Timber Sundecks in Durban

Wooden decks Durban

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“Summertime ….. And The Livin’ is Easy “… Or it CAN be !! …Yes, with the South African summer right on the doorstep now, what’s the best Christmas present you could give to your family (and yourself)? (This one won’t fit into a Christmas stocking however …)

Ponder and Dream of how ‘lekker’ it would be to have a good quality sundeck in our sunny climate, leading off your lounge, and onto your pool or into your garden… and yes, in South Africa a sundeck is as important as your lounge, or more so because of our outdoor lifestyle.

Who to get to build it?
The benefits of having it professionally installed versus a ‘fly by night builder’, or tackling this mammoth task yourself; the importance of the maintenance of your valued product and the importance of what wood type to use in its construction are all considerations to take into account when planning to invest in this forever “best thing I ever did” choice. Make it your Christmas gift to the whole family, all in one!

Wooden decks Durban

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Materials used in the construction include the following. All are good quality materials, able to weather the weather (pun intended) if properly maintained. An example:

• Balau (an imported hardwood from Indonesia, extremely dense, contains toxins that prevent termite damage and resins which repel water to prevent rot).
• Kalgard screws (similar to epoxy coating where the coating on the screw is baked on
• Stainless Steel Screws
• Epoxy to fill screw holes where the screw has been counter sunk to prevent water getting in the little hole which slows down rot
• Timber preservative rather than varnish (varnish sits on top and cracks and flakes from the UV in the sun’s rays, whereas timber preservative soaks into the wood nourishing it thereby preventing flaking and peeling of varnish.)
The Wood Joint pays special attention to detail in all products and places great importance on durability and longevity in their products by applying sound techniques and slightly over engineering most products.

Wooden decks Durban

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They pride themselves in their quality workmanship and use only top quality timber sourced from reputable suppliers.

A sundeck is a valuable addition to any home and will not only provide many years of enjoyment, but will also enhance the value of your property.

With the correct care, maintenance costs can be kept to a minimum and the life span of your deck increased.

The Wood Joint will assist you in a design that will be cost effective and will best suit your needs taking into account the existing structure that is in place.

With years of experience in the deck building industry, The Wood Joint can advise, design, maintain and erect your deck in the most cost effective and structurally best methods.

Other Products, Other Timbers …
“We have listed the three most commonly used timbers to construct decks which have been selected due to their structural strength, longevity and cost effectiveness. There are however other timbers that can be used and these can be discussed individually.”
The Wood Joint (www.thewoodjoint.co.za) from my experience and that of many is dependable, reliable, knowledgeable and professional … View their website to see the quality and standard of their Sundecks and a wider portfolio of other specialities their experience encompasses:

• Sundecks
• Balustrades
• Pergolas
• Walkways
• Garden Bridges
• Pool Decks
• Screens (vertically installed to provide privacy)
• Cladding (on walls mainly for aesthetic purposes)

The most commonly used, and most cost effective timber, is Balau which is sourced from south East Asia. It is a yellow – brown to dark brown timber with a fine texture and interlocked grain and is extremely durable under tropical conditions.

It is a fairly heavy timber weighing between 800 kgs and 1, 000 kgs per cubic metre when dry.

It can be sealed or left unsealed. Unsealed it weathers to a grey colour. It can also be stained easily using a variety of tints to change the colour.


Garapa is also a popular decking material as it is hard, heavy, tough and strong and is naturally resistant to rot, decay and insect attack. Found most commonly in Argentina, Brazil, Venezuela and Eastern Peru.

It normally weighs between 800 kgs and 960 kgs per cubic metre when dry. A fine grained timber varying in colour from yellowish to yellow – brown / yellow – pink.

It is, to a degree, scratch resistant reducing sanding during scheduled maintenance.


Sourced form the West Indies and Central and South America, this timber is suitable for decks due to its hardness.

It is extremely heavy weighing in at about 1, 050 kgs per cubic metre when dry.

The texture is fine and uniform. The grain is usually straight but sometimes interlocked.

The heartwood is light red to rose red.


Keruing is naturally found in South East Asia.

The timbers vary in colour from pinkish-brown to dark brown and look rather characterless. Grain is straight or shallowly interlocked and the texture is moderately coarse and even. All of the species contain oleo-resins and many of them will exude it onto surfaces during drying or when exposed to heat or sunshine when in use.

The weight is variable too but is generally within the range 720 to 800 kg/m3 when dried.

It is moderately durable.

For free quotes and more information on The Wood Joint’s various wooden products contact us on 082 496 5444 or complete the form below.


Wire Rope Balustrades

A turnbuckle

Wire rope balustrades are quite common nowadays especially if a modern and sophisticated look is required.

There are two types of wire rope balustrades available.  The first is a 5mm stainless steel cable or rope attached to the uprights of the balustrade which should be balau of about 60mm x 60mm.  This is attached using a turnbuckle as depicted in the image and can be tightened as time goes by and the wire rope stretches slightly.  The tension of this rope should be taught but not too tight.  This 5mm cable or rope can normally turn corners and hence less turnbuckles are required per length of wire rope.

The second method, and my preferred one, is a 4mm marine grade stainless steel wire rope with button heads on either end.  The 4mm wire rope is normally of a higher grade than the 5mm rope and tends to tarnish less over time.  I have found the 5mm rope to often contain one rogue strand which will tarnish and spoil the look of your balustrade.  This method requires button heads on either end but the 4mm rope normally cannot turn corners and more button heads are therefore required.  Each length of rope should run in one continuous straight run and a new length started once a corner is encountered.  A hole is simply drilled into the balau uprights, the button head inserted and the wire rope threaded through and crimped.  It too can then be tightened and again it should be taught rather than too tight.

Care should be taken to drill level holes that are equidistant as the slightest difference will be noticeable.  Particular care should also be taken when drilling holes on uprights that are on diagonal stairs.  A trick is to snap a chalk line the total length of the required wire rope and then drill the balau upright from both ends with the holes meeting in the middle.  One cannot see any kink in the wire rope inside the timber but it is more noticeable where it enters and exits the balau upright.

It is normally better to install the wire rope balustrade after the balau has been sealed or coated as this will eliminate the chance of accidentally coating or sealing the button heads or turnbuckles.

Both methods require a crimping tool to crimp the button heads or turnbuckles on either end.  This can be purchased often at a considerable price or one can be made using a large bolt cutter and adapting the head.  However, only attempt making one yourself if you have the skills and the correct tools, as the correct crimping is vital to ensure that the wire rope does not pull out of the button head or turnbuckle, resulting in a fresh length of wire rope having to be used.

The capping on top depends on choice but I have mostly used a 30 x 102 balau capping which is fastened using kalgard screws to the top of the uprights.  Again use as long a length as possible in any one straight run and if a join is necessary ensure that a 45° angle is cut to reduce lifting on the join.