What to consider when installing decking or paving

Deciding between decking or paving can be a difficult choice. There is a vast variety to choose from. The budget, design and materials are all important issues to understand and work through. Here are some ideas to help make that planning easier.
Consider the location
First decide if you want the decking or paving to sit in full sun, be in a partially shaded spot or near the pool? You got to take the neighbours into consideration. If you are putting decking in this will raise the level of your garden, which means you may encroach on their privacy? Are there any related maintenance concerns such as the drainage? Make sure that rain water is not going to run into a neighbours garden. What type of access should the space afford to the house? How will the deck or paving relate in contrast to neighbouring homes? Consider all possible problems and advantages a location can have.
Get the design right
When designing decking or paving it should fit in with the style of your house. For example a period home, paving and stone walls may be the option, while a modern home could accommodate sleek decking. Don’t forget the accessories such as the plants and enhancements. Are you going for the minimalist, colourful, leafy or jungle look. Built-in seating or fire pits need to be to be considered in the design. Don’t leave any aspect of the design out; consider everything.
Materials and maintenance
There is a massive variety of materials for outdoor spaces. These can be synthetic or a natural product. Each product will come with its own particular upkeep requirements. Natural wood decking can be damaged by the elements and will require regular treatment such as painting, staining, oiling or sealing with a water-based sealant. If value and low maintenance is what you want, paving may be an attractive option. Paving stone will also need treating but is more long wearing. Always do your research and planning as this is essential in selecting materials that match up with the expectations you will have.
Work out a budget
When designing decking or paving use the questions and requirements that arise to create a realistic list of the must have's and nice to have options. This list will guide the budget. If your budget does not add up, reconsider the choices and make some compromises. The easiest way to save cost may often be found by simply changing one material for another. For example natural wood may be cheaper than composite decking or you could consider doing some of the labour yourself. Being resourceful and flexible in your approach can help ensure you get a happy result at the end and some good return on the investment.
Permits and regulations
Having to rip out the beautiful outdoor space you have just created is the last thing you want to do. Investigate any possible permits you may need and look into all regulation for the project. There are codes and safety requirements in most counties for decking or paving. Homeowner associations often have covenants governing outdoor structures and additions. Be sure to cover the bases before construction begins. Contact The BCA in Singapore for more details. 
Finally it's time to finish the space with planting, furniture, lighting and accessories. Having done all the planning, designing and some of the labour there is nothing more relaxing than sitting on your new decking or paving with a drink and a good book enjoying a sunny afternoon. 

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