Decking can be the perfect place for you to enjoy the summer sun, a BBQ, or simply a bit of time outside. However, you should make sure that your nice new decking boards have been properly designed such as those at and that your finished deck has been put together well. Unfortunately, there are a few composite decking mistakes that are all too common and can result in you not enjoying your new deck quite as much as you should.

Building Decking without a Plan and a Permit

Many homeowners make the mistake of constructing a new deck without having a plan. You need to think about your new decking’s size, shape and location. You will also need to think about what your decking will look like from your home and from the rest of your garden too. You should also be aware that once your deck is down it will be a semi-permanent fixture in your garden which means it needs to look good. Before you build any decking you will need to consider:

  • When and how the deck will be used
  • How much maintenance your decking will need
  • Whether the decking complements the rest of your garden
  • Whether the size of the decking matches the size of your home
  • How much sunlight reaches the decking area through the day
  • Whether the decking will need guardrails

You may also need to obtain a planning permit before you build your new decking, but this depends on where you live. In some areas, you will need permission before you can build you decking, even though it’s a semi-permanent fixture.

You will also need to take concrete footing materials into consideration as they can freeze if the temperature is cold enough. The deeper you place your footings into the ground the less likely it is that they will freeze in very cold weather.

Compromising on Quality

It’s important that you do not compromise on quality as doing so could result in your deck being affected by the weather. Poor quality decking may not be as strong as good quality decking and this could compromise the safety of anyone who uses the decking. While you may think that purchasing low price decking is the way forward it’s likely that your decking will be affected. The bottom line is if you want your decking to last at least 10 years need to purchase high-quality decking.

Failure to use Hand Rails

While handrails may not be one of your immediate considerations they should be. Some people install handrails that are interrupted by posts, however, this is a mistake. Continuous rails should be used no matter how many steps you have. You and anyone else who is walking up to your decking may need to use handrails from time to time, even if it’s just to reassure them.

Using Metallic Furniture on your Decking

Metallic decking and plant pots can cause rust stains to appear. If you can avoid using metallic furniture or plant pots you should. If rust stains are allowed to penetrate your decking a little too deeply they can ultimately be impossible to get rid of.

If you must use metallic furniture please make sure that you add plastic caps to the bottom of chair and table legs. If you must use metallic plant pots or containers please place plastic underneath them.

Pressure Washing your Decking

While you may be tempted to wash your decking with a pressure washer you could be making a big mistake. Composite decking can be harmed by any pressure washer or hose that as a psi of 1,000 or more. If you pressure wash your decking you could splinter it, attract mould and generally scratch it.

Using Bleach on your Decking

While you may want to clean your nice new decking you should avoid using any bleach on it. A chlorine-based bleach cleaner is too corrosive for your decking and it will cause discolouration. What’s more is the bleach cleaner will eventually eat away at the deck causing damage. Avoid using any type of cleaner that contains sodium hypochlorite.

Failing to Connect your Decking

Your decking should be connected to the house. If the ledger board has not been connected correctly, if at all, it may collapse. 9 out of 10 decks collapse because they have not been connected correctly. Rather than using lag screws or through-bolts, many people use nails when connecting the deck to the ledger board. Bolts and lag screws provide a much stronger and longer lasting connection.

The above composite decking mistakes are all too common. If you are planning to install decking in your garden please make sure you do it correctly. Refer to the above common mistakes so you’re less likely to make them meaning you can enjoy your nice new decking without worry.