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The pitfalls of choosing the wrong decking installation company

When it comes to external flooring options, few materials have the same appeal as decking. It can completely transform a garden, increasing its aesthetic appeal, adding value to your property and changing the way you use your outdoor space.

Whether you like sitting in the garden for an al fresco breakfast in summer, enjoying a late-night gathering with friends, or lying on a sun lounger on a Sunday afternoon, decking is the perfect solution to making the most of the great outdoors.

The decking market in the UK has grown significantly over the past two decades, transforming the nation’s outdoor flooring industry. This momentum doesn’t look like slowing down any time soon.

Choosing the right installer

If you’re considering adding decking to your garden, it’s important to choose the right installation company. Hiring a professional is important, as installing decking isn’t an easy job. It requires experience and skill, from the planning stage through to completion of the job.

Deciding where to put the decking, choosing the best material and purchasing sufficient boards and accessories are all important parts of the project. When you hire a professional, the work will be completed in a fraction of the time that it would take an unskilled person.

When you’re spending your hard-earned cash on this high-quality enhancement for your garden, the last thing you want is for something to go wrong. The pitfalls of choosing the wrong decking installation company can have far-reaching effects.

Not only can it impact you financially, but it can also ruin the appearance of your garden if installed badly, not to mention being unsafe to use. The best materials in the world often won’t survive if they are installed badly.

Poor drainage

The problems that can arise from poor decking installation might render your garden surface unusable. A common problem is weak deck framing. In addition to selecting the right quantity and quality of materials to make the framing, it must be correctly installed.

It must also be constructed to allow any rainwater to drain away properly, downwards and out from under the assembly. As with any outdoor structure, minimising its exposure to moisture is the key to increasing its longevity.

Correct screws

Another important factor is using the correct kind of screws. If you see only simple nails around the frame, it’s worth checking the installer’s credentials, as a professional would use tougher fasteners, such as lag screws. It could be a tell-tale sign of potential problems in the future if the frame is simply nailed together.

One reason a decking installer might use nails, rather than screws, to secure the decking boards, is because screws can be more difficult to work with. Unless the screws are installed precisely, they can ruin the otherwise smooth and clean look of a beautiful area of decking.

Joists and fascia

Another common mistake that an amateur installer can make is spacing the joists too far apart. This weakens the frame. Making a small investment in additional framing materials is money well spent when it creates extra stability and increases the longevity of the decking.

Incorrect fascia installation is another common mistake. The practice of extending the fascia so it covers the ends of the decking boards is wrong. It enables dirt and moisture to become trapped in the gap between the decking and the fascia.

It can also cause the fascia to warp over time, or eventually pull away altogether from the outer rim joist. Decking boards should be installed so they extend beyond the outer rim joists.

Boards too close together

Timber will expand and contract due to changes in surrounding moisture levels, so fitting the boards too close to each other can create its own set of problems. The gaps between the boards should be between 5mm and 8mm. The timber should have a moisture content of 20% or less when installed.

When the boards are fitted too close together, this inhibits movement and risks making the timber buckle and twist as it tries to break free. When the boards are properly spaced, this provides ventilation to the underneath of the decking. This is another important factor when it comes to extending the longevity of your decking.

Splitting the wood

Installation mistakes also include having the screws too close to the end of the boards. If a screw is installed only 8 or 9mm from the end of the board, it risks causing the board end to split. The screws should be at least 25mm from the end of the board.

Similarly, screws shouldn’t be driven so far into the board that they are almost invisible. The screws should be fitted at the correct level at the surface of the board. Also, using the same screws on the entire decking area creates a tidier finish.

With the right amount of time and research, finding the right garden decking installation company will ensure your new decking will be up and ready to use in no time.

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