Garden decking is a fantastic way of providing a relaxing area in the garden. It looks good and can be styled to suit your needs but choosing the right decking is another matter.

This can be a difficult choice to make because there are so many potential options. It is not colour and style, but where to place it, what materials you want to use, costs and practical considerations.

Decide where you want to place the decking. Putting it next to the house is the usual answer but it may not be the best one for you. When will you be using the decking – all day or just in the evening after work? Decking works best in the sunniest part of the garden. Make sure that there is privacy from neighbours too. Fences, trees and shrubs may be needed.

Check out the location of any manhole covers or drains in the chosen area. Decking can be created around these, but it is essential to seek advice from a skilled professional.

Decking can work anywhere in the garden as it can be adapted to slopes, ridges or steps. Rather than just a simple rectangle of wood, it is worth considering giving it some style using circles or varying the level slightly. Building in some raised beds, a little pond or water feature such as a millstone trickle fountain will add interest to the overall design. A sand pit can be installed for young children to play in. This can always be converted to a flowerbed or water feature when they get older.

Decking is very versatile and seating and storage options can be built into your deck to create a streamlined beautiful look for your garden. A great place to hide away garden toys or cushions.

Consider too whether to add some balustrading around the decking. This can look very stunning. It can be a useful safety feature if the decking is elevated or on a slope. It can even be combined with a small gate to reduce the risk of children falling off the decking.

Planning permission may be required and this needs to be checked before installation begins. There may be constraints if the garden is in a conservation area, the building is listed, levels are raised, or if it borders a neighbouring property.

Doing your research beforehand can make a tremendous difference. Seeking the help of a professional contractor will certainly reduce the time scale as they can advise on location, materials as well as install it. Just think – planning now could mean your new decking is ready for use by Easter!

If you have any questions on a decking project you are planning and would like some advice please get in touch