Decks and Fences
When it comes to increasing the size of your living space, adding value to your home or rental property, and creating indoor-outdoor flow without breaking the bank, a new deck, terrace or patio is hard to beat. They let us enjoy the sun and fresh air as a comfortable extension of our living space. For many kiwi renovators, adding a deck is at the top of their to-do list. Innovative decking businesses have been instrumental in making decks more environmentally friendly, durable and attractive. There are heat treated woods which eliminate the need for harmful chemical treatments. Other options include solid composite decking or hardwoods like vitex or kwila woods grown in the Solomon Islands. Solid composite decking is a truly sustainable outdoor decking solution. There is no need to oil or stain it, so it is extremely easy care. Depending on whether it is a one level platform just above the ground or a more complex design with multiple levels and built-in features, it may or may not need building consent. We can design a deck or terrace to suit your needs and budget while taking care of all consents necessary.
Repair or replace existing deck
Damaged or rotten decking boards are ugly and they could be dangerous too. By rebuilding your deck, we can help make your deck safer and give it a longer life span. The trick is to keep the look consistent with what was there before. Mixing different finished materials (wood and composite) is not recommended. If the treads are composite, make all the horizontal surfaces (railing tops, stair treads) composite for a better look. The great benefit of a rebuild project instead of starting new is that your existing deck becomes the blueprint for the rebuild. Each old member is the exact template for the new member – dimensions, length, drilled holes, notches etc. In a shorter time with less money and greater ease, you will have a solid deck you can enjoy for years to come.
Increase the size of your existing deck
If your existing deck is a couple of decades old and looking worn and small, you may reach a decision that it’s time to revamp. This can entail demolishing the original deck and starting over, or adding an extension to increase its size. As with the original construction of your deck, planning is nine-tenths of the battle. We will start by inspecting the substructure of the deck — the posts, beams and joists — looking for splits in the wood, or sagging or leaning members that indicates insufficient engineering and support in the original construction, which may not have been to code. If we find problems, we will remove both the deck boards and the substructure and start over. If the substructure is sound, we will keep it in place and add a new section or sections to it. This may involve consulting the council for permits and consulting an engineer or architect.
Most freestanding or terraced homes in New Zealand require fencing for security and to screen for privacy. If you have a pool in your garden, then a fence is required by law. A good fence can add visual appeal and value to a property so it pays to employ a good designer and tradesperson to construct your fence from quality materials. You can usually build up to 2 metres in height without getting planning consent from the local council. However, you should always check with the council to make sure. It may be that you live in a special heritage area or are affected by rules in the district plan that mean you cannot build your fence this high. If you want to build a fence between your property and your neighbour’s you don’t need to argue forever about how it should be done or who will pay. The Fencing Act sets out your rights and obligations. We understand The Fencing Act and can build you a beautiful fence in timber or masonry that is compliant with all rules and regulations.
- Examples of fencing and decking work that does require a building consent:
- Retaining walls higher than 1.5 metres (3.0 metres in rural area if designed by a Chartered Professional Engineer)
- Fences or walls higher than 2.5 metres, and all swimming pools and their associated fences
- Decks, platforms or bridges more than 1.5 metres above ground level
Repair or replace existing fence
Perhaps the most important thing to consider before replacing a fence is to check your local zoning laws to see if you need a permit. Even if you plan to use the same materials and replace the fence with the same height, you may still need to get a permit prior to installation. Homeowners can end up spending a fortune in fees due to incorrect assumptions. Sometimes a fence is installed that falls short of your property boundary line so when you are replacing a fence, it’s a good time to correct this. We can obtain council plans of your property to ensure the fence is correctly installed within your boundary line.