Timber Decks Brisbane Guide
Learn More About Timber Decking Options
When you are considering adding a deck to your property it can be one of the most invigorating times of your life. It can also be one of the most costly.
Traditionally pricing is approximately $300-400 per square metre. The averages are as follows:
- $10,000 for a 20m2 deck
- Up to $15,000 for a 30m2 deck
- Up to $20,000 for a 40m2 deck
Your price may vary considerably. Dependent upon the type of deck that you want, type of timber selected, and the complexity of the project the price may increase from these baseline norms.
Let’s face it though, even with the cost you have decided to do something that will increase the enjoyment that you get from your home exponentially. It is also something that will increase the value of your home. Seems like adding a deck is a win-win proposition.
Factors to Consider on Choosing A Decking Timber
When you are planning to install a deck there are several factors that you will want to consider when choosing the timber for your deck. The most important is the durability of the timber. You will want to question if it can withstand the rainfall, UV rays, and just general exposure to the elements.
What color do you want? While it is possible to stain the deck, some prefer the natural look of the wood with simply a treatment on it. If you plan to have your deck natural, this will most assuredly impact the decision that you will be making. Do you want all long planks, short planks, or a mixture?
Finally, we arrive at the bottom line, you will need to consider the cost. While you may want the top-of-the-line deck, costs may be prohibitive. You will want to consider this as one of the primary factors in the construction of your new deck.
Timber Deck Building Regulations in Queensland
One of the most important things to consider is the building regulations as it pertains to your deck. The last thing you want to have happen is to get it 90% built and have to remove it or get a fine and not be able to complete the project.
Does My Deck Builder Need to be Licensed?
There are of course some legal things that must be taken into consideration when choosing someone to build your deck. When you are considering building a deck you must obtain a building permit. In order to get a building permit to be issued you must either build the deck yourself or hire a licensed deck builder. The short answer is that if you do not intend on building the deck yourself then you must hire a licensed deck builder.
Do I need building or council approval for my deck?
When you are considering getting a new deck installed or having an existing one renovated you must consider if you will need to get building or council approval. You actually may not need council approval for a deck to be constructed on your property. You can complete this online inquiry in order to find out if you will or will not need council approval.
Building approval is a separate action than gaining approval from council. You will need to get building approval from a Queensland Building and Construction Commission licensed contractor which you can find here.
Types of Timber Decks
There are several different types of timbers that are available for decking. Some of the most popular timbers are treated pine, jarrah, blackbutt, and spotted gum to name a few. The type of deck that you want to install may impact the decision that you make about the type of wood that you use. Let’s take a more in depth look at some of the most popular
1. Treated Pine
The treated pine timber is one of the most popular since it does tend to be very affordable. The average cost for a treated pine deck is $100-200 per square metre. This timber is also very easy to stain to just about any color that you could want in a deck, and it is very durable and easily repaired. The drawbacks are that the wood will fade and after 6-12 months it will begin to dry out and split. It is also very might maintenance since it will need to be treated annually.
Blackbutt timber is known to be highly durable and to have a beautiful appearance. It is also highly fire resistant naturally. This is a very wise choice for you deck as it is very easy to maintain. One of the few drawbacks of blackbutt is that it does not take to paint very well and if you should want to paint your deck it may crack. It does great with wood treatments such as oils and varnishes.
Hardwood decking is a very high-quality option for your decking needs. It is very durable and can last for up to 50 years depending on the maintenance schedule that you maintain for your deck. Treat it well and it will treat you well. There are virtually a limitless number of designs that you can integrate into a hardwood deck. The drawbacks are that it requires regular upkeep. As mentioned before you will have to spend a considerable amount of time maintaining the deck. This is also one of the costliest options for a decking timber.
Jarrah is another great choice for decking. It is resistant to rotting and the elements. It is also weather resistant. Since the grain is so close in the Jarrah wood it can maintain its original color longer than comparable timber. Some of the drawbacks to the Jarrah timber is that it too can be considered cost prohibitive and requires pre-drilling which typically means that the installation of the deck will cost more overall.
Merbau timber is another hardwood that known for its appearance, but it is also very customizable in shade through the use of oils to either darken or lighten the appearance of the wood. It can last for up to 40 years with regular maintenance. When it is said regular maintenance that means that it will need to be treated every three to six months for the lifetime of the deck. Merbau is a very oily wood, and it does tend to bleed and even more so when it rains. This is something to keep in mind when it comes to the long-term duration of the appearance of the wood. It is also a significantly expensive timber choice as well.
While a timber deck is what most people would generally desire, there are other alternatives out there. Let’s take a moment to look at those alternatives.
A composite deck is a combination of recycled wood and plastic. It appears as a traditional timber deck does, but it does not require the upkeep that a timber deck does.
Depending on the complexity of the project the average cost of a composite deck install will set you back anywhere from $100-$350 per square metre. While this is a great disparity in pricing it is important to understand that there are several high-end composite decks manufactures and some that don’t make, well let’s say as good of a product. Depending on the size of the deck area as well as the complexity of the project, you should be able to get a good idea of what you can expect to spend.
A plastic deck is exactly that, a plastic deck. It is virtually maintenance free, but it does have its drawbacks. These drawbacks include the fact that it does not have the appearance of the real timber decks that are so popular, and it requires more material than the timber deck does.
Aluminum decking is almost perfect if you are looking for an alternate decking material. It is fireproof, slip resistant, and durable. Its only drawbacks are that it gets extremely hot, it expensive and it does look like aluminum and not timber. If appearance is important to you, then this may not be the choice for you.
Fibre Cement Decking
Fibre Cement Decking is a combination of cement, sand a cellulose that is then mixed and smoothed to create the deck. It is almost completely weatherproof, fireproof, and it can be fashioned to have a very realistic look to it. If you do not like the color, paint it and you will have solved the appearance problem. It is also resistant to warping, rotting, and splitting.
Tips for Maintaining Timber Deck
Not all deck maintenance is the same and this should be factored into the price as well. For example, should you choose to have a hardwood deck installed you will want to be prepared to apply a timber oil or finish every year to maintain the look of the deck. A treated pine deck will also need to be oiled on an annual basis. Should you choose to go with a composite deck your initial investment will spare you the requirement of annually (or more frequently) treating your deck with oil. All you will need to do is get a good composite deck cleaner and clean it at the end of the year.
Benefits of Sourcing Local Timber
When a timber is locally sourced you should be able to do the research and contact the company directly to ask questions and to return damaged timber if that should become an issue. When a timber is sourced locally it also allows you to be environmentally conscious since you can ask questions about the renewability of the timber.
Let’s talk about money. The costs are lower for locally sourced since there are no hidden fees, shipping damage, or additional fees for the transport of the timber to your location. You will also not typically have to wait as long for your timber to be delivered which means that you will be able to enjoy your deck sooner.
Timber Deck Installation Costs
While there is no set cost associated with the deck installation prices, there are some general rules. The complexity of the project can vary the cost greatly. With that said, the generally average price is between $185-$190 per square metre. This means that a deck of 30 square metres would cost approximately $5,500 – $7,000. Again, these numbers are just average and do not take into account the actual job, the type of deck, or the difficulty associated with the undertaking
Choosing a Deck Building Company
When you are looking for a professional builder, you will want to examine the following:
- QLD – Makes sure that the builder is registered and licensed
- QBCC – They are the building regulator and are in charge of licenses. Be sure to do your homework.
- Insurance – Be sure to ask for proof of insurance from the builder. This way, if you have claims that need to be addressed, you will know who to contact.
- Reviews – Check popular review sites to see the quality of the prospective builder’s work. People love to post pictures, and this is your opportunity to check into the past projects that your prospective builder has completed.
When it comes time to adding a deck to your property, this is a great way to not only increase the value of the property from a financial standpoint but also from an enjoyment standpoint. When you are considering a deck it is important to make sure that you are making the right decisions.
A deck can be one of the wisest investments that you can make as far as home improvement goes. It is a gift that you and your family will enjoy for years to come. It is no wonder why they are so popular. By comparing prices, types of timber, and doing your research before starting the project, you will be able to select the option the fits the needs of you and your family and have a beautiful deck for years to come.