Your Questions about Installing or Building Decks Answered
Adding a deck to your home can seem like a formidable task; it can even be challenging to know where to start. If you are looking for more information about installing decks in Newcastle, this list of the most frequently asked questions that may arise during planning might be of great help.
What Are the Benefits of Adding A Deck to A Home?
A deck is a relatively low-cost way to add value to a residential property and offers a great return on investment, making your home more attractive to home buyers with families.
A decked area also helps homeowners make the most of their backyard space, encouraging outdoor activities, especially when the weather is nice and a deck is a beautiful and convenient addition to the poolside area that will open up a beautiful space to entertain guests.
What Materials Are Decks Made From?
- Timber: There are several types of wood appropriate for decking. Hardwoods like cedar, jarrah, spotted gum, and merbau are popular for decking in Australia due to their durability and resilience.
- Treated Pine: Treated pine is another good choice. Pressure treatment allows wood preservatives to penetrate into the wood to protect it from decay and termites.
- Composite: Composite is a combination of cedarwood fibre and recycled material. It has the appearance of wood but without the hassles of warping or splintering since it is resistant to moisture. Thus, it is quite durable and easy to maintain. However, it is also more expensive than other types of materials.
What Style Is Best for A Deck?
There are countless possibilities for deck styles, so the choice will depend on the architectural style of the existing home. A good builder would know how to design a deck in a seamless transition to the rest of the house.
Is It Possible to Customise the Design of a Deck?
Yes, decks may be custom-built per clients’ requirements. However, a good deck builder should be able to tailor an installation to the client’s needs, whether basic or multi-level.
How Large Should A Deck Be?
The most important thing to keep in mind is that a deck should be proportional to the rest of the house. A deck that’s too large could dwarf the house, while one that is too small might hardly make an impact or be functional.
One thing to consider is the purpose for which it will be used. If it is intended for outdoor dining or gathering, it should be approximately the same size or slightly larger than the dining or living room. Outdoor furniture is also slightly larger than indoor furniture, so decks must be designed with enough space to accommodate this.
Is A Building Permit Necessary to Add A Deck to A Home?
In Newcastle, building permits are generally required to build a deck. An exemption to this rule, however, are decks that are not attached to a dwelling and do not exceed 200 square feet in area and 30 centimetres above grade.
Usually, deck builders or contractors can take care of permits for property owners. When using a professional deck tradie, it is crucial to get one with an experienced crew and are up to date on all the regulations and requirements.
How Much Does A Typical Deck Cost?
The price of a deck depends on several factors such as the materials used, the size of the deck, add-ons, and the complexity of the project. Fees for building permits and government regulations are also factored into the price.
Typical Cost of Materials
- Treated Pine: Around $200 per square metre
- Timber: $170 – $250 per square metre
- Composite: $100 – $350+ per square metre
In Newcastle, the cost of installing a typical deck varies from $3,500 to $7,000. A deck of 10 square metres would cost between $3,600 to $5,500. Larger sizes would of course cost more.
Requirements such as deck designs and site conditions also play a role in the costing. For example, the price of a standard raised deck, including the balustrade and stairs, would range from $15,000 to $20,000. Any additions such as roofs would increase the price. The more complicated a project, the higher the cost would be. For instance, a slightly sloping ground would add about $600 to $1,500 to the costs, depending on deck size.
How Long Does It Take to Build A Deck?
It all depends on the size of the deck and the site conditions. A typical project may take anywhere from a week to two weeks. Larger and more complex projects may take longer.
Is A BAL-Rated Deck Necessary?
Dwellings and other structures must follow government regulations to safeguard against bushfire risk. It is important to know the Bushfire Attack Level (BAL) of a property and the corresponding requirements, so that builders can plan the materials for a deck accordingly.
|Low||Lowest risk from a potential fire||No special requirements|
|12.5||Risk is primarily from potential embers during a fire||Enclosed sub-floor spaces – no special requirements for materials, except within 400mm of the ground. No special requirements for framing or supports. Decking to be non-combustible or bushfire resistant within 300mm horizontally and 400mm vertically from a glazed element.|
|19||Moderate risk, particularly from embers and burning debris||Same as BAL 12.5|
|29||High risk, particularly from embers, debris and heat||Enclosed sub-floor space or non-combustible or bushfire-resistant timber supports. Decking must be non-combustible.|
|40||Very high risk, likely to be impacted by embers, debris, heat and potentially, flames||Enclosed sub-floor space or non-combustible supports. Decking must be non-combustible.|
|FZ||Extreme risk. Directly exposed to the flames of a potential fire front.||Enclosed sub-floor space or non-combustible supports. Decking to have no gaps and be non-combustible|
Do Decks Come with A Warranty?
Highly professional companies such as Hunter Patios and Additions offer a “Stress-free” warranty for clients. In the case of Hunter Patios and Additions, this warranty lasts for 15 years for materials, 6 years for structural, and 6 years for labour.
What Kind of Maintenance Is Needed for Decks?
Quality decking is made up of sturdy and durable materials, so maintenance is relatively low. However, it is recommended to wash a deck periodically and apply a sealant afterwards. It is best to have a professional come in and deal with extensive cleaning and repairs.
Why Choose Hunter Patios & Additions to Build Your Deck?
With over 25 years of experience in the building industry, Hunter Patios and Additions can give you your money’s worth and more. Our commitment to service and customer satisfaction is what makes us amongst the best builder in Newcastle. Our experienced staff are ready to work with you to customise your deck according to your requirements and budget. Learn more about us at hunterpatios.com.au/about/, call us on (02) 4966 8488 or fill in our contact form and let’s make your dream deck come true.