Frequently asked questions

Here are some of the most frequently asked questions when on site.

Q1 – How much does decking cost?

Decking can cost as little as £55 per sq m installed. This is based on a flat level site, no excavation, square and be the size of a standard deck board meaning no wastage. Raised, shaped, curved, sunken, hardwood, balustrade, lighting etc decks will increase the cost of the deck. We do not work on a per sq m basis as each deck is different and it does not always work out in the clients favour.

Please remember when comparing pricing against that of a DIY constructed deck we will be more expensive but you are paying for quality constructed deck that is built to last.

Q2 - Does treated timber vary in colour from one piece to another?

Freshly treated timber will have variations in colour between one piece and another. This is due to the relative proportions of heartwood and sapwood in each piece. Sapwood is more permeable than heartwood and so takes up more preservative which results in an initial variation of colour from green (sapwood) to beige (heartwood). Once installed and exposed to the elements, the initial strength of colour fades to a warm, honey brown and in the long term will become a natural silver grey all over.

Remember, timber is a natural product and variations in character are to be expected. Occasionally timber containing high or mobile resin levels can give a blue colouration at the time of treatment. However this fades rapidly into the overall natural green/beige colour.

Q3 – What treatment is used on the timber??

Softwood species classified as semi or non-durable should be industrially pre-treated with a preservative process to provide long life. Today, wood is preservative treated according to the "Hazard" (risk of decay) it faces in use. Timber intended for use inside a building will not be treated to the standard required for a deck component like a post or joist that is to be in contact with the ground or water. These components should be treated in accordance with Hazard Class 4 to ensure they will provide long life in wet conditions. Components treated in accordance with Hazard Class 3 should be used for all other elements that are not in ground contact. We use class 4 hazard posts and any timbers in contact with the ground when constructing in timber.

Q4 - Do decks need planning permission?

Timber decks differ from conventional patios and terraces most significantly in their elevation and general height of construction.

For all but the simplest, low-level garden deck, property owners should satisfy themselves that planning regulations do not apply to their proposed structure.
In addition to contacting the Local Authority, we strongly recommend that you talk to all your neighbours about your plans. Neighbour objections are the most usual reason for planning refusal or enforcement notices after completion. Local Authorities can insist that structures are dismantled and removed where consent should have been obtained, but was not.

Q5 - What's the difference between hardwood and softwood?

Hardwood and softwood are broad biological terms used to describe species of wood. The terms have nothing to do with the physical hardness of the wood. Hardwoods come from broadleaved trees and softwood species from coniferous, evergreen trees.

There is a wide range of species of wood within each category that are highly suitable for decking. The important factor for wood used out of doors is that it is durable enough to resist fungal decay. This means using a hardwood classified as naturally durable (some are not) or softwood giving extended durability through pressure treatment.
Over 90% of all decks are made from suitable pressure treated softwoods because of their availability, ease of working on site and cost effectiveness. Hardwoods come in a range of attractive colours and are generally a slightly smaller board in thickness. They tend to be more expensive and require more care to work with than softwoods.

Q6 - Are decks slippery in wet weather?

The key factor in preventing slipperiness is to ensure that the deck surface is kept clean and surface deposits such as mildew, algae and fine mosses are kept at bay for it is these deposits that cause slipperiness on any surface, even stone flags, in wet weather. Brushing / blowing leaves off, moving pots prevents dark damp spaces giving these algae's nice homes.

Our recommendation is to give decked surfaces a frequent brush with a stiff broom and to give them a thorough clean a couple of times a year in spring and autumn using either a power spray washer or a proprietary deck cleaning product.

Q7 - When should decks have a balustrade?

Balustrades, hand rails or banisters as they are called on decks can serve several functions, ranging from decorative boundaries to full safety barriers. Even a small change of level can be a hazard, particularly for elderly or infirm users.

Unless the deck surface is flush with the ground level, a balustrade or edge protection detail should be incorporated. For very low-level structures, this may take the form of a simple decorative rail, a trellis panel, a raised planter box, a bench or seat, pot plants etc.

The height of the balustrade depends on how far the deck surface is off the ground:

For 'low-level' decks up to 600mm from ground level - balustrade height should be 900mm

For 'high-level' decks over 600mm high - balustrade height should be 1100mm

Spindles must not exceed 100mm (the coke can test)

Q8 - What fixings do you recommend?

Fixings used outdoors should be corrosion resistant to prevent rusting and weakness of the structure in later years.

The advantage of screws over nails is that they are more secure than nails and enable boards to be lifted easily to gain access below the deck for maintenance or repair or fixing lights and can be re-tightened if necessary.
Bolts, joist hangers and concealed deck clips should also be made of similar rust resistant metal.

Recommended tradesmen

Brian Etheridge

Brian Etheridge Carpet Services

Local carpet fitter with over 35 years experience and well known around the Newbury area for his professional carpet fitting services. Endless samples available for carpets and vinyl. Underlay, gripper, doorbars etc all supplied. Up to 30% off Downs and Carpet right stocked carpets.

If you have seen a carpet you like in another shop generally these can be matched or the same carpet. Phone for a free no obligation estimate within a 20 mile radius of Newbury.

Monty - 07748 234837.

Please remember to mention Berkshire Decking when calling.

Jurell Builders


Based in Thatcham covering most of Berkshire Jurell builders have completed the footings for my own extension and helped friends who live nearby with lots of building work. I would highly recommend Mike and his team with any building project you wish to have completed.

Extensions, new builds, conservatories, brickwork, groundwork's and all internal building work. I will certainly be using Mike again for our extension.

Please mention Berkshire Decking when getting a quote from Jurell Builders.

Aqua Hot Tubs and Swim Spas

Aqua Tubs

Aqua Hot Tubs & Swim Spas Reading are based in Coblands Garden Village (formerly known as Ladds Garden Centre) on the A4 between Maidenhead and Reading. We are part of the Aegean network of hot tub companies that has been around 30 years and sold over 14,000 tubs in UK. We sell the Master Spas and Down East range of American spas with prices to suit all. Call Angela on 0118 940 6002 or visit for our latest offers.

Please mention Berkshire Decking when contacting Aqua Hot Tubs

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