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Decking Dos & Don’ts

Time to refresh your garden? If you’re looking to invest in some decking, we’ve got some handy hints from Forest Garden, garden timber experts – and makers of some beautifully crafted garden hardware.

Once you have checked their decking Dos and Don’ts, you should be ready to start laying your deck. If you need help to decide what timber, components and fixtures you need, double check with your garden centre or visit the Forest Garden website for extra advice.

Decking

DO . . . spend time deciding on the right size for your deck. A good trick is to arrange your furniture in the area you have chosen to make sure it fits and feels spacious. If you plan to use your deck for entertaining, consider the number of people you will be accommodating.

DON’T . . . position your deck over water, gas or electricity pipes. Check where your utilities are before you start and remember manhole covers and inspection chambers need to be accessible.

DO . . . check with your local planning department if you are considering building a raised deck that may overlook your neighbours, although generally speaking planning permission is not required. The best policy is to consult your neighbours first rather than risk future feuds over privacy!

DON’T . . . forget the importance of preparation. Remove any turf and some topsoil and apply a weed killer; then lay a polythene sheet to prevent any future weed growth. Weigh the sheet down with gravel or slabs, which will help you achieve a level surface later on.

DO . . . stock up on stainless steel screws and galvanised nuts and bolts as they won’t rust or discolour the timber. Also invest in a good, weather-resistant coating product. Forest’s pressure treated decking timber is guaranteed against rot for 15 years, but extra protection will improve both looks and durability.

DON’T . . . underestimate the scale of your project. A deck may take two people two days to construct, so don’t try to tackle it all yourself in one afternoon.

Find out more about forest garden here.

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