Tag: diy

Is Composite Decking Cheaper Than Timber?

When it comes to creating a stunning outdoor space, decking is often the go-to choice. It not only adds aesthetic appeal but also provides a functional area for relaxation and entertainment. However, when considering decking options, cost is a crucial factor that cannot be ignored. Many people wonder whether composite decking or traditional timber decking is the more budget-friendly choice. In this article, we will explore the cost comparison between composite and timber decking, taking into account both initial expenses and long-term maintenance. By the end, you’ll have a clear understanding of which option offers better value for your hard-earned money.

The Initial Cost of Timber Decking

Timber decking has long been favoured for its natural beauty and affordability. When compared to composite decking, timber typically has a lower initial cost, especially if softwood varieties like pine or spruce are used. Softwood is readily available and less expensive than hardwood alternatives such as teak or cedar.

However, it’s essential to consider the additional expenses that can arise with timber decking in the long run. Without proper maintenance, timber can deteriorate over time due to exposure to the elements. Let’s dive deeper into what these maintenance requirements entail.

Regular Treatments: Sealant and Varnish

To keep timber decking watertight and protected from moisture damage, regular treatments of sealant or varnish are necessary. This ensures that water doesn’t seep into the wood and cause swelling or rotting. Typically, these treatments need to be applied annually or biannually depending on the climate you live in.

While sealants and varnishes aren’t overly expensive on their own, the costs can add up over time. Additionally, applying these treatments requires effort and time investment on your part or hiring professionals for the job.

Mold and Rot Prevention

Another concern with timber decking is its susceptibility to mold growth and rotting. To prevent these issues, regular treatments with anti-fungal solutions are required. These treatments help maintain the structural integrity of the deck and prolong its lifespan.

The cost of anti-fungal treatments, although not exorbitant, should be factored in when considering the total expense of timber decking. Moreover, the time and effort spent on applying these treatments periodically should also be taken into account.

The Long-Term Cost Effectiveness of Composite Decking

While composite decking may have a higher initial price tag than timber, it boasts significant long-term cost savings. This is primarily due to its low maintenance requirements and exceptional durability.

Minimal Maintenance Needs

One of the most appealing aspects of composite decking is its minimal maintenance needs. Unlike timber, composite boards don’t require regular sealing, varnishing, or anti-fungal treatments. They are designed to resist moisture, mold, rot, and insect infestations.

To keep your composite deck looking its best, all that’s usually required is occasional cleaning with soap and water or a gentle pressure wash. This simplicity saves you both time and money in the long run compared to the ongoing maintenance demands of timber decking.

Extended Lifespan

Composite decking materials are engineered to withstand harsh weather conditions while maintaining their structural integrity for many years. Unlike timber that can warp or splinter over time if not properly cared for, composite boards retain their shape and strength throughout their lifespan.

The extended lifespan of composite decking translates to reduced replacement costs in the future. While timber decks may need refurbishment or complete replacement after a certain number of years, composite decks can last significantly longer with proper care.

Environmental Considerations

Apart from financial factors, it’s important to consider environmental implications when choosing between composite and timber decking options.

Sustainability Concerns

Timber decking raises concerns about deforestation and sustainable sourcing practices. It’s crucial to ensure that any wood used for your deck comes from responsibly managed forests certified by organizations like the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC).

On the other hand, composite decking is often made from recycled materials and utilizes sustainable manufacturing processes. By opting for composite, you can contribute to reducing waste and promoting a greener future.

Energy and Water Usage

When it comes to maintenance, timber decking requires more energy and water resources due to the regular treatment processes involved. In comparison, cleaning composite decking is a relatively low-energy and water-efficient task.

Considering the environmental impact of your decking choice is essential for those who prioritize sustainability in their lifestyle.


While timber decking may have a lower initial cost, it’s important to weigh the long-term expenses associated with its maintenance. The need for regular treatments, such as sealant, varnish, and anti-fungal solutions, adds up both financially and in terms of effort required. Composite decking offers an attractive alternative with minimal maintenance needs and exceptional durability. Although it may require a higher upfront investment, its long-term cost-effectiveness makes it a worthy choice.

Additionally, by choosing composite decking made from recycled materials, you can contribute to a more sustainable future. So when considering your options for creating a stunning outdoor space, don’t overlook the value that composite decking brings to both your wallet and the environment.

How to Remove a Previously Failed Coating: A Guide for Decking Owners

Is your once beautiful deck now marred by a failed coating? Don’t fret! We have the solution you need to restore your decking to its former glory. In this comprehensive guide, we will walk you through the steps of removing a previously failed coating and preparing your deck for a fresh start. Whether you’re dealing with old stains, unsightly grade stamps, or peeling paint, we’ve got you covered. So let’s dive in and discover how to bring new life to your deck!

Assessing the Previous Finish

Before diving into the removal process, it’s crucial to determine the type of coating that was previously applied to your deck. This will help you select the most suitable product for effective removal. Here are some common scenarios and the corresponding recommended products:

Stripping Oils: Ronseal

If your deck has been coated with oils, whether new, old, or encrusted, Ronseal Decking Stripper is the ideal solution. This powerful stripper effectively removes oil-based finishes from exterior wooden surfaces without damaging the wood itself.

Tackling Paints, Varnishes and other finishes: Cuprinol

When faced with an oil- or alkyd-based paint, varnish, or wood stain on your decking, Cuprinol is the perfect choice. This versatile stripper cuts through these stubborn coatings with ease. For decks with old solid or semi-transparent stains or finishes, Prepdeck is your go-to product. It effortlessly eliminates these unsightly coatings and prepares the wood for a fresh application.

Dealing with Paints: Ronseal

If your deck has been painted with single or two-pack paints, Ronseal is what you need for your decking. This specialized stripper effectively removes even the toughest paint layers from wooden surfaces.

The Removal Process

Now that you have identified the appropriate product for your situation, it’s time to jump into the actual removal process. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you navigate through it:

Step 1: Prepare the Area

Begin by clearing your deck of any furniture, plants, or other obstructions. This will create a clear workspace and prevent any potential damage to your belongings.

Step 2: Apply the Stripper

Follow the instructions provided with your chosen stripper product. Generously apply the stripper to a small section of your deck using a brush or roller. Make sure to work in manageable sections to maintain control over the process.

Step 3: Let It Soak

Allow the stripper to penetrate the failed coating according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. This typically ranges from 10 to 30 minutes but may vary depending on factors such as temperature and previous finish thickness.

Step 4: Agitate and Remove

Using a stiff scrub brush or scraper, agitate the softened coating to loosen it from the wood surface. Work in small circular motions until you see flakes of old finish coming off. Once loosened, scrape or brush away these remnants.

Step 5: Rinse and Neutralize

After successfully removing the failed coating, rinse your deck thoroughly with water to wash away any remaining residue. Next, neutralize the wood using a product like Net-Trol. This crucial step stops any residual effects from the stripper and prepares your deck for refinishing.


Removing a previously failed coating from your decking doesn’t have to be an overwhelming task. By selecting the appropriate stripping product and following our step-by-step guide, you’ll be well on your way to rejuvenating your deck’s appearance. Remember, whether you’re dealing with oils, stains, paints, or varnishes, there’s a solution out there for you! Take that first step towards restoring your deck’s natural beauty and creating an outdoor space you can truly enjoy.

Can I Change the Colour of My Decking?

If you have a timber deck and find yourself yearning for a fresh look, then the answer is yes – you can definitely change the colour of your decking. Many people initially opt to paint their decks, only to realize a few years later that they prefer the charm of a natural wood finish. If you’re considering giving your deck a makeover, this blog post will guide you through the process and provide useful insights to help you achieve your desired outcome.

Understanding Your Options

Before delving into the details of changing your deck’s colour, it’s important to understand your options. There are various methods available, each with its own set of advantages and considerations:

  1. Painting: Painting is one way to transform the look of your deck entirely. It offers endless possibilities in terms of colour choices and can completely cover up any existing stains or discoloration on the wood surface. However, keep in mind that once painted, it may be challenging to revert back to a natural wood finish.
  2. Staining: Staining is another popular option for changing your deck’s colour while still allowing the natural beauty of the wood grain to shine through. Stains come in different opacities – from transparent to semi-transparent and solid – providing varying levels of coverage.
  3. Deck Overlays: If you’re looking for a drastic change in both color and texture, consider installing deck overlays. These are essentially thin composite boards that can be placed over existing decking material, instantly transforming its appearance.

Now that we’ve explored some options for changing your deck’s colour let’s dive deeper into each method.

Removing the Previous Finish

Regardless of which method you choose, removing the previous finish is crucial for achieving optimal results. Here are some steps you should follow:

  1. Assessing the condition: Inspect your current finish carefully before proceeding with any removal. If the existing paint or stain is in good condition, you may be able to apply a new coat directly over it after proper preparation. However, if the finish is peeling, flaking, or significantly worn down, it’s best to remove it entirely.
  2. Stripping the old finish: To remove the previous finish, you can utilize chemical strippers or mechanical methods like sanding or power washing. Chemical strippers are effective but require caution and proper safety measures during application. Sanding may take more time and effort but offers precise control over the removal process.
  3. Preparing the surface: After removing the previous finish, thoroughly clean your deck to ensure there is no debris or residue left behind. This step is crucial for achieving a smooth and even application of your new colour.

Once you’ve completed these initial steps, you’re ready to move on to applying your desired colour to your decking.

Painting Your Deck

If you decide that painting is the best option for changing your deck’s colour, here are some important considerations:

  1. Choosing the right paint: Opt for a high-quality exterior paint specifically formulated for decks and other outdoor surfaces. These paints are designed to withstand UV rays, moisture, and foot traffic.
  2. Prepping the surface: Before painting, make sure your deck is clean and dry. Fill any cracks with wood filler and sand down rough areas for a smooth finish.
  3. Applying primer: If you’re painting a bare wood deck or drastically changing colours, applying a primer will enhance adhesion and improve the longevity of your paint job.
  4. Painting technique: Use long, even strokes with a brush or roller for an even coat of paint on your deck boards. Apply multiple thin coats rather than one thick coat for better durability.

Remember that once your deck is painted, maintaining its appearance will require periodic touch-ups or repainting as needed.

Staining Your Deck

If you prefer to enhance the natural beauty of your timber deck while changing its colour, staining is an excellent choice. Consider the following steps for a successful staining project:

  1. Choosing the right stain: Select a high-quality exterior wood stain that suits your desired colour and opacity. Transparent stains allow the most wood grain to show through, while semi-transparent and solid stains provide greater coverage.
  2. Prepping the surface: Like with painting, ensure your deck is clean and dry before applying stain. Sanding may be necessary to remove any remnants of previous finishes or rough areas.
  3. Applying the stain: Use a brush, roller, or sprayer to apply an even coat of stain in the direction of the wood grain. Work in manageable sections to avoid lap marks or uneven color distribution.
  4. Sealing the finish: To protect your newly stained deck from weather elements and foot traffic, it’s crucial to seal it with an appropriate exterior wood sealer or topcoat.

Regular maintenance will involve periodic reapplication of stain as recommended by the manufacturer.


Changing the colour of your decking can breathe new life into your outdoor space and provide a fresh aesthetic appeal. Whether you choose to paint or stain, proper preparation and meticulous application are key for achieving beautiful and long-lasting results. Consider your preferred look, durability requirements, and maintenance expectations when selecting a method for changing your deck’s colour. With careful planning and execution, you’ll soon be enjoying a transformed deck that perfectly complements your outdoor oasis!

Do I Need Planning Permission to Install a Deck?

Installing a deck in your garden can be an excellent way to create an outdoor oasis, providing a space for relaxation, entertainment, and enjoying the beauty of nature. However, before embarking on your decking project, it’s essential to understand whether you need planning permission. This blog post will guide you through the regulations and considerations regarding planning permission for decks, ensuring you have all the information you need to proceed confidently with your project.

Understanding Planning Permission

Planning permission is a legal requirement in many cases when carrying out building work or making significant changes to your property. It ensures that any development adheres to local regulations and does not negatively impact the environment or neighbouring properties. When it comes to installing a deck, there are specific criteria that determine whether planning permission is necessary.

Decking Height: To Seek Permission or Not?

One crucial factor that determines whether you need planning permission for your deck is its height above ground level. In general, if your decking is less than 30cm above ground level, it falls under “permitted development” and does not require planning permission. This means you can proceed with confidence knowing that your project meets the necessary guidelines.

However, if your decking will be elevated 30cm or more above ground level, planning permission may be required. This elevation limit ensures that any raised structures undergo proper scrutiny to maintain safety standards and prevent potential issues such as obstructing views or violating privacy.

Assessing Garden Area Coverage

Another consideration when determining if planning permission is needed for your deck is the percentage of garden area it covers. If your proposed decking covers more than 50% of the total garden area (including any existing extensions or outbuildings), then you will likely require planning permission.

This rule aims to preserve sufficient open space within gardens while preventing excessive construction that could harm biodiversity or impact neighboring properties’ amenity value. By considering this aspect, planning authorities ensure that your decking project strikes the right balance between enhancing your outdoor space and maintaining a harmonious environment.

Exceptions and Additional Considerations

While the guidelines mentioned above provide a general framework for understanding planning permission requirements, it’s essential to note that exceptions and additional considerations may apply. Local regulations can vary, so it is advisable to consult with your local planning authority or seek professional advice if you are unsure about the specifics.

Some factors that might influence whether planning permission is needed include conservation areas, listed buildings, or properties located in protected areas. These circumstances may impose stricter rules to preserve architectural integrity, protect natural habitats, or maintain the character of an area. Consulting with experts will help you navigate any additional requirements and ensure compliance with all relevant regulations.

The Benefits of Seeking Planning Permission

Although seeking planning permission may require additional effort and time investment, there are several benefits to obtaining approval for your deck installation:

  1. Peace of Mind: By obtaining planning permission, you can proceed with your project confidently, knowing that it adheres to local regulations and won’t face any legal issues in the future.
  2. Preserving Property Value: Ensuring compliance with planning regulations helps maintain property values by preserving neighbourhood aesthetics and preventing potential disputes.
  3. Environmental Considerations: Planning permission ensures that development considers environmental impacts such as drainage systems, biodiversity preservation, and sustainability measures.
  4. Neighbourhood Harmony: Obtaining permission shows respect for neighbouring properties by ensuring that your project won’t negatively impact their privacy or amenity value.

By considering these benefits alongside the specific requirements for your decking project, you can make an informed decision regarding whether to seek planning permission.

In Conclusion

Installing a deck can transform your outdoor space into a haven where countless memories are made. To determine whether you need planning permission for your decking project, consider factors such as height above ground level and garden area coverage. Remember that seeking professional advice and consulting with your local planning authority is crucial to ensure compliance with all relevant regulations.

While navigating the planning permission process may seem daunting, it ultimately ensures that your decking project aligns with legal requirements, environmental considerations, and neighborhood harmony. So, whether you need planning permission or not, take the necessary steps to create a stunning deck that enriches your lifestyle while respecting the surrounding environment.

New Garden Designs for You to Try in 2022

It’s the start of a new year, which means you can get started on those resolutions! Was yours to give your garden a complete revamp? If yes, you’re in the right place, here at eDecks we carry a wide range of goods to transform your garden. Including decking of all shapes and colours, pergolas and bars to suit your style!

Open up your garden with dividers

Adding dividers in your garden can make areas feel closed off but not if you make it work to your advantage. A decking kit with rope handrails creates a separate environment in your garden that can be designated for seating and relaxation, which is particularly useful in busy gardens like those used by children and animals. Using planters as a separator can also add much-needed greenery in a perhaps smaller garden and makes the division flow naturally.

Dedicated hot tub area

Love the spa but can’t afford to get there every day? Why not build a zen hot tub area and make your garden the ultimate relaxation zone? We offer a wide range of hot tub gazebos that sit perfectly on both paving and decking and can be made to fit hot tubs of any size. Not only that but our brand new hot tub steps match our gazebos to a T, so your garden can be a matching haven!

Pergola and decking seating area

Pergolas and decking go together in perfect harmony, which is why we sell them together! No matter what size your garden is, adding a sheltered seating area is always a good idea. Our customer Mia has matched her furniture to her pergola and decking to create a relaxing and private area, which can be hard to find in new build homes. By placing a pergola at the end of your garden beside panelling it offers protection from all sides!

Build a children’s play area

Once you’ve built the perfect zen area for yourself to relax in, you’ve got to remember to keep the kids busy! This custom playhouse made by our customer, Jake with our red cedar shingles on our softwood decking is a beautiful way to make your garden child-friendly without disrupting the aesthetics you have worked hard to create there.

Revamp your fencing

Fencing is the frame of your garden, so if your garden is looking a little bit dull switching out the fencing might be a great way to bring it to life! We recently launched some new contemporary fencing which you can read about here so we have an even wider range to match your style. Whether you’re in a new build home or an old Victorian terraced house, new fencing goes a long way.

Looking for the best deals on any garden items?

Check out our amazing deals here on the eDecks website!

We also offer plenty of support and expert advice for most projects – and any products we sell online. Contact eDecks here for personalised advice for your project today.

At eDecks you can not only expect a good deal but also:

Superfast FREE delivery on orders over £150*

48 hour delivery on many products

Handy FREE installation guides (and even instructional videos!)

*Free delivery applies to most of the UK, but some areas may incur a charge, unfortunately – please check the eDecks website for more details.