This guide will help you understand everything involved with installing composite garden decking. We discuss what fitting your new decking entails, the timeframes you can expect and everything else you may need to know about composite garden decking.
Composite garden decking is an effective way of transforming any outdoor space fast. These sustainable, non-slip boards are available in a wide variety of styles and colours to compliment every area.
Composite decking requires less maintenance and upkeep, compared to alternative options such as wood, ideal for all types of gardens. Building a deck is a fairly straightforward process and is easy to install, which is why many homeowners opt for this method versus alternative solutions.
This long-lasting material can provide a striking resemblance to natural wood while being virtually maintenance-free. Raised composite decking provides a safe and comfortable platform that can be enjoyed by everyone.
In the UK, on average, the cost of purchasing a composite garden deck ranges between £80-£160 per square meter covered.
However, this cost does not account for the hire of a professional tradesperson to carry out the installation. Landscapers, carpenters and experienced gardeners can provide the installation of garden decking as a service, although usually you will be required to source your own materials.
You should consider that hiring a professional tradesperson to install your composite garden decking will greatly impact the overall cost of your project.
Many experts will charge for their labour on either an hourly or daily rate, so take this into consideration when outlining a budget for the job. The total cost of installing a composite deck will also vary depending on additional factors such as the scale and complexity of the task
Larger areas will, of course, be more costly as you will require a greater quantity of materials. The timeframe for larger projects will also be longer, thus increasing any professional labour charges.
Composite garden decking is also available in a variety of styles, quality and colours. The total cost of your project will increase or decrease, depending on the product you opt for. The most common types of composite garden decking include a blend of wood and PVC or full PVC boards.
Composite decking that has been treated to be slip-resistant and scratch-proof is usually more expensive than a standard or lower quality alternative. Modern styles and colour choices such as grey, charcoal and blacks tend to be more costly to purchase, due to their increasing popularity.
The table below demonstrates how these different cost affecting factors can influence the total price of your garden project. Please note, the prices below are estimates and should be used as a guide only.
|Wood-PVC Blend Composite Decking
|Wood-PVC Blend Scratch & Stain Resistant Composite Deck
|Solid PVC Untreated Composite Decking
|Solid PVC Scratch & Stain Resistant Composite Deck
The first step when placing composite garden decking is to measure the space in which your intended deck will be installed. You will need to establish the size of the area that will be covered, in order to determine the number of materials that your project requires.
If you are hiring a local landscaper or carpenter to carry out the installation for you, they will likely measure the area for you in order to determine how much coverage you will need.
You will then need to decide on what kind of composite decking you would like. There are many styles and types of composite garden decking products available to suit almost every space.
Depending on your needs, you may wish to opt for a product with more durability and resistance, such as scratch-proofing, stain-resistance and anti-slip coatings. Composite garden decking comes in many different forms, made up of a variety of different materials.
You can choose between solid PVC composite decking boards, decking made of recycled plastics, or a blend of Wood and PVC composite boards. The price of each product will differ depending on the quality and style you choose.
The most important element is that you choose a product that works best for you. Raised composite decks are an easy and creative way of modernising any garden space, creating a safe area that can be enjoyed by the whole family.
The installation method itself consists of assembling the base structure upon which your decking boards will sit. This structure is comprised of timber joists or base-boards and must be securely fixed together to form a solid frame.
It is essential that the sub-structure of your decking is level and in proportion to the area. These joists are commonly fixed together using screws. Once the base is secure, the composite decking boards can then be cut to size and laid horizontally across the frame, securing with screws or the correct fixings.
Composite decking boards often contain hidden secure fastening clips, which should slot into place as each board is assembled. Once each clip is fastened and secured firmly into the timber framework below, decorative elements such as facias and plinths can be added to disguise the base.
It is very possible for any confident DIY-er to install garden decking within their property and composite decking is no different. However, there are a few factors that you should take into consideration before doing so.
If you are attempting the installation yourself, you should be sure to correctly measure the space before purchasing any decking products. This way, you eliminate the risk of running out of materials during the installation. DIY installations are likely to take much longer to complete than that of an installation carried out by an experienced professional.
You will also require the appropriate tools and equipment to carry out a successful composite garden decking installation. Many homeowners believe they can save money by attempting the installation of a deck themselves. However, they forget to consider the cost of the tools required in order to do so.
While it is possible to install your own garden decking, it is important that you recognise the potential problem sand pitfalls associated with the job. Composite garden decking can be a worthwhile investment.
However, you are much more likely to damage a PVC decking board compared to wood. You run the risk of splitting a composite decking board if you overtighten the fixings during the installation.
This can result in costly repairs, and often can be avoided by hiring a professional to carry out the work for you. The use of power tools and professional equipment can be very dangerous if you are not experienced with their use. Remember, that you should always wear the appropriate PPE when using power tools to avoid serious self-harm.
Not only can the job be dangerous, but you may be left with a poor-quality finish if you are unfamiliar with landscaping or carpentry. As with any home improvement project, we always recommend you hire a local professional in order to receive the best possible finish and efficient results.
Here is a list of commonly asked questions regarding installing composite garden decking.
Composite garden decking is commonly made up of a blend of synthetic materials such as PVC, with natural hardwoods.
Composite garden decking can be an excellent addition to any home and is a convenient way of modernising any space. On average it requires less maintenance and typically has a longer lifespan.
Composite garden decking has an estimated lifespan of 25-30 years, thanks to its excellent weather-resistant and anti-rotting properties.
Most composite garden decking boards are designed to withstand the elements, coated with anti-stain and weather-resistant features. This will depend on the product, but usually higher quality decking has a lesser tendency to discolour.
You should take care when jet washing composite decking. If too much pressure or water is applied, you run the risk of seriously damaging your composite decking boards.
Composite decking is intended to perform well in all weathers. Most composite decking boards are textured to provide a non-slip surface, making it safer compared to alternative options.