This informal CPD article, ‘Designing a deck to complement the modern property’, was provided by Arbor Forest Products, one of the largest independent timber importing businesses in the UK, providing outstanding service and distribution to merchants.
Decking remains a popular addition to both private and commercial properties thanks to the variety of benefits it can offer. From extending the existing living space and encouraging more time being spent outdoors to potentially adding significant value to the property, decking can be a fantastic investment.
One of the best ways to maximise this investment is to encourage the homeowner to ensure the design of the deck complements the type of property it’s being built on. With this in mind, when it comes to designing a deck for a modern property – whether it’s a new build home or high-rise commercial building – the consideration of modern benefits, style and finishes are key to unlocking its full potential.
While timber has largely maintained its reputation as the go-to decking board material thanks to its lower price point and perceived links to sustainability, this is now increasingly caveated with questions relating to how it has been sourced and manufactured.
By contrast, composite decking comprises up to 95 per cent recycled wood fibre and plastic, meaning there’s no need to fell trees in its manufacture. What’s more, composite decking’s sustainability is further increased by its longevity, with many leading manufacturers providing warranties of up to 50 years for residential decks and up to ten years for commercial decks, meaning the won’t need to be replaced for many years.
Composite decking’s eco-friendly credentials are in harmony with modern buildings, which are likely to have been designed and built with sustainability in mind. However, it’s important to note that this long lifespan only applies to quality composite decking boards with profiles that promote durability, such as solid and capped boards which provide structural integrity as well as protection from the elements. While lower price points may be appealing, this is unlikely to offer value for money in the long term, and it’s important for contractors, specifiers and installers to only recommend decking from trusted brands offering a domestic warranty.
Composite decking is able to provide durability, and ultimately sustainability, even with minimal maintenance – ideal for busy homeowners who want to spend more time enjoying their deck than maintaining it, and business owners who want to provide the best possible customer experience.
While links to sustainability are an important consideration for designing a deck for a modern property, the overall style is what will make the first – and lasting – impression of the deck. Modern interior design favours clean lines and neutral colours, and this can be used as inspiration for a deck in order to create a seamless flow from the inside out. Design elements like smooth curved areas, built-in lighting, and glass or black railings are all useful additional touches for creating a sleek and contemporary finish ideally suited to modern residential and commercial properties.
However, one of the most popular ways to create a modern-looking deck is the use of grey decking boards. A signature element of contemporary design, grey offers a versatile solution thanks to its soothing effect and neutrality, which is ideal for making accent colours pop. Using this adaptable colour is therefore the ideal way to create a true extension of a property’s indoor space and complement interior design choices.
Fortunately, there are a number of options when it comes to building a grey deck for a modern property. If the homeowner or business owner opts for timber decking, there are a variety of grey wood stain products available, but it’s important to note that this option requires regular maintenance to keep the deck looking in top condition. Alternatively, composite decking is available in a range of colours including multiple shades of grey, requiring minimal maintenance backed up by a warranty when purchased from leading brands.
A contemporary deck wouldn’t be complete without the addition of some ‘mod cons’. For higher budget projects, a deck design could centre on a pool or hot tub, or it could feature a sleek fire pit surrounded by a sunken seating area. Contemporary luxuries may also include the addition of technology, such as built-in speakers, heaters or charging points for the ideal entertaining space.
Whether it’s for a residential or commercial property and whatever the budget, the design possibilities are endless when it comes to decking for modern properties.
We hope this article was helpful. For more information from Arbor Forest Products, please visit their CPD Member Directory page. Alternatively, you can go to the CPD Industry Hubs for more articles, courses and events relevant to your Continuing Professional Development requirements.