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People treat their gardens in hundreds of different ways. We believe that gardens should be considered an extension of the home, another room that just happens to be outdoors.

The reason we all look forward to summer so much is the opportunity to spend some time out in the open, but we rarely enjoy that time in cluttered gardens with an overgrown lawn and aggressive rose bushes. A lot of people who are looking into garden design are taking into account the subject of barbecues and outdoor enetertaining, and are facing one crucial decision. Decking or patio?

Decking

Decking can be installed much more quickly than patio. Transport costs are lower, environmental impacts are lower and the ability to raise it above ground level makes decking an excellent platform for outdoor entertainment. Decking offers a much more natural input into the garden, utilising natural materials and offering a bridge between the greenery and the home. Very importantly, decking can also be much cheaper than traditional stone patios if you can find the right timber. Granted, this choice of material might not be as beautiful or hard-wearing as some other types of wood – but if you’re on a budget then you will probably find it more cost effective to install decking.

On the other hand, decking demands a reasonable amount of effort on your part to maintain it. It’s vulnerable to all types of timber ailments that furniture and living wood is, so not only do you have to pay a little more attention to keeping it clean – you will probably find yourself having to invest in some oil and some time to apply it. Longevity of decking is much shorter than stone patios, particularly if you choose softwood decking. One of the standout features that put many parents off decking is how slippy the surface can become in the rain. This can be counteracted by certain products but they come with a price tag attached…

Paving

A well laid stone patio will require next-to-no maintenance. If you lay the slabs poorly and fail to construct a level base and apply the necessary chemicals, you will be on your hands and knees every month weeding the cracks in your patio. With proper preparation, your stone patio will need no input from yourself. Most of us live in stone-based properties and patios can complement the structures much more easily than decking can. Patios offer you a greater choice of shapes, sizes and colours than decking. We’re not exactly advocates of crazy paving, but you get the idea…

A few of the downsides of patios include the effort (and cost) involved in preparing the area for your stonework. A reasonable amount of work has to be undertaken to ensure that the ground is completely level before any slabs are laid. You might even find that your patio needs a concrete base, if you live in an area of subsidence or ground movement. As a direct result of this, you will find that patios are more expensive than most decking choices and also have a higher impact on the environment.

And the winner is…

Unless you’re on an extremely tight budget, we would always recommend a quality installation of decking. It offers much more flexibility, complements the natural outdoors and blends your property into your garden. We have laid beautiful patios before, but when it comes to preserving the tradition of garden design and extending your home outdoors; we believe that decking is the best way to do this.

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