Wooden Pool Deck Built in Kloof, Durban

This wooden deck was a simple pool deck that we built in Kloof, Durban. The pool had originally been built at an angle to the house which limited the available space between the house and pool. The client wanted to create a wooden deck that was parallel to the house so that he could maximise the space between the edge of the pool and the house.

As result we needed to build part of the wooden deck over the pool and the trick was to support it sufficiently over about a 3.5m span so that it didn’t bounce or sag. We couldn’t of course put supports or posts into the pool so we increased the size of the beam running over the pool to a 50 x 152. We still had to trim the 152 down to about 140 as we needed to install this beam on top of the existing pool coping, on both sides, and we were limited by how high we could come up from that surface. In these instances one starts “stealing space”. A term we use at The Wood Joint for gaining every available millimetre possible in order to maximise structural strength.

We then clad the downpipes and support posts of the existing awning with deck boards to create two fairly large wooden posts and hide the PVC downpipes. This gave the effect of large wooden posts holding up the awning. The flower boxes were also clad to match the theme.

A small ledge of about 200mm wide was added along the wall running up to the pizza oven at bar height of about 1.2m from ground. A small cupboard was built in the recess that the builder had left on the right hand side of the braai in which glasses and other braai, or bar, utensils can be stored.

Stainless steel hinges were used aluminium knobs were fitted. We used a normal latch system on the inside so that when you close it, it locates behind, and out of sight. We included a single shelf for glasses. We tucked the deck underneath the braai area so that wood and charcoal can be stored there.

This deck was sanded and sealed with an oil based sealer. An oil based sealer is far superior to a water based sealer or mineral based sealer that dries on the surface. Oil cannot peel and flake. It simply disappears with exposure to UV so there is no need to sand the deck in the future.

We are available to quote on your decking needs. Please call us on 082 496 5444 or use the contact form below.

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.

Wooden deck in Massaranduba, Hillcrest, Durban

This deck was built with Massaranduba. Although Massaranduba is about 30% more per square metre than balau the client insisted on it as it is a much harder and denser wood than balau. As such it will last longer. It has a slight reddish tinge to it. This deck is to be left unsealed so will eventually turn grey / sliver. Therefore one will not notice that is massaranduba, but it will last longer. When choosing between balau or massaranduba one needs to weigh up the difference in cost vs. the longevity of both timbers. There is nothing wrong with balau, it will also give you a long life span. Massa is of a better quality and will therefore outlast balau.

We decked around the pool flush with the tiling on the patio which resulted in a single 90mm deck board being used as a fascia on the inside of the pool. Hence the difference in height between the water level and the deck is not that great. Often the deck can come up too high resulting in a big step up to the deck from water level. The pool therefore needs to be set at the correct height, in relation to the patio, to accommodate the deck at the correct height.

A quick note on new pool decks. The hardwood typically used in decking contains tannins which leach out when it rains. Storing them on a tiled surface almost always results in stains being left on the tiles after a downpour. Likewise one needs to be careful of installing the fascia on the inside of the pool, or deck boards that are installed on the pool’s edge, prior to filling the pool with water. If there is no water in the pool and it rains, these tannins will leach out and run down the new marbelite pool surface, staining it. The only way to get rid of the stains successfully is to sand it off. It is advisable therefore to get the pool done and filled before decking up to the sides of the pool and installing the fascia board. Alternatively, don’t marbelite until these tannins have completely leached out. It’s a tricky one because the pool contractor doesn’t want to marbelite until the lawn is done because of dust. The landscaper normally comes last, so it’s a bit of juggling that is required.

We decked around a circular concrete slab which is to be a fire pit and up to the edge of the brick and plaster bench around the fire pit.

We also installed a small pergola above the sliding door and included a small bar counter that can be accessed from both sides of the patio and deck. There was also a small decked area at the back of the house next to the fish pond and a screen on the front of the house.

For the screen we used a 20 x 30 slat instead of a normal 19 x 68 deck board. Although a 19 x 68 deck board works well as a screen, a narrower piece (30mm) with a smaller gap is a bit different and not the run of the mill timber screening. Although it is slightly more expensive than a normal 68mm wide deck board screen, it is very effective.

All in all a very nice job to work on and a pleasure to work with Massaranduba. It is lovely stuff. Hard as nails and long-lasting.

For a free no obligation quote on your wooden decking, pergola or screening needs in Durban or Cape Town, please call us on 082 496 5444 or use the contact us form below.

Wooden Decking in Durban – What Timber to Use

Wooden decks Durban

A CCA treated pine substructure and balau deck boards

Wooden decking in Durban, or any other area in South Africa is a valuable, inexpensive way of creating extra outdoor space. The climate in South Africa lends itself to outdoor living and as such a wooden deck in Durban is almost essential. There are many articles on this blog on how to build a wooden deck, what methods we use in building etc. so please feel free to browse and find what you are looking for. In this article I will mention some of the types of wood we use in building our wooden decks and provide reasons why we choose those types of wood.

Our deck substructures are made from CCA treated pine. Pine is a locally grown timber, relatively fast growing and as such inexpensive. It is used widely in the building trade as structural timber. It does however need to be CCA treated in order to prevent rot and insect infestation. CCA treatment is available in various H levels or Hazard Classifications. H3 is what is typically used in wooden decking as it is suitable to live out doors with occasional wetting. H4 is what one uses for posts or beams that are in constant contact with wet soil. If you stick to these guidelines, as set out by The South African Wood Preservers Association, then you will get a minimum of 50 years life span from your H3 timber and 30 years from your H4 timber. Pine is also relatively cheaper than balau. Balau can be used as a substructure but it is about 4 to 5

Wooden decks Durban

A balau substructure

times the price of treated pine. Balau will rot quicker than correctly treated pine in a substructure, believe it or not.

The pine that needs to be used in the substructure needs to be at least S5 which is SABS structurally approved timber. What it means is that there is no more than a certain specified amount of knots per square metre of timber. Pine is very knotty and is split up into different S categories which all carry a different price tag.

Pine is however not my fist choice for deck boards. Firstly it costs pretty much the same as balau. The reason for this is that the grooves below are machined here in South Africa and it is S7 timber so virtually knot free and it therefore carries a higher price tag then S5 pine. Added to this is that you are using almost twice as much timber because it is less dense. Typically a pine deck board would be 32mm thick whereas a balau deck board would be 19mm thick. The cubic metre rate for balau deck boards is also about half the price of the structural balau. Pine also tends to, warp and crack more easily then balau when exposed to direct sunlight because it is less dense and expands and

Wooden decks Durban

Balau deck boards

contracts a lot more than balau. This is fine for a substructure which uses thicker pieces of wood and is protected from the sun, but doesn’t work well on deck boards.

Based on all the above, it makes financial sense, and structurally it is the best option, to use H3 and H4 CCA Treated pine as a substructure and balau deck boards.

There are other options for deck boards. Massaranduba and Garappa are both very good woods which will outlast balau, but cost about 20% more per square metre. They are mostly used in the Highveld and in areas of South Africa where they experience extreme temperatures between seasons. Because they are denser, more stable and less prone to cracking

Wooden decks Durban

Balau deck boards

and warping, they can withstand minus 10 in winter and plus 30 in summer. Durban however has a more stable climate with less extremes between seasons and as such balau is the most suitable choice for hardwood decks.

For a free no obligation quote on your wooden sun deck in Durban please call us on 082 496 5444 or use the contact us form below.

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DIY Timber Decking in Durban

Timber decking companies DurbanAlthough we are professional installers of timber decks in Durban, we also offer a DIY service whereby we will supply the materials required to build your own wooden deck. We will also provide a brief outline of what is required and how to go about installing it.

As an introduction to this service I will offer some basic guidelines of how to set about building a wooden deck.

The most cost-effective method is to use an H3 and H4 CCA Treated substructure and balau deck boards. H3 timber is guaranteed, by the supplier, for 50 years and H4 is guaranteed for 30 years. This is of course subject to certain conditions that need to be fulfilled such as sealing cut ends with an approved end sealer and using H3 and H4 where they should be used. You can see a list of H classifications on www.sawpa.co.za. Provided the correct H level of timber is used in the correct application your deck will probably out live you.

Wooden decking companies Durban

First few rows of balau deck boards down

Substructure construction will vary depending on the height of the deck and some other criteria, but basically you will be aiming to install joists at about 450mm to 500mm centres. This will vary depending on the total length you need to install joists over. The joists are generally built using 38 x 114 S5 H3 timber. S5 is minimum SABS structural grade timber and refers to the number of knots per square metre that are present in the wood. H3 is the level to which it is treated at the treatment plant. H3 is suitable for outdoors. If you are placing timber in the ground, or in constant contact with wet soil, it should be treated to a minimum of H4.

Should you require main beams to support your joist structure you will typically use a 50 x 228 H4 beam and you can use 76 x 76 H4 treated square posts to support these beams. Your beams will be installed at 3m centres. If the structure is higher than about 2m I would suggest using gum poles to support it as they are harder and stronger. Again use H4 CCA Treated as they will be placed in the ground.

Timber decking companies DurbanIt is best to use balau deck boards as they are a lot more stable than pine and will not bow and cup as easily as pine. I use the 19 x 68mm reeded deck board as they are relatively inexpensive in comparison to the 19 x 90 deck board. They need to be reeded and the grooved side must face down in order to allow water trapped between the bottom of the deck board and the joist to escape, thus preventing premature failure due to rot. One can also use other timbers such as Massaranduba and Garappa, but they are more expensive. Balau is fine for coastal regions. Garappa and Massaranduba work well in the Highveld where the temperatures range from very cold to very hot.

Deck boards should be spaced with a 5mm gap between them in order to allow water on the surface of the deck to drain away quickly.

For a free no obligation quote on timber supply or supply and install for your decking needs, please contact us on 082 496 5444, or use the contact us form below.

Timber Decking Companies Durban

 

We are a timber decking company based in Durban and specialise in the construction of timber sun deck, pergolas, walkways, stairs etc. We use primarily H3 and H4 CCA treated pine as our substructure and balau deck boards. Our balustrades and stairs are all made from balau unless otherwise specifically designed in pine. The H3 and H4 CCA Treated pine has a life span of between 30 and 50 years outdoors in the elements and although the balau is not pressure treated it will also last in excess of 30 years.

The timber deck we built in this article was in Plantations in Hillcrest and was a low-level pool deck. The pictures alongside show the different stages of construction and I will explain, in this article, the challenges we experienced with this one. All timber decks we build come with their own challenges and there are various techniques we use to overcome these challenges.
Our first challenge here was that the paving alongside the pool was not parallel to the house. There was a difference of about 80mm over a distance of about 3m. If we had simply placed our deck boards down with equal gaps between them we would have ended with a wedged shaped deck board with a measurement of zero on one side and 68mm on the other side which would be unsightly. In order to overcome this one needs to vary the gaps between deck boards.

In this instance we needed to gain 80mm over a distance of 3m. We needed to start with a gap of 4mm on one side of the run, and the gap needed to increase along the length of the deck board run to 6mm on the other side effectively giving us a gain of 2mm per board. Over a distance of 3m, a total of 40 deck boards, with a width of 68mm and a gap of approximately 5mm, will be needed. If we increase the gap on one side of the run to 6mm and reduce the gap on the other side of the run to 4mm, we gain 2mm per run of deck boards. 2mm x 40 deck boards gives us a
total of 80mm that we will gain thereby reducing the difference on either side to zero. In effect you are “fanning” the deck boards to close the difference created by the wall not being parallel to the house. Simple hey? Not always so. Because each run of deck boards is made up of about 3 or 4 separate pieces it can be tricky to keep the runs straight whilst still “stealing” millimetres. At the same time you need to try to end on a full deck board instead of having to rip one deck board to half the width to finish decking the area. We weren’t able to do this because we were running out of space to start increasing or decreasing the gaps to end on a full board. So instead we installed a 90mm deck board on the last run to close the 32mm gap we had left.

We built this timber deck in two sections and then filled the gaps in between. Some of it was on grass and some was on soil, so there was a mixture of posts in ground with concrete and posts on top of paving.

Another challenge here was that because we were building flush to the pool paving AND the floor inside we had to check that the height of the pool paving and the height of the floor inside were the same. They never are because the world is not flat. While I prefer building as flat, level and square as I can, sometimes one needs to build slightly off in order to line up with other substrates that are not perfect, and they never will be. One needs to be careful though that by building off square and level does not affect the total build or the visual appearance of the structure. If it will, then another plan needs to be made.

For a free no obligation quote on your sun deck and other outdoor related structure please contact us on 082 496 5444 or use the contact us form below.

 

Wooden Decking Durban

Wooden decking DurbanWe built this wooden deck in Pinetown, Durban over a well so could not rest any joists on the well lid itself. Normally we would have raised the height of the deck enough to use 50 x 228 as joists. A 50 x 228 piece of wood can be spanned about 3m without any support below which would have solved our problem. However we could not come up that far as that would have resulted in two steps from the raised deck level to the tiled area on the patio.

We used 38 x 152 stock as our joist material, compared to the normal 38 x 114 stock which we normally use. This allowed us to span up to about 2.2m which still wasn’t quite far enough to get over the well. We brought the feet of the deck in as close as we could and placed them on top of the side wall of the well. We also braced the deck in other places so as to stop any bouncing which would have occurred otherwise. There was also a corner that we had to cut off so that it created a clear pathway from the lower deck around the awning upright and on to the tiled patio. Half of the Wooden decking Durbanpool was built with pavers or coping stones on the edge of the pool and the other half had wooden decking. So we had to get all our levels right to create a seamless integration between materials. It is quite popular now to mix materials and have a combination of pavers and wood and grass.

The pool pump was installed below the deck on the highest end and some trap doors were built on top of the deck to access the filters etc. We had to build a big enough trap door to allow a person to climb in there to change the sand or do other maintenance if needed.

The sides were clad to block visibility underneath the deck and a full length step was built along the one side for access to the grassed area.
A small opening was created on one side to house the pump DB board and this can later be hinged with a small door if the client wishes.

Wooden decking DurbanThe challenges on building pool decks between a tiled area and the side of a pool is to get the deck boards to fit into the space you have been given to work with. If the side of the pool isn’t 100% parallel to the side of the house, up to which you will deck, then you need to adjust the spaces between deck boards on one or both sides of the deck to either gain or lose space as you lay deck boards. If for instance one side is 20mm wider than the other side, you will need to gain 1mm per row of deck boards in order to bring your deck boards parallel to the house so that you don’t end on a wedge-shaped deck board. At times this can be quite tricky. We are working on one in Hillcrest where the house and the pool paving is 77mm out of parallel. The total distance is only 2.4m. So the space will take approximately 32 deck boards to fill. Which means we need to gain or lose more than 2mm per row of deck boards to bring the last deck board parallel to the side of the house (or pool depending on which side we start decking). What we’re doing there is to increase the gap between deck boards to 6mm one side and reduce it to 4mm on the other side.
Then the last trick is to adjust your deck board spaces so that you don’t end on a half deck board. So once you are parallel you need to either reduce Wooden decking Durbanthe gap tot 4mm or increase to 6mm to gain or lose space so you end on a full deck board.

For a free no obligation quote on your wooden sun deck, balustrades, walkways, pergolas, screens and other timber construction, please call us on 082 496 5444, or use the contact us form below.

Wooden decks Durban

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wooden decking Durban

 

Wooden Decking Companies in Durban

wooden decking companies durban

Click to enlarge

There are many wooden decking companies in Durban that one can choose from when planning to install a wooden deck. Some are reputable companies and some are not, as in any industry.

Besides comparing price one should always compare services to make sure you are comparing like quotes. Some wooden decking companies in Durban for instance will offer to build you wooden deck as well as seal it and other will only quote to build it. Some will offer to fill the screw holes with epoxy to stop water getting in them which will cause rot and others won’t. It is these small things that one needs to ask about and make sure that the service being received from one wooden decking company in Durban is the same as the other that you are comparing to.

Our service at The Wood Joint, includes the following: –

Building the deck with quality yellow balau. We generally build our substructure out of H3 and H4 CCA Treated pine. This is not only due to a cost factor but also because the pine is correctly treated to H3 CCA level which has a life span of at least 50 years exposed to the elements. You can expect to pay about 40% more if you chose a balau substructure. H3 CCA Treated pine is guaranteed for 50 years if used in the correct application and installed correctly.  It will therefore outlast balau as a substructure because the balau is not, and cannot be, pressure treated. I have often seen balau joists rotting from the top where the water gets trapped between the joist and the deck board. We always use balau deck boards as balau behaves better than pine on horizontal surfaces. Balau is a lot more stable and the pine tends to cup and warp over time with the constant hot and cold, expansion and contraction and occasional wetting.

wooden decking companies durban

Click to enlarge

Our balustrades and stairs are all made from balau, unless otherwise specified, because if one uses pine as a balustrade, the pickets and cross supports need to be almost twice as thick as balau so they tend to look a bit too chunky. Balustrades do not work well in pine because of the knots found in pine which weaken the timber.

We use a kalgard decking screw which is guaranteed for 25 years by the manufacturer against rust. The screws are counter sunk and the counter sunk hole is filled with epoxy and saw dust so as to match the colour as closely as possible. Filling the screw hole stops water sitting in that hole and travelling up the deck board along the grain. Exposure to water for too long will speed up the rot process. So we fill it, sand it flat, and seal the deck using an oil based sealer which contains no wax. This makes it easy and therefore inexpensive to maintain your deck going forward. I have done a few refurbishment jobs where the decking company has not filled these holes and on the older decks, the deck boards have started to rot there. These are all standard services we offer which are normally included in the price we quote. So when comparing our quotes to others, please check what value added services they are offering you.

For a free no obligation quote on your wooden deck, pergolas, screens, walkways, etc. please contact us on 082 496 5444 or use the contact us form below.

Wooden Deck Built in Hillcrest, Durban

Here’s video of a wooden deck we built recently in Hillcrest, Durban showing the different stages of the build.

Give us a call for a quote on your wooden sun deck, wooden pergolas, walkways, bridges, floors or fences on 082 496 5444 or use the contact us form below.

 

Wooden Sun Decks and Wire Rope Balustrades

Wooden Balau Deck with Wire Rope BalustradeWooden deck with wire rope balustradeWooden deck with wire rope balustradeA wire rope balustrade on a wooden sun deck, as pictured in this article, has a few pros and cons to it which I will discuss below. I will also describe the method used to install wire rope balustrades and what to be careful of to ensure that the job runs smoothly. If you don’t feel like doing it yourself, or don’t have the right tools or time, then scroll to the bottom and complete the contact us form below. I will contact you and we can take the task off your hands. Alternatively call us on 082 496 5444. We are Durban based.

Firstly one should choose the correct wire rope to use. We use the 4mm marine grade stainless steel wire rope with button heads. One can also get the 5mm wire rope but I have found that that often contains one rogue strand which will tarnish over time and spoil the look of your balustrade. The 4mm wire rope does not bend as easily as the others so where you get to a 90° bend you will need to terminate your wire rope with a button head and start again on the next run. The 4mm wire rope can bend around gentler curves quite easily. It is just the 90° bends that require a new run.

We start by installing our wooden, normally balau, uprights and these can be anything from a 30 x 60, 40 x 60 or 60 x 60. Obviously the 60 x 60 is better as it is more solid and stable, but it unavoidably carries a higher price tag. A 40 x 60 works very well, but the 30 x 60 can do the job just as well if installed properly. Now install your capping on the top to hold the whole lot together while you install your wire rope.

There are various methods of securing your wire rope. We use the button heads as opposed to turnbuckles. A hole is drilled, to a diameter slightly bigger than the button head, in the wooden upright and the wire rope is threaded through it so that the tag end is protruding to the outside of the balustrade. One side of the button head is then inserted over the wire rope and crimped using a special crimping tool. The crimping tool looks very similar to a large bolt cutter with a head that has been adapted to accept the button head and crimp it to the right size to hold the wire rope without damaging it.

Now cut a length of wire rope to slightly more than is required. Remember think twice, cut once as it is always easier to cut more off then to add more on once it has been cut too short. Now all your holes need to be drilled in all the other upright posts. Measure you spaces out accurately so that your wire rope will run parallel to the capping on the top and the wooden deck on the bottom. When drilling through a piece of wood it is easy to hold the drill slightly skew resulting in the drill bit exiting the wood at an angle which will result in the exit hole not being in the place it should be. So drill half way from one side and then drill from the other side to get your entry and exit holes perfectly lined up. It doesn’t matter if the middle of your hole is slightly skew because you can’t see it and it is not enough to impede the path of the wire rope. Thread the other un crimped end of the wire rope through all your holes in your uprights until you get to the end.

Wooden deck with wire rope balustradeNow take the other button head with the thread on it and measure, very carefully, where you need to cut your wire rope. You will need to cut it with a thin cutting disk on a baby grinder so as to get a nice clean-cut. If you cut it too long you won’t be able to tension it and too short, well start again from the beginning. So cut and check before crimping the other end. The second button head will be inserted through the hole from the back and the wire rope inserted into it from the front and crimped. Make sure you have your thread to its longest position so that you still have thread to use to tension it. Now tension it, but do not over tighten it. It is not a guitar string and only needs to be tight enough to be visibly straight. Over tightening it will result in the end wooden uprights bowing, or even failing.

Pros of Wire Rope Balustrades

• Does not interfere in your vision when seated and looking through the balustrade
• Adds a second material, other than timber, for a clean minimalist look and feel
• Marine grade stainless will last a life time

Cons of Wire Rope Balustrades

• Does not offer as much protection from objects or people falling through the strands as timber does
• If installed incorrectly can look terrible
• Can detract from the timber look and feel

Good luck in installing your wire rope balustrade. I hope this article has helped. If you’re not up to it, please complete the form below, or contact us on 082 496 5444 and we will gladly quote you to do the task for you. We are Durban based and work throughout KZN.