relaxing.

We hope that we have been able to inspire you to try out some new decking ideas. Now is the perfect time to hire a decking specialist to start building or repairing a deck, right in time for the warmer summer months.


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Take the Indoors Outdoors

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1. Take the Indoors Outdoors

Your garden patio can be a valuable space, extending your living area outside of the constraints of your home. Why not supply an outdoor patio with all the comforts of indoor living? You can sit back and relax with the right furnishings

Start with a good, weatherproof couch and chairs for seating. Add in side tables of metal or ceramic and make it warm and inviting with lighting and cushions. You can even add outdoor plants in pots for a spot of life!

Even a radio or television can be hung up for a true living room – as long as it’s set into a weatherproof solution! Otherwise, you’ll be dragging it in each time there is a hint of unpleasant weather instead of enjoying yourself.


A Place to Read

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2. A Place to Read

Sometimes the best way to relax is to curl up with a good book. In the summer, you can take your reading material outside, whether it’s a newspaper, book, or e-book! Your garden patio will allow you to take in the warm temperatures along with some entertainment or education. A reading nook is easy to create. All you will need is a comfortable chair and good lighting.

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Bright and Colourful

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3. Make It Bright and Colourful

When you’re searching for top garden patio ideas keep in mind that your garden patio should be anything but boring. Colour is an easy way to spice it up and make it a more inviting space. Give your existing patio furniture a fresh new look with paint. Try bold colours like blue, red, or yellow for a summery feel or, if you need new furniture, find products that are in the palette you want.

Aim for a monochrome scheme for a tied together look or, stick with a neutral like white, black, or brown with one or two colours as your accents. If you want to be truly bold, go for a full rainbow to create a unique and bright outdoor space.


Sunbathers Paradise

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4. Sunbathers Paradise

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Set up a chaise or outdoor lounger that makes it easy to lie out and catch some rays. Just make sure that your chaise doesn’t get too hot in the sun or it could turn into a painful experience. You can also add an umbrella for the days when the sun is just too much. This also adds a pop of colour and height to your garden patio!


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Decking


How to Lay Decking Step By Step

Before you get started on a major project like a deck, you’ll need to do the research to make sure you don’t miss a step, and that you are confident you know how to lay decking. A step-by-step guide prepares you for each step and helps you figure out what materials and supplies you need for the job. After all, you won’t want to begin, and then have to put your project on hold while you make a supply run! 

When it comes to physical structures like a deck, this is especially important as you may not be able to just stop and leave your timbers in the air. Plus, you are dependent on the weather when you work on an outdoor project like a deck. You won’t want to stop while the sun is shining, just to pick up work again in the rain!


Preparation

It’s very important to plan before you start your project. This ensures you have the right materials in the right amounts. It also helps eliminate surprises in the middle of the job! 

As you work out your design, allow for a space between each deck board. This space should be about 5 to 8 mm, allowing the wood to shrink and swell along with the weather. Also, consider the width of each deck board. The total width of your deck should allow each board to be installed in full without cutting them down to fit. This improves the look of your deck. 

Decide on exactly where your deck will be placed. Will you want it connected to your home, or set into your garden? This will help determine the type of footings and supports you’ll need to incorporate into your design. Avoid setting your deck into a wet or damp area that doesn’t get much sun, as this can make your wood prone to rot. Also, check on where it sits in relation to your neighbours, to create privacy. 

If you are building your deck right off your home, consider the damp proof course as to where you fasten it. You’ll also want to set your deck on a slight decline, moving water away from your home.


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1. Plan It Out

No matter what project you are tackling, the most important step is to draught a detailed plan. Your plan should include the layout and design, measurements, materials, a budget, and a timeline. Having the information for these aspects written out will keep your project running smoothly and ensure that it stays on track.


Layout and Design

Picking the layout and design of your new patio can be great fun. With so many different layout options you are sure to find the perfect design for your outdoor space.

Start by taking a look at your yard. Do you have a particular wall that would align well with a rectangular patio? Would a circular patio add a quaint and charming air to your yard? Do you have space for an extensive patio or do you just need enough space for a few patio chairs?

When you figure out the answers to these questions and questions like these you will discover that your yard has already provided you with a bounty of inspiration.

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Measurements

Once you’ve settled on a design and drawn it out, it’s time to take some measurements. These measurements will serve as a guideline for the entire project. Your measurements will determine how much and even which kind of materials are best for the patio. So, it is absolutely essential that you take great care when heading out with your measure tape.

You’ll want to measure around the entire perimeter of where the patio will lie. This will provide you with the square meterage of your patio. You can then take this information and use it to purchase the correct amount of materials for your project.


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