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Wooden decking

Wooden decking is an increasingly prevalent choice for creating outdoor seating areas in gardens. Due to the natural beauty of wood, they can be very fashionable areas that can be used year round by installing external heating and illumination. Wooden decking is often installed in locations in front of patio or French doors where they can create a seamless transition between interior and exterior spaces. Wooden decking can come in any size or shape to fit any area. Curved designs or large areas connected by pathways can produce a striking effect.

Wooden decking is relatively easy to install and causes little disruption, particularly when compared to alternatives like patio or paving. It can even be installed over the top of a pre-existing patio. It is essential however to be sure that your wooden decking is structurally sound and able to take the load of any furniture or plants that you would like to use on the decking.

There is a choice of species of wood that can be used in wooden decking. Typically decking is constructed from hardwood, but there are softwoods available that fulfil the durability specifications. As hardwood decking will require maintenance, which commonly requires yearly cleaning and staining for weather proofing, composite woods are becoming more popular for use in wooden decking as they are stronger and require significantly less maintenance.

Average Wooden decking cost

The typical cost of Wooden decking is £1500. Costs can change based upon the materials and the firm hired. The upper price range can be as high as £1725. The material costs are commonly approximately £375

Average price per Wooden decking job in 2022

Avg. price low

Avg. price low
£1,159

Avg. price

Avg. price
£3,181

Avg. price high

Avg. price high
£5,187

£5700

£4275

£2850

£1425

£0

Prices based on actual Wooden decking costs for your area, as reported by local Quotatis members.

Wooden decking installation cost in your area 2022

Labour cost £1,050
Material cost £375
Waste removal £75
Time frame: 1-4 days

Advantages for Wooden decking

  • Wood has the authentic look, smell and feel over the stamped or embossed texture of composite decking
  • Wood decks remain relatively comfortable underfoot during hot weather
  • Hardwood decking options can have a life expectancy of 40+ years
  • Timber decking is flexible and can be easy to cut up and rearranged in to new styles and layouts.
  • Wide range of colours available, both in wooden and composite decking

Disadvantages for Wooden decking

  • Wood decking requires routine maintenance to prevent rot, fading and discoloration
  • Composites cost roughly twice as much as pressure-treated wood decking
  • Cheaper composite decking can have a very artificial look of plastic

Wooden decking Manufacturers

Wooden decking FAQs

How much is decking?
How much decking costs depends on the type of material you go for, how big you want your decking to be and where you live in the country. But typically, the cost of decking is between £1,200 - £1,800. The most popular material for decking is pre-treated softwood, which will set you back around £1,000 for 15m2. Hardwood is more expensive but is more durable, and will cost approximately £2,000 for the same amount. Homeowners are also beginning to choose composite decking, which is made from recycled plastic and wood fibres, and is low-maintenance and eco-friendly. This will cost around £1,600 for 15m2, while uPVC which is also a low-maintenance option costs around £600. People tend to choose composite over uPVC because it looks more like natural timber. If you’re a competent DIYer, you might want to have a go at laying decking yourself which will set you back around £1,000 for a standard softwood timber deck. We think it’s worth paying the extra £600 for a professional to lay your decking, since they will be able to do it much more quickly. If you do want to try it yourself, we recommend leaving at least a whole weekend open to do it, but it’s likely to take you longer. Factor in the possibility of having to take time off work to complete it and it might be more cost-effective to leave it to the pros.
How much maintenance will a wooden deck need?

Properly installed wooden decking will not need a lot of maintenance. Most manufacturers recommend regularly brushing leaves and dirt off the deck, and a yearly cleaning and staining procedure. This will keep the wood in the best condition. Fluids and treatments are readily available from all DIY shops and stores.

How to build a raised deck?
Building a raised deck will take some time and is trickier than laying standard decking at ground level, but if you want to build decking on a slope or uneven ground it’s the best way to do it. If you do your research and follow instructions, you and a friend or family member can build a raised deck over a few days. Here’s a simplified guide of the steps you’ll need to take. Plan carefully It’s best to plan your raised deck by drawing it to scale on paper before you go and get supplies. This will help avoid wastage and making more cuts to timber than necessary. Prepare the area Prepare the area according to the instructions we give in the FAQ ‘How to lay decking’. However, because you’re building a raised deck, you’ll need to add posts:
  1. Place a post in the corner of the frame you created with the pegs and string. Measure and mark out 100mm from each side.
  2. Dig out this soil to a depth of 700mm (watch out for cables or pipes). You should have a 300 x 300mm hole. Repeat for the other 3 corners.
  3. Using a brick bolster, split a concrete block in two. Put a section of the block in each hole.
  4. Get a length of post longer than you need and place one in each hole. You can cut it down later.
  5. Create props on each post to hold them in place until you’re ready to add a cement mix. Check that they’re level. When you’re happy that they are, secure them in place with a concrete mix, making sure you create a slope in the concrete so that rainwater runs away from each post. When the concrete is set, remove the props.
  6. Create a string line around each corner post and find the centre point between each. Place a timber batten at each point, ensuring that they’re not spaced any more than 1500mm apart.
Make the outer frame
  1. Working from the corner where the deck will be at its highest above ground level, measure and mark on the post where the highest part of the frame will be.
  2. Measure from the far side of one post to the opposite and cut sections of joist to size. Line up a piece of joist with the mark you made and temporarily secure it. Factor in a 2mm fall for every metre of decking so rainwater can run off.
  3. Secure the frame to the other corner post, ensuring it’s at the right level. Do this for every side of the outer frame.
  4. Using 100mm coach screws with washers hanging on the end, secure each end of the four sections of frame.
  5. Mark out where the centre of the support posts will be and secure all of these posts to the frame, except the centre post.
  6. Add your central support joists. These should run in the same direction as the deck boards will run. You’ll need to measure from the inside of the frame on one side to the inside of the frame on the opposite side. Attach the joist in the same way as you did for the other posts. Repeat so the centre post is in between two sections of frame and secure the posts with concrete.
  7. Trim down all the posts to the correct height using a saw.
  8. Add your weed-control fabric and weigh down with gravel across the entire area.
Add your joists
  1. Measure 400mm from the centre of the outer frame and mark a line. This will be where the first joist is positioned. Repeat at 400mm intervals down the length of the frame – if the last one will be more than 400mm, add another joist to create enough support.
  2. Attach a joist hanger to each end of the joist.
  3. Place the joist in position so the centre lines up with the 400mm spacer mark.
  4. Secure using external grade screws once you’re happy that the joist is flush with the frame.
Lay your decking boards Refer to our FAQ on how to lay decking to see how you should attach your decking boards. Remember: Always treat cut ends and pilot holes with decking preservative to keep your decking in good condition for as long as possible. Building a raised deck isn’t a straightforward task. If you’d rather leave it to the professionals, get a range of quotes to help you get the best price and a high quality finish.
How to build decking on a slope?
You might think that building decking on a slope is a no-go, but it’s actually a great way to help you make use of your garden when the ground is sloping. It will provide you with a level surface that you can BBQ on as well as dine alfresco without finding that your meal is rolling down the table. But how do you build decking on a slope? Our guide in the FAQ above, ‘How to build a raised deck’, is the perfect solution – but we’ll break it down here if you just want to get an idea of what’s involved. Dig out the area If you’re laying on soil or turf, you’ll need to dig it out. Dig down and remove all the turf from the area and ensure that there are no weeds or stones in the area you’re going to build your decking on. Since you’re building on a slope, it will be hard to get it level, but dig out to a depth of 50mm and lay weed-control fabric with gravel over the top. Add posts and set with concrete Make holes for posts and add them in, ensuring they’re longer than you need. Make sure they’re level, then fill the holes with a concrete mix to set them in place. Build the outer frame Make sure you always work at the top of the slope when you’re building your decking, and measure where the highest point of the decking will be. Secure the 4 sides of the outer frame and factor in a 2mm fall for every metre of decking so rainwater can run off. Add joists Secure joists along your frame at 400mm intervals. If you get to the last joist and there will be more than a 400mm gap left at the end, add in an extra one for support. Lay your deck boards Screw your deck boards to the joists, ensuring that the deck boards are running in the opposite direction to the joists. For timber boards, you need to make sure you leave an expansion gap of 5-8mm. These steps should give you an idea of whether you want to have a go at building decking on a slope, or whether you want to leave it to the pros.
How to lay decking?
Laying simple, ground-level decking may sound intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be. With careful planning and preparation, you can lay decking that you’ll be proud to show off to neighbours, family and friends. Here are a few tips to get you started. Plan carefully Draw out a plan, to scale, on paper. This will help you to know how many boards you’ll need and ensure that you don’t end up having to cut anything to fit. Prepare the area Measure out the site according to your plan and hammer a peg into each corner, then tie string around each peg to help you see what you’re working with. If you’re not laying on existing slabs, dig into the ground, lifting out turf if it’s there, and check that the site is level. Then add concrete slabs for more stability or lay weed-control fabric over the ground and cover with gravel to further prevent weed growth. Build your sub-frame Since a lot of people ask this, we’ve got a more detailed guide in the FAQ below. Lay your deck boards
  1. Start in one corner of the sub-frame and position the first board across the inner joists. You want the deck board in the opposite direction to the inner joists, ensuring that it’s flush with the frame. Position any end-to-end joins between the deck boards halfway across an inner joist so you can screw both boards into the joist for stability. Make sure you keep a gap of between 5-8mm to allow for expansion of the wood.
  2. Begin to screw your deck boards to the joists. You’ll need to secure the deck board to every joist is covers along your deck frame. Use two screws for every joist. Mark where you’re going to add your screws, ensuring that they are at least 15mm from the end of the board and 20mm from the outside edges. Drill pilot holes for the screws, being careful to only drill through the deck board and not the joist. Then screw the decking screws into the holes.
  3. Continue to screw in the deck boards, ensuring you leave the correct expansion gap. You can stagger the deck board joins across the deck for more strength.
  4. Sand down any cut ends if you need to before applying decking preserver to protect the timber from rotting.
Although this is a simplified set of instructions, it’s enough for you to see whether you want to attempt to lay decking yourself – and if you don’t, you can get in touch with professionals who will be happy to give you a quote.

How to lay decking on uneven ground?
There are two ways to lay decking on uneven ground. We’ve explained how to build a raised deck in our FAQ ‘How to build a raised deck’ above, and that’s great for uneven ground or sloped gardens. But there’s another way that you can lay decking on uneven ground if you don’t want a raised deck: you can create a level supporting base. We’ll go through the basics here. Materials you’ll need
  • Paving slabs – old or cheap ones are fine
  • Timber for the frame and legs
  • Type 1 MOT hardcore
How to lay decking on uneven ground
  1. Mark out the area as we explain in ‘How to lay decking’. Then, dig to 200mm below where you want to surface of the decking to be.
  2. Add a 50mm layer of hardcore and make sure it’s compact.
  3. Build the decking sub-frame as we describe in ‘How to build a deck frame’.
  4. Lay out paving slabs along the edges and in the centre of the area. This will help to spread the weight of the decking.
  5. Set the decking frame on the slabs, checking for high or low points and adding off-cuts of timber where needed. Don’t forget to sand and seal these off-cuts with decking preservative.
  6. Add your joists and then the deck boards, leaving the recommended gaps of expansion of between 5-8mm.
Building your decking on top of paving slabs is a good way to get it level, but you still may not be able to get as good a finish as if a professional did it. If you’re in any doubt, get in contact with some decking specialists and see what they would recommend.
How to make steps for a deck?
Unless you built a ground-level deck, you’re going to need steps to go with it. Check Building Regulations to see if you need to install handrails as well. It’s good practice to:
  • Have a step tread width of 900mm – if you don’t want them that wide, they should be no less than 760mm
  • Add a central step riser to stairs wider than 900mm to prevent them buckling
  • Add a step depth (the vertical distance between each step) of between 150 and 180mm if building your own riser, so the steps are at a comfortable depth
Getting started To build your steps for the deck, you’ll need:
  • Step treads (the actual step themselves)
  • Step risers
  • Coach screws
  • Deck screws
  • Saw
  • Drill
Make the steps for your deck
  1. Make sure the ground where you want to put your steps is level and firm. If it’s not, consider laying concrete or paving slabs to provide a secure surface for your steps to sit so they don’t sink.
  2. Grab some joist off-cuts and cut them to the same width as your step treads. Attach them to the step risers at the top and bottom using countersunk coach screws.
  3. Place the steps against the sub-frame of the deck; if you’ve put slabs down for support, make sure the steps sit in the middle of them. The longest edge of the stair riser should be on the slabs, and the short edge against the deck. Drill pilot holes through the step and sub-frame joist, then screw the step to the sub-frame with more coach screws.
  4. After drilling pilot holes, screw the treads into the risers at each end with deck screws.
  5. If you don’t want gaps between each stair, you can add joist off-cuts or deck boards. Measure the height and depth of the gap, then screw the off-cut or board into the step riser with two screws at each end.
Can I fit a hot tub on my terrace or decking?

Yes, although you should make sure that the terrace or decking is able to support the weight of a hot tub. Usually, you will need to have a structural survey carried out on the area. Seek the advise of a hot tub retailer or installer about the logistics of installing one at your property.

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