+61 2 9418 7750 d.hall@buildreport.com.au

And Timber Durability For Decks, Balconies and Stairs

Outdoor living areas are enhanced with the construction of a timber deck or balcony and can include stairs leading to the garden, pool or other areas on the property.

There are some great timbers available that provide a lovely timber look and improve the value of a property. When constructing a timber deck, balcony or stairs, the important consideration is the durability of the timbers, especially the structural supports.  Some timbers commonly used have a durability life of around 7 years.  Most people would expect a timber deck to last 20 years with some general maintenance.  This is achievable providing the correct timbers are specified prior to commencing any work.

One common error is to not provide additional preservative to the top of the joists prior to fixing the deck.  This results in rainwater being trapped between the joist and decking and early rot will start.  Decking fixed to softwood joists should also be a screw fixed.  Treated pine decking timbers also have a lesser life expectancy than hardwood and should not be used in a bushfire location.

All external timber decks, balconies and stairs should be inspected for structural adequacy and repairs required for replacement of deteriorated timbers at around 8 years from construction and then every 2 years after that to ensure that the structure is structurally sound.

We are involved in Expert Witness reports where homeowners, tradespeople and real estate agents are being sued because of collapsed decks.

Clearly a visual inspection is not enough.  For Expert advice on constructing a timber deck, balcony or stairs, or for an examination of your existing structure contact our office on 9418 7750 or email d.hall@buildreport.com.au.

We also recommend you view –

The deck and balcony safety guide.