Big River Group gets on deck

11 October 2023


With access to nature on our doorsteps, it’s no surprise that Australian’s love spending time outside.  An increasing demand to enjoy outdoor living at home has turned the humble backyard into an al fresco lifestyle dream.

Homeowners investing in this multi-functional space are finding it offers a variety of benefits that provide a long-term contribution to their property investment and, more importantly, their lifestyle.

Outdoor rooms are now being designed with a new level of sophistication with smarter layouts that make the most of the space available. Marrying the indoors and out with clever decking, whether it be a smaller side deck, pool decking, split level decking or a big classic back verandah, provides a seamless transition between these two spaces. 

To provide some help with outdoor spaces, Big River Group gives tips on choosing a deck.

  1. Create your own private oasis

Think of your outdoor space as a blank canvas. Installing a timber deck will allow the area to be used in most weather conditions.

Considering your deck’s purpose will help you decide its size, how many people will it need to accommodate and will you be adding a barbecue, furniture and some pots? A split-level or multi-tiered deck design can zone an outdoor room and highlight focal points and design features. This would add interest to a backyard that may otherwise be difficult to landscape.

Elevated decks are also a practical choice. They provide you and your family with under-deck storage space for those bulky necessities and maintenance utilities, such as the lawn mower or pool cleaner. In contrast, a flat more expansive decking area is the perfect foundation to entertain. A covered deck is a way to create some shade and prevent your deck's surface from overheating during the summer.

  1. Choosing the right timber

When deciding on the timber, colour, texture and the environment can play an important role.

“Look for timbers that are designed for exterior use, remembering, the better quality the materials, the greater the longevity of your deck. There are two choices when selecting the best timber for a deck: softwood or hardwood. The decision is often dependent on budget, required lifespan and quality of finish,” Big River Group executive general manager construction & group marketing manager Ray Ferretti says.

“Spotted Gum and Merbau are the most common hardwood decking options in Australia and, with regular maintenance, should last 20-plus years.  Treated pine is the preferred softwood option and is a good value option,” he says.

Durable hardwoods are easy to stain or oil to complement an outdoor colour scheme or can be left raw to create a natural, weathered look. Merbau timber requires much less maintenance than some other hardwoods and is known for its beautiful rich reddish colour and wavy grain design as well as its high usability, resistance to termites and resilience.

Australian native Spotted Gum gradually turns a golden light brown through to chocolate brown as it matures, depending upon the type chosen. Spotted Gum also has an attractive grain structure with knots and growth lines, as well as minimal shrinkage which all add to its popularity.

Treated pine is a sustainable and prolific outdoor decking option that can be painted or stained to match any colour scheme, unlike other woods that only showcase certain colours well.

  1. Maximise space and add value

From a relaxing sanctuary to a pool area, decking is a great opportunity to transform forgotten or underutilised areas into useful spaces. When located at the front of the property, a deck can make a grand entrance and if you don’t have a lot of space in your backyard, you can always build up or out and create a raised entertaining area.

“Utilising outdoor rooms as an extension of your interior spaces, increases the amount of enjoyment you’ll likely get from your place.  The key to unlocking the potential of your yard is creative thinking,” Ray says.

“If your yard is sloped and you aren’t using every available square metre, you’re sitting on valuable wasted space. Use decking to create terraced areas or install timber garden beds to bring a lively element into what would be otherwise dead space. Outdoor renovations such as decks are also a great way to add value to your home, with real estate experts saying that installing a deck will bring a 100% return in value.”

For more information on decking visit:  

BUILD is the complete, trusted and independent online authority on building and renovation for Australians. BUILD aims to answer all of your questions about building and renovation – even those you didn’t know you should ask!