Using decking to level out a sloping garden

Decking is a product that can be used in a wide variety of different projects, from creating balconies and paths to making benches and flowerbeds. In this article we’ll outline how decking can be used in your garden to level out slopes.

Decking is a great way to level out a slope in a garden, and is considered one of the more cost-effective options of making a sloped garden more useable. Sloped gardens greatly restrict the amount of useable space, whether it is for kids toys and play furniture, or garden seats and flowerbeds – anything situated on a slope has the potential to fall over, or collapse due to instability.


Why install decking on your sloping garden?

There are a number of benefits to installing decking in your sloped garden.

Level surface

Firstly, installing decking in a sloped garden creates a sturdy level surface on which garden furniture, play furniture, potted plants and other garden accessories can be placed. On a sloped garden, not only will garden furniture such as chairs be likely to fall over, they may also sink into the ground.

Storage

As well as providing a surface on which to place things, decking can also be used as storage. Not only can toys be stored on the surface of the decking without worrying about them ending up at the bottom of the garden, particularly when the decking is installed with railings, the space below the decking can also be used to store garden tools and other items.

Safety

Decking also provides a level of safety that is difficult to achieve with a sloped landscape. Slopes, and particularly steep slopes, can result in people of all ages falling over and struggling to get up. Installing level decking over the sloped garden removes this safety hazard, and can also be installed with grips and handrails to further reduce the potential for friends and family to fall over in your garden.

Easy to maintain

Installing decking within your garden helps to create a surface that is easy to maintain, simply requiring an occasional wash to keep it clean, and little ground preparation is required beforehand. If installed with a geotextile membrane, weeds will be prevented from growing up beneath or around the decking too, further reducing the maintenance required.

Clean, uniform appearance

Decking can be used to cover up any outdoor fixtures such as drain covers or other utilities that are unsightly. This will help to create a clean, uniform and sophisticated outdoor space that will add to the potential selling value of your house.


Do I need planning permission to install decking in my garden?

Some decking projects do require planning permission, whilst others do not.

When planning permission isn’t required

If the decking is being added to the garden of a house, is no more than 30cm above the ground, and takes up less than 50% of the total garden space (combined with any outbuildings or extensions), the decking project would be considered a permitted development, and therefore would not require planning permission. Note that this only applies to houses, and not flats, maisonettes or other buildings.

When planning permission may be required

Even if the above characteristics are fulfilled, planning permission may still be required if there is another planning condition in place, such as a listed building or conservation area.

Planning permission must also be sought if the decking is within 20m of a highway, if it affects the privacy of neighbours, and if any of the decking is higher than 3m.

In the case of installing decking on a sloped area, the planning regulations can be somewhat confusing – the decking may be higher than 30cm from the ground at some points due to the ground sloping downwards and the decking remaining level. According to building regulations, heights are measured from the highest point adjacent to the building, but this has not been clarified to be the case when installing decking. Therefore we’d always recommend checking with your Local Planning Authority if you’re unsure as to whether you require planning permission.


Here at Roofing Superstore we have a range of different products with which you can build your decking, whether you’re looking for composite decking, timber decking or decking support pads. If you’re unsure which products are best for your decking project, feel free to call the team on 01752 692760 or use the live chat and they will be more than happy to help.

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