Building Decking – Your Ultimate Guide to Outdoor Decks

Your Ultimate Guide to Outdoor Decks

What would living on the Gold Coast be without an outdoor living space such as a deck. There are a few important things to consider when building decking. Different decking materials need various levels of maintenance and upkeep and some choices may be better than others for your home.

That’s why we’ve put together the ultimate guide to outdoor decks.

We’ll step you through the different types of decking materials, care and maintenance of your outdoor decking and why Maintenance Guys Constructions should be your choice of outdoor deck builder on the Gold Coast.

Council Approval for Building a Deck

If you’re planning on having a deck built larger than 10 square metres or over 1 metre high, you will require approval from the Gold Coast City Council.

Also, if you want to place your deck in a setback area, council approval will be required, regardless of the size of the deck planned. Setback areas are minimum distances from your boundaries and vary between residential zones.

We help to take the stress of you during the planning of your deck by assisting you with necessary council approvals. All decks built by Maintenance Guys Constructions meet building code requirements for safety, construction and placement.

Choosing Decking Materials

Hardwood, treated pine, merbau, composite decking – there is so much choice available in 2020 for contemporary decks. We often get asked questions like:

  • How do I know which decking material is the best choice?
  • How do the different decking materials affect the cost of the deck?
  • How much maintenance will my deck need?

Let’s take a look at the differences between timber decking another types of decks, to help you make an informed decision regarding your deck installation:

Hardwood Timber Decks

hardwood decking gold coast

A high quality hardwood timber deck is the ultimate choice in quality decking materials. Naturally rot resistant, a hardwood timber deck will last you a lifetime with proper care and maintenance.

It is for this reason however, that hardwood timber decking is more expensive than other types of timber deck materials such as treated pine. Labour costs and materials are also slightly higher when working with hardwood timber.

Hardwood timber can be used for both the deck framework and the decking boards of your new deck. Popular hardwoods include Spotted Gum, Jarrah, Ironbark, Blackbutt and Merbau (which we will discuss below).

It is well worth the investment of a hardwood timber deck if you plan to stay in your home for many years, or are looking for the best deck money can buy.

Merbau Decking

merbau decking gold coast

We really are the lucky country in Australia, with Merbau timber being grown in the South East Pacific rim and coming from trees that grow up to 40 metres high.

Merbau is also a hardwood timber and extremely durable with a density rating of 850kg per cubic metre. You may also hear Merbau timber referred to Vesi, Kwila or Pacific Kwila and Ipil timber.

Merbau timber decks can last between 15 to 40 years, depending on the climate and maintenance over time.

Merbau is one of the most common decking timbers used on the Gold Coast for its durability, weather resistance, insect resistance, minimal shrinkage and not to mention its outstanding rich colour and texture.

Treated Pine Decks

treated pine decking gold coast

Treated pine is a softwood timber and as its name suggests, treated with a chemical preservative. Treated pine can be used for structural elements of your deck as well as the decking board, and is a more cost effective alternative to hardwood decking.

This doesn’t necessarily make treated pine the best choice for your deck. Be prepared for ongoing maintenance if you choose to have a treated pine deck installed.

Visually, treated pine doesn’t have the same appearance as hardwood timber, although it can be stained and painted.

Treated pine is also notorious for warping. This means that you may need additional joists under the deck to keep a treated pine deck remaining straight for years to come.

Whilst this may appear cheaper in the interim, the additional materials, labour and lifetime maintenance may end up costing you more over the life of your deck.

Composite Decking

composite decking gold coast

Composite Decking is an alternative to timber. It is a man made material that combines wood chips and plastic to create a decking board that is very low maintenance.

The downside with composite decking is that is isn’t an entirely natural look, although the look is improving as new generations of composite decking are released.

An important feature to note about composite decking is it gets hot in direct sunlight. If your deck will be built in an area that attracts full sunlight, keep this in mind.

Composite decking also costs more than timber decking.

Composite decking is insect and rot resistant, stain resistant and because it is an artificial product will appear consistent with the grain, colour and dimensions.

If you don’t want the natural look and feel of timber and the ongoing maintenance of a timber deck, composite timber may be a suitable choice for your deck project.

Timber Deck Maintenance

deck and patio contractors

Treated pine decking requires the most amount of maintenance. You will need to wash your treated pine deck yearly and reseal it with a clear sealant and decking oil. Whilst treated pine may appear more cost effective up front, if not properly maintained can cost you more over the life of the deck.

Hardwood Decking requires annual maintenance with a timber oil or finish.

Composite decking requires very little maintenance and can be hosed down or washed with soapy water.

How to Get Started Planning Your Outdoor Deck

contemporary decks gold coast

When planning outdoor home improvements such as decks, patios and pergolas, speak to Cam at Maintenance Guys Constructions first. We will give you honest advice about your deck building project and provide a no obligation quote.

Having been a trusted deck builder on the Gold Coast for many years, we have built countless decks and outdoor living spaces.

We know that a beautiful, long lasting deck starts with quality materials. We only use the best decking materials, fixtures and fittings (such as German engineered salt water resistant screws) that will withstand the Gold Coast climate.

As a fully licensed and insured QBCC registered builder, your new deck addition will be installed in the smoothest process possible, with minimal disruption to you. Our deck building service extends to assisting with council approvals for a seamless project from start to finish.

If you’re still planning your deck design, we can assist with this also. Whether you need a multi-level deck on a sloping block, an elevated deck or a ground level deck, we are here to assist.

From initial design to final construction, book your no obligation quotation for your deck building project today.

Other Things To Consider When Planning a Timber Deck or Outdoor Living Space

When planning your new deck or outdoor living space, think about how you’d like to use it. Here are some ideas to help bring your deck to life and maximise your outdoor living potential:

Adding an Outdoor Kitchen on Your Deck

outdoor kitchen gold coast

Outdoor living is what it’s all about on the Gold Coast, especially during Spring and Summer. Why not talk to us about how we can incorporate an outdoor kitchen into your new deck build?

As full service builders, we can assist to custom design an outdoor kitchen to suit your needs and stand the test of time. We use quality fixtures and fittings that are proven to withstand the Gold Coast climate to keep your outdoor kitchen looking great and working well for years to come.

Outdoor Lighting on Your Deck

deck builders gold coast

Enjoy your new deck when the sun goes down with custom designed deck lighting. 

This is not limited to building a patio roof over your deck – speak to us about incorporating lighting into the decking itself, or deck rails, handrails or decking stairs. 

Whatever the deck lighting design, we can make it happen during your custom deck build. 

Custom Planter Boxes

custom planter boxes

Custom planter boxes make a wonderful addition to a deck. They can be incorporated into your deck build and positioned wherever you choose – such as recessed into decking, or used to frame corners or bench seats as shown in the image above. 

Planter boxes are great for growing fresh herbs to use in your cooking, or small shrubs or flowers to bring nature closer to you.