A Step-by-Step Guide to Choosing the Best Decking Boards for Your Garden

So… you’ve decided this is the year you’ll finally get around to building that dream deck in your garden. No more stepping out into a dull concrete patio, now you’ll have a gorgeous wooden escape for lounging about on sunny days and hosting fabulous garden parties. But where do you start when looking for the perfect decking boards ?

There are so many options out there from natural wood to composite materials. Never fear! As someone who recently built their own new deck, let me guide you through the key considerations I wish I had known from the start.

The first question to ask yourself — what general look are you going for? Decking comes in all different shades and finishes these days. Do you fancy something more modern with bold greys and blacks? Or perhaps a natural wood grain suits your cottage garden vibe? Composite decking requires little upkeep but can look a bit artificial, while real wood needs some yearly care but oozes rustic charm.

You’ll also want to decide if low maintenance or high durability matters more. Pressure-treated softwoods can handle some drizzle, but harder tropical woods like ipe and batu resist rotting for decades. Go composite though and you’ll never need to re-stain or treat the boards again!

Here’s a rookie mistake to avoid – make sure you measure properly and don’t buy boards too narrow for your frame. I did this at first and had annoying little gaps between each plank. Measure twice! Wider planks also let you space out the joists underneath farther apart.

And think about extras like grooved boards that let rain drain right through or textured planks for better grip underfoot (spilt wine is never a good look at parties). If you really want to impress your mates, you could even install posh integrated lighting around the edges.

Finally, find a quality local timber supplier who can steer you through the entire process, from choosing those all important boards to fitting the deck properly so it lasts. Though watch the budget doesn’t get completely blown. You want money left to crack open the bubbly for the inaugural garden bash right?