Timber has a long history of use as a structural material. Unlike man-made materials it is a sustainable construction material with widely recognised environmental credentials. Increasingly, designers are turning to timber as the “green” building and engineering material of choice. The use of wood for external structures like decks, boardwalks and bridges has grown significantly in recent years. Where such structures are intended to be permanent, material selection, design, installation good practice and maintenance are key factors in ensuring fitness for purpose and long service life. House builders are increasingly choosing to include timber decks on new properties to add customer appeal. On sloping land, raised decks are a practical solution to providing external leisure space where a traditional patio or garden is not possible. Timber decks can be designed to meet a variety of service life requirements. For quality installations, 15 years is considered to be the minimum standard by the Timber Decking Association (TDA). Longer service lives, typically 30 and 60 years are also readily achievable. This Code of Practice (CP) has been developed to assist homebuilders meet the quality and performance requirements expected by NHBC and other organisations concerned with improving standards.
Whilst good design and installation practice have an important bearing on the long-term performance of a raised deck the first step to achieving a desired service life of 60 years is timber selection. Such an extended service life can only be satisfied by specifying timber that:
a) has appropriate natural durability or
b) has been made suitably durable by an
appropriate wood protection process.
All timber for outdoor applications must have a moisture content below 20% at the time of installation to minimise the potential for movement
Those seeking quotes for flat or raised domestic decks should only use designers and installers of assessed capability with the experience and expertise required to carry out the work.
For more information and a fully itemised and writen quote please call Ashford Building Services