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A Garden Decking Patio - split level decks constructed from softwood decking timber. 

This garden deck has one deck at ground level and the other deck slightly raised with balustrade surrounds - giving a slightly more intimate feel.

(There is a real feeling of having  2 separate rooms with this split level garden deck)

Two timber decks were constructed, with a split level to 'isolate' the upper level room. the before and after pictures of the decks show how well a deck compliments both the house and the garden.

Two distinct styles of decking side by side for you to compare. The basic deck platform, and the slightly raised deck with balustrade surrounds. The balustrades were made by using the top and bottom rail method in this case.  In this event, where there is no issue of safety regulations as for a raised deck, it is a good idea to ensure that the bottom rail of the balustrade is sufficiently raised from the deck, to enable ease of sweeping. Only a small point, but one that is normally appreciated by those who have to sweep the deck!

Slightly splayed lower deck moved away from the normal regular rectangular shape of the standard patio deck.

Both decks in these split level decks were constructed using 6x2 (160x50mm) joist timbers. All timber decking and joisting were tanalised treated, giving the decking timber a 15 year guarantee against all forms of decay. The decking boards were Scandinavian softwood, which is guaranteed for 15 years against rot. It is important to use proper treated deck boards and materials for ground level garden decking schemes - or indeed with any decking project. 

Split level decking at Haywards Heath. The levels of the decks were split to give the impression of two seperate decks whilst still utilising the space as a single deck when required. Safety of Deck Level Changes.

Any change of levels between adjacent decks can present trip hazards - mainly because of the similarity of materials used in bother levels. This can be overcome to a certain extent by altering the eun of the deckboards. That is to say that - as here - the higher level deck had the deckboards running in direction from the house out into the garden, whilst the lower deck section had the deckboards running parralel to the house. This gave a visual 'awareness' - especially to those not being regular users of the deck.

If anything, there can be more of a trip hazard with just small changes in deck levels. The adjacent decks with a larger difference in levels are more visible and noticeable. The balustrade railings seen in the image here, act as a physical barrier, whilst at the same time giving the impression of there being two separate deck rooms.

The Patio before the split level decks were constructed from softwood The change in levels down to the lawn - whilst similar to the level change between the decks - is more visible and noticeable because of the start contrast in colours between lawn and deck.

Small changes in level really are a problem - the results of which I have noticed at first hand, and in fact tripped many times during such double deck level construction. For me - used to being in the rough and tumble of deck building it was nothing more than a stubbed toe (ouch) but for a child, adult or especially elder person, a ricked ankle is painful. Sometimes leading to disablement or severe discomfort for quite some time.

Whether for safety or visual purpose, you decide to change direction of lay with your deckboards, do sort out your falls for the individual areas before construction of the sub decks. You don't really want water from the higher deck filtering down on to its lower counterpart - or worse still trapped between the two decks.

Where there is unavoidable ground level changes - such as with the lower deck adjacent to the house - consider the provision of a step. At the same time realising that a 'step' in itself can also be a trip hazard!

Much to think about BEFORE you start!



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