With access to nature on our doorsteps, it’s no surprise that Aussies love spending time outdoors! An increasing demand for more versatile options for outdoor living areas has turned the humble backyard into an al fresco lifestyle dream. Homeowners investing in this multi-functional space are finding it offers a variety of benefits that will provide a long-term contribution to their property investment and, more importantly, their lifestyle. Australia’s leading timber experts, Big River Group, provide some helpful tips on choosing a deck and adding value to your property by making the most of your outdoor space.
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Adding Value to your Property with a Private Oasis
Think of your outdoor space as a blank canvas where you are free to create the ultimate private oasis. Installing a timber deck will allow the area to be used in all types of weather conditions, especially if you include some covered space. A covered deck is a way to create some shade and prevent your deck’s surface from overheating during the summer.
Take note of your home’s outdoor layout, entryways and windows to see how you can best incorporate a deck. You will also want to consider how this decking area will be used: How many people will it need to accommodate? Will you be including a barbeque or dining area? What types of outdoor furniture solutions will you include? Will you be including potted plants? A split-level or multi-tiered deck design can zone an outdoor room and highlight key focal points or design features in your landscape design scheme. This will add interest to your backyard, allowing you to create the perfect private oasis that can be enjoyed all year-round.
Elevated decks are also a practical outdoor design choice. They provide your family with under-deck storage space for those bulky necessities and maintenance utilities such as the lawn mower or pool cleaner for example. In contrast, a flat, more expansive decking area is the perfect foundation for those who do a lot of outdoor entertaining.
Choosing the Right Timber
Factors such as colour, texture and your home’s outdoor environment will each play an important role when deciding on the right timber for your outdoor deck.
“Look for timbers that are designed for exterior use, remembering, the better quality the materials, the greater the longevity of your deck. There are two choices when selecting the best timber for a deck: softwood or hardwood. The decision is often dependent on budget, required lifespan and quality of finish.”Ray Ferretti, Executive General Manager Construction & Group Marketing Manager, Big River Group.
Durable hardwoods are easy to stain or oil in order to best complement your home’s outdoor colour scheme. Alternatively, they can be left in their raw state to create a natural, weathered look. Merbau timber requires much less maintenance than some other hardwoods and is well known for its rich reddish colour, its wavy grain design and its high durability, resistance to termites and resilience. These qualities make merbau decking one of the most popular solutions for the home.
“Spotted Gum and Merbau are the most common hardwood decking options in Australia and, with regular maintenance, should last 20 plus years. Treated pine is the preferred softwood option and is a good value [alternative].”Ray Ferretti, Executive General Manager Construction & Group Marketing Manager, Big River Group.
Australian native Spotted Gum gradually turns a golden light brown through to chocolate brown as it matures, depending upon the specific type chosen. Spotted Gum also has an attractive grain structure that features knots and growth lines. This timber is also provides minimal shrinkage over time which also adds to its immense popularity.
Treated pine is a sustainable and prolific outdoor decking option that can be painted or stained to match any colour scheme. Unlike other woods that only showcase certain colours well, treated pine offers more versatility in your outdoor colour pallette.
Adding Value to your Property by Maximising Space
From a relaxing outdoor sanctuary to a vibrant pool area, decking offers you the opportunity to transform underutilised areas into useful and beautiful spaces. When located at the front of your property, a timber deck can make for a grand entrance, adding to your home’s curb appeal. A timber deck in your backyard however, will allow you to better create and define zones in your landscape design. Smaller outdoor spaces can also benefit from timber decking as the right design will allow for better functionality of your home’s outdoor areas; you may consider building an elevated deck or raised entertainment area with built-in seating nooks to maximise the available space. For yards with uneven ground, a timber deck will allow for better uniformity in the level of your outdoor space, thereby allowing for a much safer and functional design.
“Utilising outdoor rooms as an extension of your interior spaces, increases the amount of enjoyment you’ll likely get from your place. The key to unlocking the potential of your yard is creative thinking. If your yard is sloped and you aren’t using every available square metre, you’re sitting on valuable wasted space. Use decking to create terraced areas or install timber garden beds to bring a lively element into what would otherwise be dead space”Ray Ferretti, Executive General Manager Construction & Group Marketing Manager, Big River Group.
Modern outdoor designs are being created with a new level of sophistication to include smarter layouts and design solutions that make the absolute most of the available space. Marrying your home’s indoor and outdoor areas with well designed decking will provide a seamless transition between these spaces, adding value to your property and creating a better lifestyle.
About Big River Group
Big River Group manufactures a range of construction products including timber and steel formwork, timber flooring, plywood and decorative panels, as well as distributing a broad range of other building products from well-known local and international suppliers, focussing primarily on the commercial and residential, civil and infrastructure construction trade market segments. Big River owns and manages 26 sites across Australia and New Zealand expanding Panels, Building Trade Centres and Formwork & Commercial divisions. Big River provides customers with the security of a full support network, and technical expertise at every stage of the product lifecycle. This is the guarantee of quality and service that Big River has based its 120 years of success on.