All the information that you need to know when planning your garden makeover can be found here!
What decking materials do you supply?
At QTD Ltd, we supply a range of decking materials, from pressure-treated softwood boards to thermally-modified timbers like Pine, Ash and Iroko. Our thermally-modified timbers are the most durable. Traditionally, unmodified Iroko was not suitable for use as decking, however, thermally-modified Iroko is much more stable and durable, meaning it can now be used for both cladding and decking.
Do decking areas need planning permission?
If your decking structure is elevated then it will require planning permission. However, generally, you wouldn’t need planning permission if you are building at doorstep level. Generally speaking, if your deck structure is above 300mm from the ground then you would need to seek advice from your local council. We would also advise that it is always best to talk to your neighbors and to let them know what your plans are. So as not to invade their privacy or surprise them with a deck structure they weren’t expecting. But, the general rule of thumb is if you’re building at doorstep level then you shouldn’t have an issue with planning permission.
Should I be considering grooved deck boards?
We wouldn’t advise opting for heavily grooved deck boards. If you buy deck boards, we would advise ensuring that they’re smooth or that they’re reversible, with the grooved side facing down and the smooth side facing up. The grooves on the underside will effectively aerate the timber frame, so therefore you will have less issues with the timber framework rotting over time. This is because the grooves will allow the boards to dry out.
During the 1970s, grooved boards were marketed as non-slip, and this is still a common misconception today. Grooved boards can actually become more slippery and dangerous than smooth boards because the grooves can get blocked up with dirt and debris, and when it rains this can make the board very slippery. Decks become slippery when they are not cleaned, and cleaning the dirt from grooved deck boards can be tricky as it gets stuck!
As long as you clean your decking once a year, the same as you would with a patio, then your boards should remain intact. Smooth boards generally stay a lot cleaner since water runs off of them into the gaps between each board instead of staying in the grooves.
What board sizes are available and what would you recommend?
With decking, board sizes usually vary depending on the type of wood that you’re planning to purchase. If you have a softwood board, the timber would generally be between 25 and 28mm thick, averaging around 26mm thick. If you opted for a hardwood board, the board thickness can go down to 21mm. Since hardwoods are much tougher.
With joist spacing, you would still need to operate at 400mm centres, no matter the size of the boards, so that they have adequate support. We would always recommend opting for hardwood timber as the material will always give you far more durability than softwood boards. Offering around 30+ years of lifespan.
What profiles are available and what would you recommend?
With decking, you would usually opt for a profile that is smooth all around. Sometimes, customers also specify a very shallow V-groove. These grooves would only be around one and a half millimetre deep so that the groove is not deep enough to collect dirt. We also offer a side grooving option which eliminates the need to use face-fixings. This means that the installer doesn’t have to pre-drill or fire screws through the surface. Instead, side grooved boards can be installed with an Invizifix® clip. To install these clips, all you have to do is screw-down vertically through the clip into the sub-frame. The two wings on the clip will, in turn, hold both boards down.