When considering wooden decking styles to build you need only be constrained by four things: your imagination, the size and shape of the area you’ve got to work in, your budget and your skill level as a DIY home enthusiast.
Designing a Wooden Deck
The actual shape that the decking follows is often thought of as being the ‘design’ in a wooden deck. However, the design also incorporates any framework that might be required, the number of levels on the decking, the rails and stairs you use with it, incorporating lighting into it and even whether to fit the decking boards lengthways, along the width of the deck or even diagonally. All of these components are available in a range of materials, colors and designs suitable for all budgets.
Designing the Floor Pattern
Rather than just going out and buying a load of timber and starting to build from some vague idea in your head – you need to sit down and draw up a few ideas as proper plans. You don’t need to be, or to hire, an architect for this; but do at least need to sit down with a pencil, ruler and some graph paper.
Decide on a suitable scale and mark out the boundaries of the whole garden and then the sort of boundary you want the decking to fit into. Having arrived at two or three designs you like; go outside and actually measure up to get an idea of what it would look like when finished. Easier said than done for some of us.
What would be great is to be able to sketch the space then add in the decking design in to it. But, if you’re like me and can’t even draw a reasonable stick-man, not everyone is brilliant at drawing.
There is, however, an alternative. By looking online you’ll be able to find wood decking design software that will help you plan and then realize your designs for the garden decking. The software is easy to use and quite intuitive, so don’t worry if you’re not a ‘computer whizz’.
Wooden decking can literally work on two levels. You can install ground-level decking or raised-decking. Without stating, what I hope is, the obvious; raised-decking requires a greater degree of confidence and ability to build as a DIY project.
For ground level decking all you need to do is create a footing for a low framework to sit on that the decking can then be fixed to. The height of the footing being no more than 30-40mm. Raised decking has a higher frame and is useful for accommodating a difference in height between a door opening and a garden or patio level.
Raised decking will usually be at least 500mm above ground level at one point or another. Designing and constructing a safe frame for the decking to be fixed to is as important as the design for the decking layout itself, on a raised deck.
Wood Decking Safety
When designing your wooden deck do make sure that any framework is more than adequate for the job. Making the frame strong enough for you and your family to safely use does not allow for the neighbors or friends suddenly turning up. The frame needs to be strong enough to support the maximum number of people that can comfortably stand on the decking. You might also want to check with your local building office regarding any advice or regulations on building a wooden deck in your area.