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Choosing a wood deck

By Liz Ackerley from Poppyhead Consultancy

Choosing a deck is always about achieving a balance between price, appearance and performance; as well as fitting within a project. I am very driven by the location of the project and the ‘sense of place’ it has.

In particular high exposure locations, practicalities and durability are the most important factors. This of course has to be balanced with the cost.

In unsheltered locations, I would normally opt for a hardwood deck, although durable softwoods (ex: Southern Yellow Pine, Western Red Cedar, Siberian Larch) are also suitable. As with all timber, they will all still need maintenance. I have also used composite decking in the past, but time will tell as to whether it is really as low maintenance and durable as claimed!

Whatever deck you choose, it clearly needs to work with the other hard materials used and the overall project style.

Poppyhead Consultancy’s Liz Ackerley is a Chartered Landscape architect and garden designer with a keen interest in contemporary spaces, roof terraces, courtyards and kitchen gardens as well as all manner of garden and landscape projects. Read more from Liz at

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