The good old Kiwi deck has undergone some exciting changes in the past few years, thanks in part to some new materials that have come onto the market.
Composite decking is made from recycled wood and plastic to create a great-looking deck board in a range of grey and brown colours. If you have a waterproof deck and the architect has speciﬁed a water membrane with timber overlay, composite decking is ideal, as it comes in long lengths and screws down, making it easy to access the membrane for maintenance. Composite decking has been tested by Branz and passed the 15-year durability test. The expected lifespan of composite decking is over 30 years, versus 15–20 years for hardwood decking.
Timber is the traditional favourite, and if you prefer the natural look, local-grown pine decking has come a long way in recent years. Premium kiln-dried pine boards are available in widths of 30mm, 90mm and 140mm. They also come pre-stained and are treated to last over 20 years. Ensure they’re well screwed in as they will warp in direct sunlight.
Hardwood decking has come under scrutiny recently from environmental groups as it is often sourced from tropical forests that are being cleared for questionable purposes – planting of Palm plantations, for instance, so if this is what you’re after, check that it’s sourced from sustainable forests. Hardwood timber is more durable for outdoor use in the sun, but it will eventually break down.
Glass balustrades may not be so new but they are becoming very popular. They not only look amazing but also provide a good windbreak. The glass is now mostly sourced from China, so pricing is more affordable. See our Balustrades section here…
Obviously, a poorly built deck is a potentially hazardous zone. Work with a reputable builder; check that attachment points to walls have been done properly, and ensure the deck is rated to hold sufﬁcient people and, if the deck is more than 1.5m off the ground you will need building consent and balustrading.