Finding Garden Decking Ideas:
These days virtually every new home constructed has some sort of deck built off the back of it. Some are built up high on a second floor, others might only be inches off the ground, but decks have become the accepted norm for most builders because they are a cheap and easy way for homeowners to sit outside without actually sitting on the ground. Decks are for more than just looks, they create a divider between you and the ground below, so you should take care when building one…
Building your own deck isn't cheap, and if you are paying someone else to do it, well then you had better have several thousand in cash laying around, or you will probably need to have some financing lined up to complete the task. However you go about building it, you should really put a bit of thought into the type of materials that your garden decking ideas are made out of. You sure wouldn't want to invest several thousand of your hard earned dollars into a deck that isn't going to last.
Garden Decking Ideas with Lumber:
The most common type of decking material by far is your traditional pressure treated lumber that you find at all lumber yards. The reason most decks are made out of the stuff is because it is cheap and easy to work with, and if maintained properly, it will last years in most climates. One of the biggest advantages of good old lumber is it very versatile and when pieces start to rot out, you can simply replace them. Definitely one of the most practical garden decking ideas.
The disadvantages to pressure treated lumber is despite any treatment you do to it, it is still considered a high maintenance material. Every couple of years you will need to repaint or re-stain it, if you want to keep it looking good. Inevitably however, wood left outdoors will always rot away. It's not a question of If, but rather a question of When. There is nothing wrong with lumber, it is the standard for most deck construction, however you need to understand that if you want that freshly built look to last, you are going to have your hands full trying to maintain it.
Garden Decking Ideas with Composite Lumber:
In recent years there has been a shift from using conventional pressure treated lumber, to a composite lumber that is made from recycled materials. Most composite decking is made from around 50% recycled materials, and that is a huge factor for many people who choose it. Another big draw to using this material for your garden decking ideas is its durability. Where most pressure treated lumber decks need sealed and stained again and again, composite decking can go many years without any thought whatsoever. That is an incredible feat for lumber left on its own against the elements, so what's the catch?
The catch is the cost, in many cases composite decking is 2 to 3 times the cost of traditional lumber, depending on what brand and style you choose. Now at this point many of you might be ready to skip the rest of this section and move on, thinking that this isn't the right material for you, but slow down. If you stop and think about it, a deck is a major investment for most people, something you wouldn't want to cheap on. If you have to spend your time and money constantly maintaining a traditional deck, how much could you save by using a product that lasts for 10 years or more with little to no maintenance?
Bamboo Garden Decking Ideas:
Another type of material for your garden decking ideas that is fairly new to the market is bamboo decking. Now before you get an image of bamboo stick tied together don't worry, it's not like that at all. The stuff that we're talking about here is actually made from bamboo fibers that have been compressed and formed into planks. This decking is produced by a range of companies who claim that it is rot proof, sun proof, fireproof, and waterproof. That is a mighty bold claim to say the least.
We all know bamboo to be far stronger and durable than most traditional woods, so it only stand to reason if someone would eventually figure out a way to turn such a durable material into something that would be useful as decking. Looking around at several manufacturers of the product, I was surprised to see that they advertise bamboo decking to be at least 25% stronger than oak, with half the shrinkage. During the manufacturing process, this type of decking is actually treated with hydrogen peroxide and borate that makes it resistant to mildew and insects…incredible stuff!
Stone Garden Decking Ideas:
When most people think of a deck they think of wooden structures up in the air, but many decks are actually built at ground level, which makes me feel compelled to mention stone patios. While a patio is a little bit different than a deck in that it is usually built into the ground rather than on top of it, they serve the same purpose. If you have the luxury of building your deck at ground level, you should give this material at least a second look.
It is widely assumed that stone patios are incredibly expensive when in fact they only are if compared to a traditional lumber deck. If you are looking to invest a little extra money in a deck or patio that is going to last then stone is by far the way to go. Stone is far more durable than even composite decking, and it's available in just as many options, if not more. A properly laid stone patio will not just last years, it will last decades and beyond with very little maintenance. If you are looking for garden decking ideas to stand the test of time, then stone is the way you want to go.
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