How to make the most of your decking during winter
Winter is here and unfortunately so is the cold weather. This usually means (if you live in the UK) you spend yourself cooped up inside enjoying the warmth of your home, but it doesn’t have to be like that. You can enjoy your decking much as you do in Summer maybe even a little more!
Add a little heat!
Add a little heat to your deck with a fire pit or even some deck heaters. This doesn’t necessarily have to be a costly purchase but can have a massive effect on your deck’s usability through the cold and general aesthetics; a lot of fire pits or lamps can really brighten your decking.
Fire pits and chimineas are very popular amongst a lot of homeowners nowadays as people generally want a more natural look and they very much achieve this whilst also giving off a homely charm if added to your garden. People are often worried about burning or even setting fire to your decking by adding heaters but the simple fix to this is that the fire source must either be raised or mounted.
Deck heaters are another option. You can pick up different types of heaters, some that run off mains power, electric heaters which are cheaper to run and can be wall mounted, gas heaters, on the other hand, can be easier to set up and are a lot more mobile.
Giving your decking sheltering will firstly protect your decking from lots of weathering effects; rain or sun. Your decking can be under attack from all angles of weathering causing splitting, cracking, splintering and mild growth if it’s not properly looked after all sheltered.
As well as this adding a shelter such as a gazebo or a canopy will not only protect you from direct sunlight in summer but will cover you from rain or snowfall during the cold months. If you decide to add some kind of heat source, sheltering will more than likely trap the heat and help in keeping you warm and toasty while you sit outside.
With living in the UK, if you decided to add a canopy or gazebo, you’d need to be careful with high wind speeds with the chance of your sheltering being blow away or even worse damaging your property or decking. If you have a larger budget you can have a professional awning built into the side of your house usually made from high-quality wood that is bolted down so would not be at risk of moving.
Adding a hot tub to your deck can really spice up your decking during the cold months! Imagine enjoying a nice glass of prosecco counting down the clock as it strikes midnight on New Year’s Day. As long as you’ve got a hot tub it really doesn’t matter what the temperature is outside, cold or warm you’ll be spending your time winding down in hot water and relaxing with the bubbles.
Whether it’s a built-in hot tub or you’re building it on top of your decking, you’ll need a level surface so the water doesn’t spill over the side. For more information on the subject, we have a blog on incorporating a hot tub alongside decking.
Barbequeing and cooking outside
Having a grill or barbeque outside has the ability to bring you and your family outside, especially if nice warm food is to be had! A portable gas grill is a great edition for decking both in summer but also in winter as it is movable into different locations, you can move it into space closer to where you sit, as it also acts as a heater whilst providing delicious BBQ food.
For more of an expensive outdoor cooker, you can put your expenditure into a stable clay oven. The benefits of installing a clay oven are that it actually acts as a fire pit so removes the need for an additional heater, they look great and has the potential to turn your deck into a party venue for Christmas and New Years!
When its cold outside, even the smallest of changes like lighting can change your decking to be more inviting to sit outside. It can massively shift the mood of sitting outside from cold wet and windy to warm and inviting. Different levels and colours of lighting can do different things, low-level lighting makes a decking setting look a bit more mysterious and private, placing lights on the side of your deck, the underside of seating or railings or even just a small string of fairy lights can make a huge difference.
Using smart bulbs are a great way to change the vibe of your sitting area, as you can change the colour of the lights depending on the weather or mood. A more well-lit area can brighten the mood of the day, outside weather and your decking in general.