Building a deck? Find out where to begin and what you need to consider

Garapa decking beside lawn

What are the decking regulations I need to consider?

If your deck is more than 1.5m above the ground at any point, you will need building consent – even if you are replacing an existing deck. In some special circumstances, you may even need resource consent, but this usually depends on the site coverage of your property, and how close the deck is to your boundary. Demolishing a deck could also require consent.

Navigating the consent process can be stressful, but when you work with Zones all paperwork is taken care of on your behalf. Our decking consultants are familiar with all rules and regulations and make the consent process straightforward and stress-free. They can also help design a deck that doesn’t require consent if that is your preference.

What type of deck is best?

There are so many types of decking, but the best deck is one that suits your needs! You will need to consider cost, sustainability, maintenance and of course aesthetics when planning and designing your deck.

Timber decking remains a popular choice across the board for its natural look. Pine is locally grown and is an affordable and sustainable choice. Hardwoods are more expensive, but there are some beautiful options, including Kwila, Vitex, Purpleheart, and Garapa decking like this example in Pyes Pa. Bamboo decking is also growing in popularity.

Composite decking is also popular because it is durable and requires little maintenance. Made from recycled plastic and wood fibres, it’s an eco-friendly choice that appeals to many. PVC decking is also environmentally friendly and doesn’t require staining or painting.

From small and simple structures to designer decking by the pool, your Landscaping Consultant can help you understand the pros and cons of the different decking materials available and guide you to make the best choice for you.

Timber decking Tauranga with white pergola installation

What is the difference between Pine and Kwila decking?

Pine and Kwila decking are two of the most popular decking options in New Zealand, so it’s natural to wonder what the differences are. Pine is a softwood grown and milled in New Zealand and is one of the cheapest and most sustainable materials you can build a deck from. Kwila, a tropical hardwood, is extremely popular because of its durability and good looks. It is more expensive than pine, but cheaper than composite decking.  

The good looks of Kwila come with a more demanding maintenance schedule; the boards require oiling or re-coating so they don’t split in our dry climate. Pine also needs regular maintenance, it can be more forgiving of occasional lapses in the schedule. 

Kwila decking in Tauranga with a swimming pool

What is the life expectancy of a deck?

A deck is an investment, and we know you want it to last. The life expectancy of your deck will depend on the material you choose, your maintenance schedule, and the environment. An untreated timber deck can last anywhere from 10-30 years depending on whether it is soft or hard wood, while treated wood or composite can last 30 years or more. PVC decking has a lifespan of up to 50 years and is a very low maintenance option.

With good care, your deck can last for decades. Your Landscaping Consultant can help you choose the right decking material for your budget and lifestyle. 

Should I add shade to my deck?

When planning your deck, don’t forget to think about shade. Decks can become very hot underfoot during the summer months, so consider a pergola, louvre roofing, or a shade sail to provide some relief from the heat. Louvre roofing has the added benefit of making your deck usable year round. Your Zones Consultant can advise you on all things decking including shade options, seating, heating, and more.

Wall attached pergola with louvre roofing and wall mounted outdoor fire

Want to enjoy a new deck this summer?

Your Tauranga Landscaping Consultant offers a free one-hour consultation, so why wait any longer? Get in touch and take the first step toward building your deck and transforming your outdoor living space with the experts at Zones.

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