Before you buy decking, follow this advice for outdoor flooring.
- Decking is cost-effective and can be laid over uneven surfaces. But make sure you get the size right.
- Considering railings? Bear in mind that they’ll block your view of the garden beyond. If they will obscure an idyllic scene, consider a glazed balustrade. Richard Burbidge sells a wide range, from timber to glass and aluminium.
- Split the levels to create visual interest and define different areas.
- Hardwood or softwood? This depends on your budget, but even cheap softwood can look expensive if regularly cleaned and oiled. Grooved boards are less slippery when wet, but dirt will sit in the grooves; smooth boards are easier to keep tidy, but slippery.
- Like wood but want longevity? You can buy wood-effect decking with the durability of concrete, such as Marshalls’ Woodstone sleepers, from £4.90 for (W)20x(L)20x(D)4cm.
In the gallery: An element of privacy has been added to this decked area with lush tropical and Mediterranean-style planting. Ideal for a small outdoor space, these plants don’t need to be bought in great numbers to make an impact in a compact area. Design by Mylandscapes.
All prices correct at time of publishing.