* Is the site flat, sloping or difficult terrain - can changes of level be built in to add interest?
* Is the deck to be wholly in the sun or a shaded area or need to combine elements of both; either naturally or by including features like a pergola or screening for protection against a prevailing wind?
* Is the deck intended to be a private space or on public view. Will trees, shrubs, screens and buildings provide enough privacy?
* Will the deck's location interfere with services, storm water drains and sewerage - access to these may need to be built in to the design.
* Is the deck primarily for adults, for entertaining or for family use with a children's play area - swing/ sandpit included?
* What features will be incorporated into the deck design e.g. planter boxes, seats, lattice, arbors, pergolas, storage boxes, sandpits, ponds, lighting - almost anything is possible.
* Is a spa, above ground swimming pool, garden pavilion, shed, conservatory or other heavy structures going to be added at a later date? If so, you will need to make sure that the structural specification of your deck will cater to take the loads that may be placed upon it.
* What style of handrail and balustrades will I need to build in? * What type of timber do I need to use for the sub-floor (bearers & joists). Timber comes in various strength grades and for raised level decks you will need to use the appropriate structural grade. * If your frame is in contact with the ground then the timber needs to be properly treated -
* What type of board will be used for the surface of the deck? There are a wide range of species and styles available providing variations in grain pattern, colour and size. There is also a choice of plain, grooved or ribbed finishes to enable different effects to be created.
* Is planning or building regulation approval required?
* Does the deck require lighting- this will add ambiance and set your deck appart from the rest.
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