Wooden Deck, Umhlanga, Durban

Here’s a wooden decking project we completed in Hawaan Forest Estate, Umhlanga, Durban. There were two houses right next door to each other so it was a bit easier on the pocket when it came to travel to site. The whole job was quite big too, in excess of 200 square metres of coverage, so it was worth the travel from Home Base in Waterfall, Hillcrest.

House 1 consisted of a fairly large deck of about 80 square metres. It was an interesting deck to build in that it was built flush with the tiled covered patio, extending to the pool, with steps as wide as the deck leading into the garden. It incorporated a fire pit with step benches on three sides set slightly away from the pool. The front of the steps were clad so that beneath the deck was not visible. We met our deck boards at a 45 degree angle on the vertical cladding.

There were various smaller decks around the front of the house and the courtyard consisted of a steel frame and steel gate clad in balau deck boards. There was an interesting deck on the first floor of about 7 square metres that is accessed through a door on to the roof top. It is bordered by three sides of planter boxes surrounded by balau.

The garage doors were 6m wide and 2.7m high. The frame was made of steel and deck boards were used to clad it. It resulted in it being quite heavy but complimented the front of the house by following through with the wood cladding design so typical of Hawaan Forest Estate homes.

Along the front of the first floor are steel sliding screens of 14m x 3.1m high. The decks and courtyard screens were all done in 19 x 68mm balau reeded deck boards whilst the sliding screens on the first floor were done in 19 x 30 balau slat. In order to get a 19 x 30 slat we ripped a normal 19 x 68 deck board in half to 30mm wide. These were then attached to the steel with a 20mm screw from behind so that no screw holes are visible from the front.

Most deck boards are reeded on one side which allows water to dissipate more easily between the deck board and joist, so we had to source non reeded deck boards for this application. If it had been reeded the grooved side would have been visible from either the inside or the outside. Non reeded deck boards are not that common, but they are available, and it is cheaper to rip deck boards to 19 x 30 than to buy 20 x 30mm slats.

House 2 had a much smaller pool deck of about 25 square metres. It was fairly intricate though in that the deck had to be tucked underneath the wall on one side and beneath the tiles of the pool fascia. The patio above the pool had a fall to it to allow water to run off, so the edge of the deck could not be level, otherwise it would have resulted in a stepped join between the wooden deck and the patio. There are also a few smaller decks surrounding this house and it too has a 13m long by 3.1m high sliding screen system in steel with balau 19 x 30 slats.

I will update these pics above once other contractors have completed their areas of work to give you a good idea of what is possible in timber decking and screening.

For a quote, and design, of your wooden decking and screening requirements, please call us on 082 496 5444 or use the contact us form below.

Driveway Gate Clad in Balau Wood

Driveway gate clad in balau

Click to enlarge

Here’s another driveway gate that we clad in balau in Umdloti, North of Durban. In the pics you can see the old gate which we left in place while we installed the new balau timber clad driveway gate and them removed it afterwards and scrapped it. Because this gate is right on the road facing the beach it had rusted beyond repair.

The steel gate was designed using 38mm x 76mm rectangular tube as a rectangular outer frame which then had a cross flat bar of 5mm x 30mm running horizontally across from one side to the other. At the top and bottom we welded flat bar on to the rectangular tube which had pre drilled holes in it to accept our deck boards. The horizontal cross flat bar was there to stop the deck boards bowing over time. It was all hot dip galvanised. I don’t recommend painting the galvanised steel. It can be done quite successfully but will always be a maintenance issue and will need re-painting every year or 18 months.

We set he track in concrete and attached the brackets which keep the gate plumb and then set the gate on its track. Only once it was on its track did we attach the deck boards to the flat bar on the top and flat bar on the bottom by lining up the board with equal spaces and drilling a hole through the wood. We used a 40mm galvanised hex bolt with a nut on the back-end and then finished it off with a stainless steel dome nut. It would be better to use stainless throughout, that is the bolt, washers nuts and dome nuts as they won’t rust.

Driveway gate clad in balau

Click to enlarge

We left the timber unsealed as the client wanted it to turn natural grey. It doesn’t really affect the longevity of the timber. Balau contains natural resins and oils which slow down the process of rot considerably compared to other woods.

The trick in setting these deck boards is to make sure that they are equally spaced. It is fairly simple because the pre drilled holes are calculated to be dead centre so theoretically each hole should be drilled through the centre of the board. Practically though you need to still be careful to get the space between boards equal even at the cost of not drilling dead center of each board. The time-consuming part of this job is pre-cutting the deck boards to exactly the correct length to fit snugly in below the top and bottom tube.

The flat bar on the top and bottom, to which the board is attached, is set off centre so that the steel on the front of the gate is flush with the deck boards once they are installed. i.e. the deck boards are recessed.

When measuring for the steel frame you want to get the whole frame visible when the gate is in a closed position. You always set your boards so that the good side is on the outside.

What goes very nicely with these types of gates is matching timber in fills on a masonry boundary wall.

Driveway gate clad in balau

Click to enlarge

For a free no obligation quote for driveway gates clad in balau or other timber, timber in fills on boundary walls and all your outdoor timber construction, please contact us on 082 496 5444 or use the contact us form below.