Deck installs have become much more sophisticated in the past five- to six-years, says Matthew Easton, of Timber Decking Now.
“It has definitely gone more upmarket,” he says.
As the name suggests, picture framing is an industry term for a board that runs around the perimeter of the deck to conceal the raw ends of the decking boards.
Breaker boards run perpendicular to the deck surface. From an aesthetic viewpoint, they help to minimise the visual impact of the butt joins. Where the deck is made of composite material, which tends to expand and contract in response to temperature changes, they also serve a practical purpose by helping to prevent warping over time.
Ian Bailey, of Sydney Decking, says most homeowners install decks as a means of connecting their indoor and outdoor environments.
“The majority of people are looking to extend their living space,” he says. “They want the deck at the same height as the internal floor, so you can just step through.”
In keeping with this desire, decks are increasingly resembling a well-appointed outdoor room.
“Many people want a covered outdoor area,” Mr Bailey says. “So, for example, we might create a deck with solid blinds that you can put down on three sides, and a solid wall on one side. It’s not watertight, but it’s weatherproof, and you can decorate it as a rumpus room with a TV, artwork and a rug and so on.”
But that is just one of the concepts that is capturing the imaginations of homeowners.
“We might build a barbecue nook on the deck that is designed to allow the smoke to get away,” Mr Easton says.
“Other jobs have included full outdoor kitchens, stainless steel or glass balustrades that allow you to see into your backyard so you can keep an eye on what the kids are doing, and LED light systems installed around the perimeter that change colours, almost like what you would see in a nightclub.”