What’s the right type of decking for my garden?

If you’ve had enough of mowing the lawn, upgrading your outside space with a decked area might be the answer you’re looking for.

With many of us searching for new ways to maximise space, decking redundant areas of your garden can create a practical, multi-functional retreat for the family to enjoy.

But what is the right type of decking for your garden? Let’s take a look at your options.

Types of decking materials

Decking boards are made from four different materials: namely softwood, hardwood, composite and PVC.

Depending on the requirements of your project, each type of decking come with their own benefits. Here’s a breakdown.


Availability and affordability make softwood decking one of the most popular materials for many homeowners. It’s a versatile option that comes in many off-the-shelf shapes and sizes ready for installation. What’s more, softwood boards also come in a variety of styles such as standard, heavy duty and non-slip.

As with any timber board, also check prices from more than one supplier – and always ask about a guarantee.


Because hardwood trees take longer to grow, the process of turning them into usable timber takes longer than their softwood counterparts. Though this is great for durability, the process of cutting and drilling hardwood boards is somewhat more challenging than other options.

However, correctly installed hardwood decking that’s properly maintained can last between 30 to 50 years. And though the initial cost may be higher than softwood, it’s still a wise investment by any metric.


Becoming more popular year after year, composite decking is a planet-friendly alternative to more traditional types of material. Made from recycled wood and plastic, composite decking is available in a host of shapes, colours and wood grain affects you require for your garden.

Even though composite decking is partly made from plastic, it is still susceptible to rot. For that reason, annual treatment is required to keep your decking looking its best. Feel free to get in touch for any maintenance tips.

PVC (polyvinyl chloride)

Made from 100% plastic, PVC is a recyclable and durable decking option that stands the test of time. Typically speaking, it’s the most expensive option available which is justified by its low maintenance and long shelf life. However, PVC is an unnatural material which can sometimes leave a synthetic look to your garden.

Our advice? Be careful what type of PVC board you choose and always seek the opinion of a professional.

Other things to consider when choosing decking


If you live in an area prone to rain, frost and sleet, a slip-resistant board is the best option for you. Similarly, if you’re looking to deck a hot tub area, choosing a board with a groove is a safer option for all.

Decking for pets

Where some types of timber decking are hot to the touch in warmer months, other options – such as composite and PVC – offer a cooler surface for your pets all year round.

That said, if you’re set on using timber boards, you can create a shaded area for your four-legged friend by adding a pergola to your decked area. Read more, here.

If you’re thinking about adding decking to your garden and would like a FREE design consultation, get in touch with our team today.

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