We arrived at this Wimbledon Composite Decking Installation project as we often do, at the tail end of Kitchen Refurbishment and Extension. The goal was inside-outside living, to extend the interior outside into the garden. The clients wanted the surface immediately outside to be matching in height to the inside area for a smooth transition for little hands and feet.
Decking or Paving?
Extending the inside of the house to the outside is a very popular way of expanding your living area and is ideal for kids. There are two main choices to make in this scenario, Paving or Decking. Both are very good options, however if you are left with a large elevation change between your new rear doors and the garden area, Decking can be installed more quickly than paving, with significantly less digging out to be done, and the work itself is less weather dependent meaning decking installations can be done year round..
If the rear of the house extension is elevated then Paving becomes more complex as you either have significant filling to do to bring the outside up to the correct level, or steps to plan. Most of our clients are young families so steps are not what they are looking for, they want a smooth transition from inside to outside with as little elevation change as possible.
Decking also significantly reduces the drainage aspect or the project. Paving requires water drainage channels to be added to the plans, and the Paving must slope away from the house, and often a soakaway must be installed. Decking does not require these in most situations.
Choosing the Decking Joists and Bearers: Jacksons Fencing
For this job we built 3 rows of Bearers to stabilise the Decking Frame, then built the Decking Frame on top of the Bearers, and finally added the Decking onto the Frame with a small step at the side down to the side access road.
To ensure the Frame and Bearers come with a Guarantee we used Jacksons Fencing 50x150mm Heavy Duty Deck Joists. These come with Jacksons Fencing standard 25 Year Service Life Guarantee. These joists are more expensive than Pressure Treated timber from Builders Merchants for a good reason: they last longer. Most Pressure Treated timber will last between 7-15 years depending on the environment. Here is more information on Jacksons Fencing Timber Guarantee:
We then Taped the top of the Joists and Bearers with Joist Tape. This Services 2 purposes:
- Water which sits on top of the Joists doesn’t penetrate into the wood, it sits on the tape until it evaporates. This extends the life of the Joists from premature wood rot.
- The tape seals around the screws to prevent water getting into the Screw Holes and damaging the Joists from the inside.
When we remove old Decking Frames the Joists always fail at 3-4 specific points.
- The Gap between the Deck Boards. There is almost always wood rot on the Joists that appears as black vertical lines right below the point where 2 Deck boards run over a Joist.
- Screws penetrate the wood. This Screw hole provides a channel for water to get inside the wood Frame past the area which is Pressure Treated which is generally 2-4mm on the outside of the wood. If budget Screws have been used they corrode and the corrosion speeds up the deterioration of the Joist.
- Joists which are attached to the house, often called Wall Plates or Ledger Boards.
- Joists which are in contact with soil.
Looking for more information on Decking Frames and Bearers? Click here to visit our Decking Frames section.
Choosing the Decking: Trex
We installed Trex Enhance Naturals Decking Boards and Fascias using Trex Universal Clips, Trex Start Clips, and Trex Fascia Screws using Trex Starborn Fascia Tool. These provide the perfect finish for your Deck project and come with a 25 Year Warranty from Trex. The clients chose Toasted Sand from the variety of colours available. Here is more information on the Trex Warranty
When choosing a composite deck manufacturer, you do have to get the colour and finish you would like, however this still will leave numerous manufacturer samples on your kitchen table. The difference between manufacturers and their guarantees is significant and is tied to how the decking board materials are bonded together, or wrapped, or painted. Make sure you read up on them, or discuss with a professional installer, as choosing the wrong deck board manufacturer could be an expensive mistake to make. As always, the least expensive brands have the shortest guarantees, and most likely the shortest trading history. Choose a brand that has a proven track record.
Looking for more information on Decking Board options? Click here to visit our Decking section.
Please email us if you are planning a Wimbledon Composite Decking Installation. We cover most parts of Surrey and are based in Kingston Upon Thames. If you are planning outside our area send us an email and we will let you know where the best place to find a reputable Decking Installer in your area is. Most manufacturers have Approved Installer programs which will have Deck Builders local to you.