Decking Or Paving? Which is For You and Your Swimming Pool?

by Pool Builders on 07-20-2010 in Articles

Do you dream of having breakfast alfresco as you read the Sunday papers, or catching the last rays of sun as you wind down after a hard day at work around your swimming pool? Creating functional areas out of unused space is just one of the many benefits timber decks and paved areas provide to add to enjoy more outdoor living in Perth's beautiful weather.

Adding a deck to your home is an attractive way to utilise space around your home. Although building a deck may not be the easiest project if you choose to Do-It-Yourself, it will give you years of enjoyment making it all worthwhile. The type of deck you choose will depend entirely on the silhouette of the land and the set up of your property.

Decks can be roughly classified into three types: Low Level, Remote and Hillside. Low-level decks extend out at the level of the floor on flat land. This helps to add space to a family room or an outdoor living area and can be used to create a seamless transition between you alfresco and swimming pool or spa pool. Remote decks are removed from the main living space and are often located around swimming pools and other garden features such as ponds. When used this way decking gives a great finishing touch to the landscaping and can provide an appealing contrast to the water. Hillside decks are those that are constructed to utilise space lost through uneven or sloped terrain.

Timber decking is a great way to make stylish, level areas for all your external entertaining needs. Decking can also invigorate the way you use your outdoor environment, with tricky sites like sloping embankments suddenly made available for summer barbecues.

Decks look fabulous but there are a few things to consider before you decide on decking. Firstly, if you are planning on having decking around your pool, it is important to plan for this upfront as decking will be laid above the ground level, as opposed to pavers which will sit on the ground. You can save yourself from a large amount of shovelling, blisters and aching muscles if this decision is discussed with your pool company prior to the installation.

Secondly, durability is a key factor when choosing timber for your deck, not only for safety reasons but also longevity. Many factors such as growth rate, geography and time of harvest, can all affect strength so it pays to do your homework before committing to a particular type of timber. There are a number of suitable resilient timbers available, but it all comes down to the appearance you would like, the price you can afford and the amount of maintenance time you want to spend oiling and sanding each year.

An outdoor deck that has not been protected against the weathering effects of sun and rain will not only fade to a drab, grey colour but also likely split and distort. All timber decks need to be maintained and the frequency depends of the type of protective finish, how exposed the deck is, and the timber species used.

One coat of water repellent preservative or oil based primer, along with an additional coat of a timber finish should be applied to the top surface of joists prior to fixing. After the deck has been constructed, additional coats should then be applied according to the manufacturers instructions. To prevent timber surfaces from becoming slippery when wet, add Intergrain UltraGrip to your timber finish. This new product creates a textured surface that is ideal for stairways, thoroughfares and pool surrounds.

Paving is another way to enhance your outdoor living, and maximise the amount of time you spend in your garden, is with paving. There is an incredible range of man-made and natural stone pavers that cover all sort of DIY needs. From beautiful sandstone to classic brick and rustic terracotta - the colour variations are as diverse as their applications.

The big design trend that sees no sign of waning is the integration of indoor and outdoor, and pavers are a great way to link your home with your garden. It can be as simple as matching pathway pavers to what you use inside, or using step treats and pool coping to create a seamless transition between spaces.

If you want to ensure natural stone products, such as pavers, statues and retaining walls stay looking like new for years to come, then it's important to protect them with a durable sealer. It's the only way to avoid scale, soap scum, dirt, grease, corrosion and mould from prematurely ageing the look of your paving.

Many fibreglass swimming pool consultants have years of experience in positioning pools and the finishing touches with landscaping, paving, decking and water features, so make sure you ask for their advice. See if they have a portfolio for you to flick through as it's a great way to get ideas for your own piece of paradise in your backyard.

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