Apr 242013
 
display-deck-wooden-supplies

This is the second deck display that I have built for Wooden Supplies in Harlestone, Northampton.  It was designed by them with the objective of displaying the range of “Q-Deck” decking boards which they supply.

The original deck display was built a few years ago when Wooden Supplies was known as HFS Timber. Due to recent changes, the old display is now hidden at the rear of the premises. If you want to see an example of my workmanship, then this would be a good place to visit.

Deck Features (click to see others with this feature):

  • Large Wooden Decks
  • Split Level Wood Decks
  • Decks on Sloping Sites
  • Raised Decks
  • Decks with special features
  • deck-display-wooden-supplies

     

    This next picture shows the site more or less at the start. The sub base is compacted hardcore so, unusually I didn’t have to fit landscape fabric. The support posts sit on the hardcore (not on the bark chippings).

    display-deck-frame-beginning

     

    The following picture shows the finished framework. Because of the slope of the site, it was necessary to add a step at the front. The pergola posts, which are supplied over long, were cut so that they are all the same height above the deck. These were then screwed to the framework which is quite deep at the centre. Wooden Supplies will fit their own pergola kit to the top which will complete the deck display.

    display-deck-frame-finished

     

    The next picture is interesting as it shows the spacing which is required for different board thicknesses. The framing on the left will support “York” decking which at 33 mm is the thickest profile, and the one that I use by default. The centre section is to support the “Cambridge” decking profile which is only 20 mm thick. On the right is the framing for the “Canterbury” profile which is 27 mm thick. Notice how much extra framing is needed to support the thinner deck boards.

    dispaly-deck-frame-types

     

    This picture shows the deck display with the various boards fitted to the top. Notice the toughened glass inserts. This isn’t something I would normally add, but it serves to show people the framework beneath the deck. The different board profiles are not obvious from this picture but they include “York” fitted grooved side up, “Canterbury” fitted both grooved side up and plain side up, “Winchester” fitted to show the different groove design on each side, “Cambridge” fitted grooved side up. Also “Pre-Grip” was used on the steps at the front and “Lyptus Grip” hardwood at the rear.

    dispaly-deck-top-planked

     

    Finally, this last picture shows the finished deck display from a different angle, with the sides “clad” with “Canterbury” decking, both smooth side and grooved side outermost.

    display-deck-finished

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Jan 222013
 
decking-project-northampton

With a surface area of around 140 square metres, this is the largest decking project I have undertaken to date. The garden deck is situated in Northamptonshire and has many features, including a hot tub. We couldn’t keep referring to it as “the deck” so decided to give it a name.

So meet “Frank (the deck)”.

Frank was made from over 2 km (2,000 linear metres) of timber and around 10,000 screws in total. I think the following pictures illustrate that a garden deck is not just for modern properties, and can work equally well with a Grade 2 listed Victorian building.

Deck Features (click to see others with this feature):

  • Large Wooden Decks
  • Decks on Sloping Sites
  • Decks with steps
  • Decks with special features
  •  

    decking-project-northampton

     

    This is the decking site before work commenced. The circular stone structure is a fire-pit around which the deck has to be built. There is also a hot tub to incorporate. The main criteria for the design of this particular garden deck was that the main expanse should be on one level, for entertaining a potentially large number of people.

    garden-deck-northampton

     

    Here you can see the garden deck frame is well under way. The slope of the site is quite deceptive, and the customer did not want any form of handrails which would obstruct the view. For that reason, steps were added along the full length of the side and across the end.

    wooden-decking-northampton

     

    This is another view of the framing. I used over 2,000 screws (6mm x 100mm) on the frame alone. As ever, it is all stress graded, tanalised timber.

    deck-installers-northampton

     

    Going back to the beginning, these doors give access to the customer’s gym. With the site being on a slope, the deck would be too high for the doors to open,  so it had to be “sunken” in this area.

    sunken-deck-1

     

    This is the framing for the steps and the lower deck level.

    sunken-deck-2

     

    So, back to the main garden deck and laying the planking. To give some idea of the size, the planks were 5.4 metres long and I needed 3 lengths, end to end, to go from the near corner at 45 degrees to the frame. Another thing that may not be obvious is that there are 12 planks across the width of the fire pit, plus one strip running either side. Both the planks you see now, and the ones to be fitted on the far side, had to be fitted very accurately to exactly the same spacing and exactly the same angle. An error of 1 mm on each plank could have multiplied to an error of 12mm in spacing on the other side.

    timber-decking

     

    This is the final result of the steps down to the gym. It isn’t obvious but there is a slight fall on each step for drainage (awy from the gym). Also, these planks were laid across the width of the steps and not just for aesthetic reasons. If  it proves to be too slippery with a winter frost, I can retro-fit non-slip strips in some of the grooves.

    sunken-deck-3

     

    This shows further progress. Much of the top is done, just the hot tub, steps and facings to deal with. I used around 6,000 decking screws, just on the planking.

    wooden-decking

     

    This is the completed decking project from a different angle. Here you can see how the garden deck was fitted around the existing patio as well as the fire pit. The height was determined by the fact that the customer wanted to be able to see at least one course of the expensive stone work around the patio, which he had paid for.

    large-timber-deck

     

    Finally, this is a picture showing how the hot tub looks with all the decking in place. The customer wanted the sides of the tub (but not the top) to be hidden. However, I also had to consider how to do this and still make it easy to access the tub for maintenance. The description is quite lengthy so I have created a separate post on the topic. You can see how I dealt with easy access for maintenance here.

    deck-around-hot-tub

     

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Jan 222013
 
deck-by-stream

A deck built near a stream at the end of a garden. The decking made a place for a table and chairs, to relax and enjoy the tranquility of this delightful spot.

This deck is in Coggenhoe.

Deck Features (click to see others with this feature):

  • Small Wooden Decks
  • Decks on Sloping Sites
  • Decks with special features
  •  

    deck-by-stream

     

    If you had this at the bottom of your garden, wouldn’t you want a place to site and enjoy it?

    deck-near-stream

     

    So the first thing to do was build the frame. For this deck, because of the boggy ground, I put in at lot of supports, all set onto concrete.  As ever, the area was sprayed and the ground is covered with heavy duty landscape fabric to suppress weed growth. All timber is tanalised, all cut ends further treated, all fixings are external grade.

    decking-coggenhoe

     

    The finished deck from another angle. As with all my decks, the picture was taken as soon as it was finished. It looks better still now that the timber has dried properly and it has lost the pale greenish hue and turned a really nice “honey colour”.

    decking-by-stream

     

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Jan 212013
 
decking-rushden

This deck, situated in Wellingborough, was on a slight slope but in a very sunny part of the garden. Raised beds were added at the side for growing a few fresh vegetables and herbs.

Deck Features (click to see others with this feature):

  • Small Wooden Decks
  • Split Level Wood Decks
  • Decks on Sloping Sites
  • Decks with special features
  •  

    decking-rushden

     

    This is the site at the beginning, after the materials had been delivered. You can see the slope from left to right.

    garden-deck-rushden

     

    Most of the framework completed. It was built as low as possible in the far right hand corner but had this level been maintained across the entire width, then it would have been too high on the left. So, a step and lower section were incorporated. The lower part will be the barbecue area. As ever, the site had been treated with weed killer and weed suppression fabric laid under the frame.

    deck-design-rushden

     

    The framing seen from another angle.
    deck-installation-rushden

     

    The finished deck seen from the same angle. Because of the sunshine, it has started to dry nicely and lose the initial greenish hue which is caused by the residue from the pressure treating process.

    split-level-deck-rushden

     

    This shows the raised beds which were added at the sides. The final soil level will be below the gravel boards so will not rot the fence. The beds were lined with damp proof membrane to further prolong their life.

    raised-decking-planters
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Jan 202013
 
garden-decking-denton

The brief here was for a decked area to be built around the existing conservatory, with steps down linking it to a second deck to be built over an existing “sunken” paved area.

The deck is situated in Denton. It needed to be “child friendly” for when grand children came to visit, so handrails were necessary for reasons of safety as well as aesthetics.

Deck Features (click to see others with this feature):

  • Large Wooden Decks
  • Split Level Wood Decks
  • Decks on Sloping Sites
  • Decks with Handrails
  • Decks with steps
  •  

    This picture tells only half the story as the second “sunken” deck cannot be seen from this angle.

    garden-decking-denton

     

    This is part of site at the start.

    decking-conservatory

     

    This is “sunken” patio area which is to be “decked” and linked to the main, upper, level.

    split-level-decking-denton

     

    The lower framework has been almost completed and the upper framework well under way.  As usual, the site was treated with “Roundup” to kill any plant growth and covered in landscaping fabric to suppress any further weed growth beneath the deck.

    deck-builders-denton

     

    Here you can see the framing for the lower decked area. It was raised up slightly to reduce the number of steps between the two sections. Landscaping fabric was also used here. Even though the area was paved, weeds can still grow up between the cracks. Notice also that the old retaining walls will be covered with decking. We also made use of the space beneath the frame to dispose of the rubble from the old conservatory steps which were demolished.

    garden-decking-northampton

     

    Taken from the top, looking down into the sunken area. Much of the planking has been fitted but not the Newel posts and hand rails. Also notice how the planking on the lower deck is changing colour compared to the upper deck which is still wet from the tanalisng process. Marvellous what a bit of sunshine can do!

    wooden-decking-northants

     

    Taken from the other direction, this shows the steps under construction and the gap under the frame which is yet to be covered. Notice how the planking was laid in different directions on each level (purely for aesthetic reasons).

    timber-deck-construction

     

    This shows how the decking was fitted around the conservatory and also the new step. It is difficult to tell from this picture but there is a gap of a few millimetres between the deck planks and the walls to prevent any possibility of damp ingress. Of course, there is also a slight fall away from the house for drainage. Because the deck is raised due to the slope of the site, there is now only a single step down from the door.

    decking-around-conservatory

     

    This picture shows how the deck was “wrapped” around the side of the conservatory. Also, notice the cut-outs which were made to accommodate climbing plants by the fence.

    garden-deck-denton

     

    The finished deck from yet another angle, showing most of the lower area and steps. The border between the two levels will be planted. Although none of these pictures show it (unless you look very closely), there are about thirty LED light fittings fitted around the edges and in the front faces of all the steps. Again, I never got to see it lit up at night.
    deck-with-steps
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Jan 202013
 
decking-mawsley-village

This was an ideal site for decking because of the sloping nature of the garden.

 

Deck Features (click to see others with this feature):

  • Large Wooden Decks
  • Split Level Wood Decks
  • Decks on Sloping Sites
  • Raised Decks
  • Decks with Handrails
  • Decks with steps
  •  

    This is one view of the finished decking taken from the upper level. The total area of decking was about 65 square metres and difficult to fit into a single picture. From here, you can see the hand rails which were necessary because of the height, and also some of the LED light fittings around the edges.

    decking-mawsley-village

     

    This is another view. The deck was only just finished and as with a lot of these pictures, the timber still has a pale “greeny” appearance which is due to the pressure treatment. This will quickly fade after a few sunny days and the timber will then become an attractive golden “honey” colour. The water feature was part of the original garden but the new deck was built with a hole to accommodate it. Notice also how the lower level is flush with the patio doorstep so that you can walk straight out onto it.

    garden-deck-mawsley-village

     

    This is a view of the garden, taken just as work commenced.

    garden-deck-mawsley

     

    This picture was taken more or less from the same spot. Here you can see the upper deck frame has been completed and the deck planking laid. You can also see some of the supports which were set into concrete. Also, at this point in time, the lower frame is completed. As with all my decks, this was built using pressure treated, stress graded timber, fixed with stainless steel screws.

    timber-decking-mawsley

     

    The next picture was taken at the same time as the picture above. This is before the steps were built.

    deck-design-mawsley

     

    And here are the finished steps. The customer wanted a long, gentle flight, rather than a sharp incline. Notice the handrail. The Newel posts are dead vertical, it’s just the camera angle which makes them look odd. Also, notice how the gap between the steps and fence has been covered so that nothing can be accidently dropped and lost. The front edge of each step has 4 pin point LED fittings but they are so small that you can’t see them in this picture. I hope to go back one evening and get some pictures at night with the LEDs all on.

    decking-steps
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Jan 202013
 
deck-with-water-feature

It is difficult to know where to start in describing this deck as it incorporates so many features.

It was built in Billing, partly over an existing paved area, and partly over lawn. The lower section finishes flush with the door sills and “wraps” around the house to the rear utility room, as well as fitting close to an existing, curved, retaining wall made from sleepers. Part of it is raised and it is on three levels. It incorporates a large water feature, sunken planters, handrails, screening panels and more.

Deck Features (click to see others with this feature):

  • Large Wooden Decks
  • Split Level Wood Decks
  • Decks on Sloping Sites
  • Decks with Handrails
  • Decks with special features
  •  

    deck-with-water-feature

     

    This is the site prior to commencement.

    decking-billing

     

    And from another angle.
    garden-deck-billing

     

    This shows the water feature positioned (a huge chunk of slate which the customer organised). It was lifted into position with a large crane and set onto previously fixed slabs. This had to be done before starting to build the frame. This was built such that the top surface of the deck would be level with the door sills but with a fall away from the house for drainage. There is also a gap between the frame and house wall to prevent any possibility of damp ingress.

    timber-decking-northampton

     

    Taken from another angle, this shows how the deck will “wrap” around the side of the house up to the utility room door.

    wooden-garden-deck-installer

     

    The framework more or less completed (a pity it all gets hidden). You can see the rectangular “pond” which will be part of the water feature incorporated into the deck. The Butyl liner was fitted under the slate slab at the beginning.

    timber-deck-builder

     

    Here you can see the start of the planking and how it has been fitted at an angle to the frame and also, how it is fitted around the existing retaining wall made from sleepers.

    decking-with-water-feature

     

    Much of the planking is now completed and some of the posts have been fitted for the decorative balustrading. The water feature is more or less complete although not yet fully filled. Looking closely you can see some of the sunken planters which were incorporated into the deck.

    deck-designer

     

    Here is the deck just about finished and from another angle. The strong sunlight and shadows do not show the deck at its best though. However, you can see the decorative balustrading and the bench seats, made from decking timber.

    garden-deck-installation-billing

     

    This is looking back towards the house. From this angle you can see the decorative screens which were added to afford some privacy. It’s a pity I didn’t get to see the water feature “in action” but we were still waiting for the electrician to come and wire up the pump.

    wrought-iron-balustrade-panels
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Jan 202013
 
deck-at-billing

This large garden deck, situated in Billing, was built on a sloping site and incorporates LED lighting around the edges, by each Newel post and also on the front faces of the steps.

Deck Features (click to see others with this feature):

  • Large Wooden Decks
  • Split Level Wood Decks
  • Decks on Sloping Sites
  • Decks with Handrails
  •  

    The deck was built as a split-level to compensate for the slope of the site whilst maintaining two useable areas. The handrails were added for purely aesthetic reasons.

    deck-at-billing

     

    This deck was built in December so everything is a bit wet and muddy. It will look much better when the timber has dried and the greenish residue from the tanalising process has disappeared. Notice how the planking has been laid in different directions on each deck level. The next picture shows the site before work commenced.

    decking-site-billing

     

    Here you can see most of framework has been completed. The deck is constructed as a split level which is one way to deal with a sloping site. Notice the weed suppression fabric which I always fit to prevent any weed growth from coming up through the deck. The whole area was sprayed with “Roundup” prior to work commencing.

    deck-on-boggy-ground

     

    This picture shows the planking in progress and you can see how the planks have been fitted at 45 degrees to the framework. As ever, all the planks are fully screwed. You can also see some of the Newel posts which have been “notched” and screwed to the main frame. This will form part of the handrails which were added, mostly, for aesthetic reasons, rather than saftey.   What isn’t obvious, is that LED lights have been fitted, as work progressed, next to each Newel post and along the fence, directly opposite and accross the end.

    deck-planking
    This picture shows the finished deck from the other end. If you look closely, you can see the LEDs lit although it was daylight, so they don’t show up very well.

    deck-ballustrade

     

     

    Finally, a picture showing details of the handrails. Notice how the bottom rail is raised. This is something I have started to do lately. Although it involves a bit more work, it makes it easier to sweep any leaves or debris off the deck and also, in my opinion, looks better. You’ll also notice that there are no visible brackets or fixings on this balutsrading.

    decking-handrail

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Jan 202013
 
decking-grange-park

This deck in Grange Park, was built at the end of the garden to create a useable space for a table and chairs on an otherwise sloping lawn. This part of the garden gets the full sun later in the day.

Deck Features (click to see others with this feature):

  • Small Wooden Decks
  • Decks on Sloping Sites
  •  

    The area at the end of the brick built garage was originally quite low and simply covered in gravel. The decking was built such that it is all on one level, with the intention of using the smaller part for a barbecue.

    decking-grange-park

     

    I forgot to take a picture of the site before work commenced. This next picture shows the framework completed, ready for the deck planking. You can see the supports which were needed to raise the deck in order to compensate for the slope of the site. You can also see the weed suppression fabric which has been laid to prevent grass and other weeds from growing up through the deck. There is a slight fall (slope) away from the garage for drainage.

    wooden-decking-frame

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Jan 192013
 
split-level-deck-northampton

This is an interesting deck in that it has many features. It is a large “L” shaped deck, built on a sloping site, is split level and has balustrading all around.

The deck is situated in my home village of Denton, Northamapton.

Deck Features (click to see others with this feature):

  • Large Wooden Decks
  • Split Level Wood Decks
  • Decks on Sloping Sites
  • Decks with Handrails
  • This deck is quite photogenic as the planting is nicely established. The balustrading was only needed in parts  for safety reasons, but was fitted all the way round for the aesthetic appearance.

    split-level-deck-northampton

     

    From this angle, you can see the two different levels more distinctly. The site sloped from the top left-hand corner, as seen here, to the bottom right. If the deck had continued across at the upper level, then it would have been too high at the right hand side. There is a slight fall from top left to bottom right for drainage.

    decking-handrails

     

    This is the site at the beginning. There is an old compost heap in the background. The old rotten fence was later removed.

    decking-site

     

    At this stage, the site had been cleared and most of the support posts fitted. These were set into steel post supports, which were set into concrete. A laser level was used to mark and trim the supports to the correct height. You can also see the fabric used to prevent any weed growth.
    deck-building

     

    Taken from the rear corner, this shows part of the completed framework.

    split-level-decking

     

    This shows an example of the joint detail. Notice how the support posts have been “notched” and the bearers then bolted through.

    deck-joint-detail

     

    From yet another angle, this shows the finished decking and some of the Newel posts which were “notched” and bolted to the main frame.
    decking-newel-posts

     

    Finally, a close up showing part of the rail detail and how the change between different levels was dealt with.

    deck-handrail-detail

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Jan 192013
 
small-deck-on-sloping-site

This is another small deck, incorporating an “L” shaped raised area to suit the contours of the site.

 

Deck Features (click to see others with this feature):

  • Small Wooden Decks
  • Decks on Sloping Sites
  •  

    Here we can see the “L” shaped rased area which was incorporated into the design to suit the contour of the ground beneath. The deck was primarily designed to give a safe, clean area where the children could play, and also somewhere to relax after a hard days work.

    small-deck-on-sloping-site

     

    This picture, taken from another angle, shows more of the deck with the framework for the step and the weed suppression fabric beneath.

    small-deck-installation

     

    This shows the framework more or less finished. Notice how the deck was built around the existing tool store. Note also the gap between the frame and the house wall ensuring that the deck will not cause any problems with damp.

    decking-frame

     

    This shows the site at the beginning of the project. Prior to construction, the area was treated with “Roundup” weed killer and then weed suppression fabric was laid to prevent any re-growth.

    decking-denton

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Jan 192013
 
deck-on-sloping-site

This is a large deck on a very steeply sloping site and incorporates balustrading for safety reasons.

 

Deck Features (click to see others with this feature):

  • Large Wooden Decks
  • Decks on Sloping Sites
  • Raised Decks
  • Decks with Handrails
  • Decks with steps
  • The rear of the deck is as low as possible to the garden soil so you can see how far the front edge needed to be raised to make it level. The brick steps were already in place but notice the additional step built into the deck. Also, note the tree, which was already there, and how this has been made into a feature.

    deck-on-sloping-site

     

    From this angle you can begin to appreciate how steeply the garden sloped upwards, and how necessary the balustrading was.

    deck-handrails

     

    This picture shows the work in progress and from this you can see the main support posts which were set into substantial concrete footings. You can also see part of the frame detail and the fabric used to eliminate weed growth under the deck.

    deck-supports

     

    This picture, showing the frame being constructed, shows the problem the owners were faced with, in terms of what to do with this part of the garden. Hopefully, the above pictures of the finished thing show how decking can be used to create a useful space from a problem site, without having to move large volumes of soil and/or build substantial retaining walls.

    decking-for-sloping-site

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Jan 192013
 
garden-deck-west haddon

This is a small deck situated in West Haddon. It is just over 20 square metres, built on a site, which sloped in two directions. The handrail was already in place and the deck was built around this.

Deck Features (click to see others with this feature):

  • Small Wooden Decks
  • Decks on Sloping Sites
  •  

    garden-deck-west haddon

     

    Another view which shows how the existing handrail was incorporated. The picture may look a little odd because it is actually made from two different pictures which have been “stitched” together in order to show the whole thing (the brickwork at the back doesn’t really slope like this. Notice that the garden wall to the right is actually curved and the deck was built to suit. Also notice how the front faces of the step have been contoured to suit the shape of the ground. It is not very clear from these web images but the deck incorporates blue LED lighting which, in the customers words, “looks awesome” at night.

    decking-west-haddon

     

    This is another “panoramic” shot made from two separate pictures in order to get it all in one image. The frame is not really “kinked” but notice the curved garden wall. You can also see how the deck is raised higher around the existing hand rail, to provide a single, flat area. Also notice the use of weed suppression fabric again. The majority of the frame is made from 100mm x 50mm timber but the edges near the handrail are built using 150mm x 50mm. This was to give a better support for Newel posts if the customer decides to change the handrail for something more substantial and/or decorative at some time in the future.

    wooden-decking-west-haddon

     

    Finally a picture showing the site before work commenced.

    deck-construction-west-haddon

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Dec 042012
 
002-main-wootton-large-decking

Situated in Wootton, Northampton, this is actually three decks, built on a sloping site (both left to right and also front to back) so they are raised at the front but also split level to keep them as low as possible.

The decks were built in an established garden. That is to say, the paving, posts and plants were already there. The requirements were to provide more usable flat areas and reduce the amount of lawn.

Deck Features (click to see others with this feature):

  • Large Wooden Decks
  • Split Level Wood Decks
  • Decks on Sloping Sites
  • Decks around hot tubs and pools
  •  

    One view looking across the garden

    decking-wooton

     

    Because of the sheer size, it was difficult to fit it all into a single picture. The next picture is actually a panorama shot made by “stitching” several images together. Notice the existing Japanese Acer that was incorporated into the middle deck area, and the hot tub that was incorporated in part, into the left hand area.

    decking-northampton

     

    A different view showing part of the garden before work commenced.

    decking-site-wooton

    This shows part of the frame from a different angle. The deck was designed to incorporate the existing hot tub and to accommodate existing planting. Notice the use of weed suppression fabric laid underneath the frame to prevent any future plant growth.

    wooden-deck-frame

     

    This picture of the underside of the frame, taken from close to the hot tub, shows in detail, the substantial framing and supports. I often think it is a pity that all this work is hidden in the end result.

    garden-deck-wooton

     

    Another picture showing the finished framing for the entire area. Notice the pile of deck planking, ready to be fitted, on the right.

    decking-installation

     

    Part of the deck detail showing how the curved hot tub was incorporated. Notice how the sides are also clad with decking timber to hide the frame beneath. The lower boards have been shaped to suit the contour of the lawn

    deck-round-hot-tub

     

    A view looking across the garden from the hot tub. Notice how the edging boards are mitred at the corners. This picture again, shows how the shape of the deck can be made to fit around existing planting and also how trees and shrubs can be incorporated into the deck if desired.

    deck-installation

     

    Finally, although difficult to capture properly, this shows the LED lighting at night.

    002-sec-08-deck-with-leds

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