Wooden Pergola built in Cotswold Downs Hillcrest

This wooden pergola was built in the common public area of Cotswold Downs in Hillcrest. The original one had been damaged due to high winds. It was built using H3 CCA Treated pine. Being H3 CCA treated it has a minimum life span outdoors, in the weather, of 50 years. See here for an article on the correct treatment of pine.

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We built concrete bases with galvanised steel drag plates set in the concrete. The ground had a slight fall to it so each plinth was set and cast level with each other. The timber sits out the concrete fixed to the drag plates. This should limit the premature rot of the timber and resulted in H3 being used as opposed to H4.

We finished this one with a mineral based Rystix in Imbuia (black) at the client’s request.

For a free no obligation quote on your pergola, wooden sun decks, stairs and balustrades please contact me Garrick Dunstan on 082 496 5444 or use the contact us form below.

Wooden Balau Deck built in Cotswold Downs, Hillcrest

This wooden balau deck built in Cotswold Downs in July 2019 was built primarily to cover the JoJo tanks which were being housed below. There were various challenges in getting the beam across the span around the pipes that led into the tanks but with a few tricks we managed to hang a beam from above rather than secure it from below.

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The balustrade was built using balau and marine grade stainless steel wire rope which always works best when you don’t want the view to be obscured when in a sitting position.

There are a few strict rules at Cotswold Downs in Hillcrest with regard to the maximum height of the deck so we had to stagger it and create a split level deck. This resulted in some benches with removable lids for storage and a small flight of stairs to access the lower section.

For a free no obligation quote please contact me Garrick Dunstan on 082 496 5444 or use the contact us form below.

Wooden balau deck built in Hillcrest

This wooden balau deck was built in Hillcrest. It was built on top of existing slasto. When building on top of a previously laid substrate one can build directly on top of it rather than removing the paving or slasto. It helps with water flow below the deck keeping it drier and thus preventing premature rotting due to excess moisture for prolonged periods of time below the deck.

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When building on a substrate like this that has a fall, the width of the joists need to be wedge shaped to accommodate the fall. The pieces of treated timber therefore need to be cut and treated again with an end sealer. We use Kugard which protects any cut ends of timber.

Other than that the deck was a straight forward build. There are various other articles on this site that explain the process we use and the measures we take to make sure the deck lasts longer. Please feel free to browse the site.

For a quote on your timber deck please call me, Garrick Dunstan, on 082 496 544 or use the contact us form below.

Wooden Deck Built in Padfield Park, Pinetown

Wooden Deck Built in Padfield Park, Pinetown

 

Wooden Deck Pinetown

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This wooden deck was built in Doone Village Retirement Village in Padfield Park, Pinetown.

We used an H3 and H4 CCA Treated substructure with 19 x 68mm balau deck boards. The balustrade was balau pots and capping with marine grade wire rope. It is always better to use wire rope when you don’t want the view to be impeded when sitting on the deck as it is less obtrusive than balau. It isn’t however as safe, as small kids can pull the wire rope open to an opening greater than 100mm. So it should be avoided on decks that are fairly high. The wire rope we use is a 4mm marine grade wire rope with swages. The 4mm is the only one that won’t tarnish.

We used bidim below as the section near the house is low level and one can’t get below to weed or cut any grass that grows below the deck.

We left this one without any decking oil so that it can grey naturally which reduces maintenance cost going forward.

For a no obligation quote please use the contact us form below or call me Garrick Dunstan, on 082 496 5444

Wooden Deck Gillitts – July 2019

The pics here are of a wooden deck we have just completed in Gillitts. The client wanted an old deck removed, dumped and a new one built with slight changes. It was built in the normal way using an H3 CCA treated substructure and balau deck boards of 19 x 68mm which is the most affordable way to build a wooden deck that will last. The H3 CCA treated pine has a minimum life span of 50 years outdoors in the rain and the balau, being balau, will give one many years of use. The balustrades are all full balau in a vertical picket style and the stairs are open risers in balau. These were slightly wider than normal so as to tie into the posts of the balustrade on the deck.

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Screw holes were filled with epoxy to stop water ingress and sanded flat and the deck was oiled.

There are many other articles on this site that will give you the pros and cons of the different materials that we use. Please feel free to browse.

For a free no obligation quote please use the contact form below or you can call me Garrick Dunstan on 082 496 5444.

Wooden Balau Screen Pietermaritzburg

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This wooden balau screen was installed at a property in Victoria Club Estate in Pietermaritzburg. The purpose of the screen is to offer some privacy between the neighbours. The brick wall does not offer enough privacy so the wall was in essence extended with a screen on top of it.

The wooden screen needed to be installed on top of the wall as opposed to being fixed to the face or front of it. It is much neater this way but it does mean that the posts need to sit on top of the wall rather than the face, so lateral strength becomes a concern. We use a 200mm piece of thread bar drilled and epoxied into the top of the wall 100mm and into the bottom of the post 100mm. The thread bar we use is 14mm so as to give it enough strength and prevent any bending of the pin itself. The holes need to be drilled perfectly straight and square otherwise the post will not sit perpendicular to the top of the wall. The epoxy that is used is the Sika or ABE product as it is extremely strong. We don’t use the same epoxy to fill screw holes as that epoxy is more pliable and doesn’t offer the same strength.

A simple post and rail system is then used to provide structure to fix the deck boards to. We used balau as a structure so that the back end of the screen also looked good. This as opposed to using a treated pine structure. Pine structures work just as well in terms of strength but are not as visually appealing.

The top was finished off with a deck board placed flat as a capping. Screw holes are filled with epoxy to limit water ingress and in this screen the screws were installed from the back end of the screen so they are not visible on the good side. In the pics you can see the epoxy that has been used and the pics were taken just before it was sanded flat.

This screen was left unoiled so that it could grey naturally. There are various articles on this blog regarding oiling or leaving it unoiled and the pros and cons of each system in terms of maintenance, longevity and appearance.

For a free no obligation quote on your timber decking, balustrading, screening and stair needs please call us on 082 496 5444 or use the contact us form below.

Deck refurbishment in Kloof

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This was an old deck in Kloof that we refurbished recently. It had balau deck boards on top of a balau structure. Of the 11 joists that made up the structure only 2 were still in a fair condition. The rest had rotted and we needed to replace them. Please see this article on the pros and cons of using balau as a structure. https://blog.thewoodjoint.co.za/2015/06/21/balau-vs-cca-treated-substructure-in-your-wooden-deck-durban-and-cape-town/

The deck was fairly old (20 years plus). 20 years ago most deck builders used balau as a structure. Over time they have come to realise that a chemically treated pine structure will out last a balau structure because it is chemically treated and therefore it’s behaviour is known. The process of pressure treating is safe and arguably does no more damage to the environment than cutting the purpose grown tree down in the first place.

We ended up lifting all these deck boards, numbering them and replacing them in their same position so that we could use the same screw holes. Rather than sliding new joists in below the deck boards.

The deck boards themselves where quite mottled with black algae but the wood itself was still ok so we pressure cleaned the deck and then oiled it with a penetrating oil. In some pics you can see the difference between coats of oil.  The balustrade is all new as the old balustrade had rotted away beyond repair and had been removed by the client.

For a free no obligation quote on your new deck build or deck refurbishment please contact us on 082 496 5444 or use the contact us form below.

Balau Timber Deck – Westville

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Here’s some before pics and some after pics of a deck in Westville that had rotted and was removed and replaced.

The original deck had been built using H2 CCA Treated pine as a structure and what looked like balau deck boards and H2 CCA treated timber was used in the balustrade. See here for an article on the correct Hazard Classification for using treated pine in outdoor projects. https://blog.thewoodjoint.co.za/2015/06/21/balau-vs-cca-treated-substructure-in-your-wooden-deck-durban-and-cape-town/.

It is vitally important to use at least H3 CCA treated pine in any outdoor application where occasional wetting occurs. H2 CCA pine is designed for roofs and will rot outdoors. H3 is designed for outdoors and will last at least 50 years outdoors in the rain provided it has a chance to dry out after it rains.

The balau deck boards on this deck run in the opposite direction to the way we normally build them. In other words they run the width rather than the length. The reason for this was that we needed to follow the curve of the existing paving and running the deck boards the length would have resulted in long thin slivers of deck boards to get the curve. Running them the width meant we could cut the end of the deck board to follow the curve. A much neater job at the end of the day and less chance of splintering.

Because of the way the deck boards run it results in short main beams and longer joists as can be seen from the front view of the deck. The mean beams always run in the same direction as the deck boards with joists on top of beams running perpendicular to deck boards. The ends of these main beams of 228mm can look unsightly and can be clad to cover the pine. In this instance though the client opted not to clad them as there is unfortunately an additional cost and the front of this deck is not really seen unless one is standing in the garden on the lower level. We did clad the sides though as these are very visible. This we did at no extra cost. You know, “going the extra mile” and all.

The balustrade is full balau this time around and should outlast at least me. Maybe not my kids, as all wood will rot in time. The balau just takes a lot longer to rot which makes it the ideal outdoor timber to be used in timber decks and balustrades.

The deck was oiled as opposed to being coated which retains the natural look and feel of the wood and is easy to maintain going forward as you simply clean it and put more oil on it.

For a free no obligation quote on your timber decking, balustrade, pergola, screens and other outdoor work, please contact us on 082 496 5444 or use the contact us form below. We also supply install in door wooden floors.

Wooden Decking in Ballito and Umhlanga

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It would seem that most timber decking is taking place in Umhlanga and Ballito in the greater Durban area in 2019. Most other areas have quietened off considerably and I can only assume it is uncertainty in the market. Being officially in recession still, elections looming in May 2019, a new president, load shedding and recent talk of expropriation without compensation has “spooked’ the market somewhat and resulted in cash being held back. This coupled with the broken state of affairs in South Africa for the last 10 years under our previous leadership has led to the market being severely depressed.

Nonetheless we put our heads down and soldier on.

An important factor to consider in times of low cash flow and a depressed market is that everyone starts doing what they normally don’t do at very competitive rates. It’s natural. In other words a person who normally specialises in timber decking in Durban might start doing roofs and general building. Although they may be capable of doing the job they don’t specialise in it and as a result the consumer receives a service or product that doesn’t quite match the quality of a specialist. The same applies for other industries or niche markets in some industries. A roofing contractor or general builder suddenly starts looking for work in other fields such as wooden decking instead of subbing those out to the specialists. Often this takes place at reduced rates in order to secure the work or they are not completely familiar with costings. The looser in these circumstances is often the consumer. All consumers look for the best deal and when faced with various “cheap” quotes and only a few correctly priced quotes, the job is often awarded to someone who is not a specialist and has under quoted the job. See this article on a similar topic https://blog.thewoodjoint.co.za/2018/01/31/cheap-wooden-deck-builders-and-deck-building-companies-in-durban/

The advice? Make sure you are dealing with a specialist wooden deck builder when building a wooden deck and make sure you are dealing with a specialist plumber when getting your plumbing sorted. This way you can compare quotes based on the same or similar service. I recently went head to head with another contractor who quoted half my rate on a balustrade. I know what it costs to buy the balau needed for the balustrade and at those rates he was making a margin of about 5%. Really???

Take a spin through our website for various articles, pics and discussion around wooden decking in Durban.

Use the contact us form below to get in touch with us for a free no obligation quote or you can call us on 082 496 5444.

The above pics are pics of a job we’ve just completed in Maritzburg.  Taken in the rain as work in progress

Wooden Deck Waterfall September 2018

Wooden Deck Durban Waterfall

The video here shows the deck we built from the neighbours yard with the mist rolling down the hill in the early morning. Besides being an incredible sight to see one can see how this garden lends itself to a wooden deck.

The deck was built square off the house towards the boundary fence which over looks The Valley of a Thousand Hills near the Hillcrest area. On either side at the back of the deck there are stairs that lead back to each side of the house. The deck totalled about 80 to 90 square metres.

It was built the standard way we build with a treated pine sub structure and 19 x 68mm yellow balau deck boards. There is a difference between red and yellow balau deck boards. We stock only yellow balau deck boards and use only yellow balau in the building of our decks. The wooden balustrade was our standard vertical picket style balustrade, which is the safest at heights like these, as there are no gaps that exceed 100mm and is therefore compliant in terms of SANS building regulations. The balustrade is at a height of 1.0m. Once you start going higher than about 2 stories it is advisable to build the balustrade at 1.2m for safety reasons.

Stairs can either be built as open risers or closed risers. As open risers one can see through them whereas closed risers the underside of the deck is not visible. From a cost point of view they are the same so the choice would be made on whether or not you want to look below at the structure or not.

All our decks are finished by filling the counter sunk screw holes with a clear epoxy and saw dust mixture and then sanding flat before oiling with a decking oil. There is an option to leave the deck unoiled and to allow it to weather naturally and turn a grey colour.

In the still pic one can how effective lighting is below the capping to illuminate the deck yet not shine in your eyes. These are easy to install in that they are glued below the capping. They are LED lights so very little power is used to illuminate the deck surface.

For a no obligation quote on your sun deck, pool deck, timber balustrades and other timber related outdoor or indoor construction, please contact us on 082 496 5444 or use the contact form below.