Make the most of your Auckland Central property by creating an outdoor sanctuary, complete with gardens, furniture, or even a kitchen. Since a deck is likely to be integral for your outdoor area, we’ve created a guide to choosing the right decking material for your budget and design goals.
Get in touch with Zones today to learn how we can help guide your outdoor renovation project.
When researching the range of decking materials, keep in mind the look that you’re trying to achieve, your budget, and the amount of time and labour required for installation. Some materials are more sustainably sourced than others, and some require regular maintenance. Their likely lifespan is also important as materials vary in their durability.
But help is at hand in the form of your local Zones Landscaping Consultant who can advise you on the decking material that will complement your style and wallet.
Auckland Central’s temperate climate gives homeowners a good range of choices of decking material. Timber is the most popular (and generally cheaper) option but composite, PVC, and aluminium decking are alternatives to consider.
Relatively new in the industry and at the higher end of the price range, WPC (wood plastic composite), has the look and feel of wood but is low maintenance, relatively easy to install, and has a long lifespan.
Synthetic PVC decking is 100% plastic and therefore fully resistant to damage from rot, moisture and insects. It comes in a wide range of patterns and colours and needs very little maintenance. It is more expensive than WPC but less expensive than aluminium decking.
Aluminium decking is a premium option that is both lightweight and durable while also being fire resistant. This decking material is ideal for properties that experience strong winds and heavy rainfall.
In Auckland, timber is the most commonly used decking material, with pricing, availability, and the range of options all contributing to its appeal. Keep reading to discover the type that might best suit your Auckland Central property.
A long time favourite of New Zealand homeowners, timber is easy to work with and blends in with the surrounding landscape. Timber decks in Auckland Central have been constructed from both softwood and hardwood species, including pine, macrocarpa, Kwila, Heavy Hopea, and Accoya.
Pine: New Zealand grown pine (Pinus radiata) is the most commonly used decking material, as it is relatively inexpensive and locally sourced. Pine is easy to paint or stain and, being a softwood, it requires regular maintenance to prolong its lifespan.
Macrocarpa: Macrocarpa is a honey-brown softwood that’s also widely grown in New Zealand. This timber, known for its distinctive knots and grains, is a budget-friendly option for those who want durable timber for their decking. Coating a macrocarpa deck with a penetrating oil soon after its completion is an essential first step for maintenance.
Kwila: Kwila is a premium Southeast Asian tropical hardwood, sourced mostly from the Solomon Islands. This is a good choice for those who want both a long lifespan for their deck and low maintenance requirements, since Kwila is resistant to insect damages and rot. Its rich reddish brown colour eventually fades into a warm driftwood shade.
Heavy Hopea: Heavy Hopea is Southeast Asian hardwood timber with a higher price tag. It’s known for its ease of installation, long lifespan, and overall very low maintenance requirements since it’s durable and resistant to insect damage. Heavy Hopea has a fine grain which gives the wood a clean, high-end look.
Accoya: Accoya is a premium modified softwood with a reputation for high performance. Accoya has been tested to last 50 years or more and is extremely low maintenance. This timber decking material suits a minimalist aesthetic, as it is pale in colour and has no blemishes or knots.
Your Landscaping Consultant will source the best suppliers of decking timber in Auckland Central and New Zealand to make sure you have the right materials for your project.
The cost to build your deck will vary depending on the quality of material you choose, the complexity of your design, and your property’s location. Below is a rough estimate of price per square metre for each type of timber discussed:
Pine decking: $200-$400 per square metre*
Macrocarpa decking: $300-$500 per square metre*
Kwila decking: $500-$800 per square metre*
Heavy Hopea decking: $300++ per square metre*
Accoya decking: $450-$750 per square metre*
Your Landscaping Consultant will source the best supplier for your choice of material and get the most up-to-date pricing for your deck.
*Costs are rough estimates and are subject to change. For a fixed-quote accurate to your specific project, please consult your local Zones Landscaping Consultant.
Depending on the underlying joists and frame, your decking timber will either be nailed or screwed into place. This detail may seem minor, but the effects are major in terms of appearance, cost, and durability. Most of the time, there will be a combination of screwing and nailing for your decking timber.
Screwing decking timber into place provides the most holding power. Consider the shape of a screw versus a nail: screws are corkscrewed by design to snugly hold material in place over time. Because outdoor decks are exposed to the elements and plenty of foot traffic, screws are reliable to keep the timber in place. They are also easy to remove if you need to replace part of your deck. Moreover, screws are resistant to corrosion since they’re either made from or coated with stainless steel.
However, nailing decking timber into place is quicker and cheaper. Nails are less visible and contribute to a rustic aesthetic for your outdoor space. Keep in mind that the type of wood being used might be more suited to nails or screws. Your Landscaping Consultant will make sure to consult with you on all aspects of the project, including the best modes of fastening your decking timber.
Decking panels, also called boards, come in a variety of sizes depending on the material and the desired look for your space:
90 x 19mm and 100 x 25mm are two common decking timber dimensions. Narrow boards create the illusion of a larger space, while wider boards make the area look more proportionate.
140 x 19mm is a considerably wider panel that would be used on the ground to achieve a substantial look. These wider panels can also be used for outdoor benches, as the wider panel makes a more comfortable seat. This size is reserved mostly for composite or hardwood decking.
Is decking timber treated? Not always! You may or may not choose to treat your deck timber for a few reasons. When timber is chemically treated, it lasts longer because it becomes more resistant to insects, decay, and rot. Treated wood requires less cleaning and maintenance, which makes it a cost-effective choice over time.
Some choose not to treat their wood because it looks more natural. While untreated wood costs less up front, an untreated deck requires more staining and sealing maintenance over its lifespan.
Your Landscaping Consultant will guide you through the process of choosing the best time to meet the style and budget you want for your deck.
Ready to elevate your outdoor living space? The Landscaping Consultants at Zones are experts at completing all kinds of home landscaping projects and we offer a free, no-obligation, one-hour consultation. Get in touch with us today to talk about outdoor decking for your Auckland Central property.
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