Outdoor decking is a great way to turn an unused space into a usable entertaining area while also helping to boost the value of your property. Below we will go through a few pointers to help Before, During, and After when taking the step to having your decking built.
Research In today’s world of social media, it makes picking the correct person for your project that much easier. If they are a carpenter and their social media images are full of bathroom/kitchen renovations, they might not be the correct person for an outdoor decking/pergola project.
It is important to do your research prior to committing to a carpenter, making sure they are qualified, have up to date insurance, and if applicable are licensed.
Note, dependent on the project some carpenters may not need to have a building license, but it’s preferable if they do.
Do your due diligence and do not be afraid to ask, because if something does go wrong it is you and your home you need to protect.
In my opinion word of mouth is still the best form of recommendation. Asking questions is key when getting a recommendation such as:
- Why were they happy?
- Why weren’t they happy with them?
- Was the trade person happy to fix up any items that you weren’t happy with?
- Did you get what you were expecting? and my favorite question
- Would you get them to do more work for you?
Permit, Permit, Permit
Every council is different and dependent on your build, a permit may apply. Ask the carpenter when they are quoting and if you are not sure of their answer, call your local council to clarify. Do your own homework!
Get a minimum of three quotes but keep in mind a $2 pair of socks always feels different to a $10 pair. Look at their social media, look at their quality and the way they present themselves and most of all ask questions. What is the best timber to use? Does it have to be a timber deck can it be a composite decking? Are there any other styles or features to make the decking stand out from the normal? What screws are they using? What screws can you use? They are the professionals so ask questions until you feel satisfied with the carpenter you have chosen.
Now you’ve chosen your carpenter this is the exciting part of watching the magic happen and your vision come to life.
When construction does start get the carpenter to run you through what they are going to be doing and where key features will be such as steps/walls/planter box’s/seats etc. This way you will have a better idea of the size and location and an opportunity for changes.
If it’s not what you had originally expected, you are best to address before the build begins because it is much easier and cheaper than to change once construction has commenced.
Don’t get out the new table and chair set just yet there is one more thing to get done. Once the carpenter is complete and you are happy with the final product the decking will need to be either stained or oiled.
Stain or Oil
It is not a do or die necessity but is highly recommended that the decking is left to weather of 14-21 days, this will let the tannins leach from the timber and prevent staining run off once the decking is oiled. It will also give the timber some time to weather and settle. Whether you decide to stain or oil your new deck strongly depends on the material that was used.
Hardwoods such as Merbau, Jarrah, or Ironbark are a rich strong timber with warm earth colors so you may want to consider a clear stain, but timbers like treated pine which takes to a tinted or colored stain much better. The best thing to do is to ask the carpenter what they recommend but also speak to the professionals at the paint shop. They will be more than happy to help and recommend whether a water-based or a non-water base is the best option and also the best style of application.
The decking will require a good clean prior to staining, this product can be purchased at the same location as the decking stain. Maintenance
A big note to remember is decking is a natural material so it does move with the weather conditions and will need to be maintained every 6-12 months to help prolong its life. Once the deck has been stained its time to get out the table and chairs and enjoy the new area you have created.
Our Guest Contributor
Thank you to Nic May from May Building Contractors for sharing his insights when it comes to all things decking.
With 14 years in the domestic and commercial building industry, M.B.S specialise in deck’s, pergolas, frame, and anything building-related. All you need is to ask!
To find out more visit their Facebook site www.facebook.com/MayBuildingSolutions.