Decking materials can be a little overwhelming, right?

We know the options can seem endless, but we’re here to help you seek the very best raised decking alternatives for your backyard.

This guide will take you through some of the most popular raised decking materials and their benefits so that you can make an informed decision about which is best for you.

You want your decking area to look great and last for years – without having to spend hours every weekend maintaining it.

Luckily, all of our decking alternatives are low-maintenance so you can relax and enjoy your outdoor space.

What is a Raised Deck?

A raised deck is a platform that is built above the ground and supported by stilts or posts. It is usually made from wood, but can also be made from composite materials, aluminum, or other metals.

The main advantage of a raised deck is that it gives you extra space to entertain or relax in your outdoor area. It also means that you can make the most of views and create a more spacious feel in your garden.

If you live in an area with a lot of rainfall or snow, a raised deck can also help to keep your outdoor area dry as it will be elevated off the ground.

Raised Deck Frame

The frame of your raised deck will be the most important part as it supports the entire structure. It is generally made from pressure-treated lumber, which is resistant to rot and insect damage.

The size and type of lumber you use will depend on the size and design of your deck. Be sure to consult with a professional before beginning any construction.

What are the Different Types of Raised Decking Materials?

There are a few different types of materials that can be used to build a raised deck. The most popular choices are wood, composite, PVC, and aluminum.

Wooden decks

Wooden decks are the classic choice and can give your outdoor area a traditional look and feel. They are also relatively easy to install yourself if you are handy with tools.

The vast majority of the raised wooden decks out there have either one step or two steps leading up to them. The deck is then supported by either 4×4 posts or 6×6 posts set into the ground.

The most common type of wood used for raised decks is pressure-treated lumber. This is because it is strong and durable and can withstand the elements. Other popular choices include cedar, redwood, and mahogany.

Related: Less Obvious Alternatives to Wooden Decking

Composite decks

Composite decking is a more modern option that is made from recycled plastic and wood fibers. Composite decks are very low maintenance as they don’t require sanding, staining, or painting.

The construction of a raised composite deck is the same as a wooden deck. The main difference is the materials that are used. Composite boards are made to look like wood, but they don’t require the same level of care.

Related: How to Clean Your Composite Deck (STEP BY STEP)

PVC decks

PVC decks are made from a type of plastic called polyvinyl chloride. They are very easy to maintain as they are resistant to mold, mildew, and stains. PVC decks are also available in a variety of colors and styles.

Aluminum decks

Aluminum decks are a premium option that is becoming more popular due to their durability and low maintenance. Aluminum decks are also fire resistant and won’t rot or warp.

What are the Benefits of a Raised Deck?

There are many benefits to having a raised deck in your outdoor area.

Here are some of the most popular reasons why people choose to build a raised deck:

1. Extra space – A raised deck gives you extra space to entertain or relax in your outdoor area.

2. Views – If you have a raised deck, you can make the most of the views and create a more spacious feel in your garden.

3. Dry area – If you live in an area with a lot of rainfall or snow, a raised deck can help to keep your outdoor area dry as it will be elevated off the ground.

4. Low maintenance – A raised deck is a low-maintenance option as it will be elevated off the ground and not in contact with the ground.

5. Easy to build – Raised decks are relatively easy to build and can be done by most people with some basic DIY skills.

Raised Decking Kits

Did you know that you can buy raised decking kits? These kits come with everything you need to build a raised deck, including lumber, decking boards, and fasteners.

If you want to build a raised deck but don’t have the time or skills to do it yourself, a kit is a great option. You can find these kits at most home improvement stores or online.

What is the Cost of a Raised Deck?

The cost of a raised deck will vary depending on the materials you use, the size of your deck, and whether you build it yourself or hire a contractor.

Generally speaking, a raised wooden deck will cost between $15 and $30 per square foot, while a composite deck will cost between $20 and $35 per square foot.

If you hire a contractor to build your deck, the cost will be higher. On average, you can expect to pay between $35 and $50 per square foot.

What is the Best Material for a Raised Deck?

The best material for a raised deck will depend on your budget and personal preferences.

If you are looking for a traditional look, wood is the best option. If you want a low-maintenance deck, composite or PVC might be the way to go. And if you are looking for a premium option, aluminum might be the best choice.

No matter what material you choose, a raised deck can add value to your home and provide you with a great space to enjoy the outdoors.

FAQs

Do I need planning permission for a raised decking?

Installing a raised deck normally falls under “permitted development”, which means you won’t need planning permission as long as it meets certain criteria. These include the deck being no more than 30cm above the ground, and not covering more than 50% of the total area of your garden.

What is a floating deck?

A floating deck is a type of deck that is not attached to the ground. Instead, it is supported by posts or blocks that are placed on the ground. Floating decks are usually easier to build than other types of decks because they don’t require digging post holes or pouring concrete footings.

How high off the ground should decking be?

A lack of ventilation is the most common reason for ground-level decking projects to fail. We always recommend at least 18 inches of ground clearance, but because ground-level decks by definition violate this rule, we advise against it. If you insist on constructing a ground-level deck, obtain advice from your local building codes regarding minimum heights, ventilation needs, and other crucial information.

How do you build a raised deck on a slope?

You can build decking on a slope on your own by following these ten simple steps:

  1. Dig Foundation Holes.
  2. Install Deck Posts.
  3. Cut and Install Joists.
  4. Install Decking Boards.
  5. Build Stairs (if necessary).
  6. Connect the Deck Beams.
  7. Attach the Floor Beams.
  8. Add the Railing.
  9. Finish the Deck.
  10. Test the Deck.
About the Author

Passionate about helping households transition to sustainable energy with helpful information and resources.

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