There are lots of reasons why creating accessible decking is a good idea. Perhaps someone in your household has limited mobility or is unsteady on their feet. Or maybe you’re getting older and are worrying about how you’re going to around your garden in future.
Whatever your reasons, there are several easy ways to make to decking easier to access. Take a look through our tips to see how you can adapt your outdoor area so everyone can enjoy it.
1. Avoid steps
One of the simplest ways to create accessible decking is to avoid steps. Not only will this make it much easier for wheelchair users to use and enjoy your decking, it’ll also making walking smoother for those unsteady on their feet.
One way to avoid needing steps to access your decking is to build it at the same level as the part of your home you use to access it. Then, if this is higher or lower than your garden level, build ramps to access it rather than steps. Make sure you don’t make the ramp too steep, otherwise it’ll still be tricky to get up and down.
2. Add handrails
Whether your terrace has level changes or not, fitting handrails is also a good way to make it easier to access. These don’t have to be like the ugly, functional ones that you often see outside public buildings. As long as it’s at a handy height, is easy to grab and can support the average body weight, you can use almost any material or design that you fancy.
If you’re putting up handrails, make sure you prioritise fitting them at any changes of level, like ramps or steps.
3. Use smooth textures
Another way to make accessible decking is to use smooth textures. Smooth decking is much easier for people unsteady on their feet to walk on than ridged or grooved decking. It also creates a smoother ride for wheelchair users.
4. Try anti-slip inserts
Anti-slip inserts can also help to make your decking more accessible. You can fit these between the boards to make your decking easier to walk on in wet or slippery conditions. Whether you’re building new decking or are planning to alter an existing area, there are anti-slip inserts that you can use.
When you’re choosing your anti-slip inserts, try to pick middle resistance ones. These will help to increase grip without making the surface too resistant to walk on easily.
5. Clean regularly
Cleaning regularly is one of the simplest things you can do to create accessible decking. Giving your decking a good sweep and wash regularly prevents a build-up of slippery dirt or weeds. This will make it much easier for people with limited mobility to move around your decking with ease.
Choosing smooth decking will also help you clean your decking. Ridged decking can collect dirt and debris that is tricky to get rid of.
Following these 5 easy steps will help you to create accessible decking that you and all your family and friends can enjoy.