Decking can range from basic wooden platforms to multi-level public spaces complete with pergolas and curved seating. While we would all love to have beautiful, picture-perfect decking, most of us don’t have the money required to build the decking areas we see showcased on the cover of lifestyle magazines. However, you might still be able to build a better decked area than what you think you can afford. Here are 8 tips for building luxurious decking on a budget.
Keep It Simple
The simpler the design, the lower the cost. You can go one step further by choosing a square or rectangular design that uses standard board lengths. This keeps material costs to a minimum, since you don’t have to find odd lengths or cut boards to fit your building plan. Furthermore, by laying out decking that calls for 12-, 16- and 20-foot lengths, you’ll minimise the amount of time required for the installation if you hire a professional.
Do It Yourself
Labour accounts for roughly two thirds of the cost of the average decking. This means that you could save a lot of money by taking on part of the labour yourself. However, we don’t recommend doing it all yourself; proper installation is necessary to get high-quality decking. So, find out how you can help the contractor, or hire a handyperson to do the installation work instead of a professional landscaper.
Choose the Right Materials
With the right materials, you can balance quality with cost. Choose boards that are of good overall value. Don’t pick something cheap that will rot or warp in just a few years. Pick decking boards that will resist scratching and fading. You’ll save money on maintenance over the long term over the traditional pressure-treated softwood decking.
Check this installation example of decking from Ecoscape at The Corniche apartments in London. This decking was created using their clarity boards. It shows how the clarity composite creates a beautiful decking area that won’t need to be painted, stained or sealed. This specific decking has a high anti-slip rating, too.
Buy in Bulk
You’ll save money by buying all of the decking materials in one place. You’ll be able to get greater discounts if the landscape yard or building merchant knows how much you’re going to buy from them. They may even provide free delivery. They are also more likely to have extra materials if you need them.
If you order building materials online, look for special offers and discount codes. If you can’t find any, ask the company if they’ll offer a discount if you’re placing a bulk order. It doesn’t hurt to ask, and you might save quite a bit of money. Alternatively, you may be able to take advantage of cash-back deals.
Use Reclaimed Materials
You may be able to use reclaimed materials to build your decking. For example, you might be able to use old scaffolding or even salvaged decking. Note that reclaimed materials will probably need to be repainted every year. On the other hand, you might be able to reuse material from something you’re ripping out elsewhere on the property.
Review Your Options Before You Start from Scratch
If you are tired of looking at your old faded decking, inspect the substructure before you assume you have to rip it all out and start over. If the supporting structure is in good shape, you may be able to simply resurface it with new composite boards or wood decking.
Learn How You Can Extend the Life of the Decking
You’ll also need to know how you can extend the life of the deck. This may include painting or staining. It can include covering the deck with a tarp. If you’re going to put the decking under cover, then you may be able to get away with the cheaper option.
Choose the Right Decking Company
No one wants to save money on the cost of a decking installation only to have to pay someone else to fix it or redo the whole thing. This is why you must find a good contractor for the deck installation.
Read their reviews, not just the testimonials they put up on their website. Read complaints about the company to learn what you may want to watch out for. See photos of the products in use. Even better, try to see finished decking projects they’ve installed in your area. This allows you to get an idea of what the final product actually looks like, and you can get testimonials from actual customers.
Alternatively, you might be able to see photos of completed projects on social media. Instead of looking at the projects on their website, look for photos tagged with the company name on social media posted by the customers themselves.
Do they have a physical address, email address, and phone number? This is important if you want to be unable to contact them if you have questions or if problems arise.
With a little research and advanced planning, you could significantly reduce the cost of your new decking, or you might be able to afford a larger, nicer deck than what you originally planned.