How Are Curved Decks Built?
Why do most people build a deck? (Or have one built?) Answer: They are looking for a nice out-of-doors location on which to spend a weekend morning, enjoy coffee with a friend or their family, entertain, or just kick back and relax. Their biggest concern, when it comes to appearance, is that the boards are straight, and the deck is level. Shape-wise – rectangles and squares are the norm.
What about those adventurous individuals who choose to have curved decks built? They are the daring homeowners who venture into the out of the ordinary! Apparently it pays off because there are some truly stunning curved decks in existence. Perhaps you’ve seen one in a magazine that features pools or landscaping – maybe homes for the rich and famous. But you don’t have to be rich or famous to have a curved deck.
Today’s Composite Decking
One of the hottest items today, when it comes to decking material, is composite decking. This wood-look-alike, capped (to discourage moisture), smooth, durable, and highly workable material runs rings around natural wood decking. It comes in real wood colors and textures as well as more synthetic coloring.
For use on curved or custom shaped decks, the workability of composite makes it even more of a favorite. When compared to wood, it is far easier to curve. To make it flexible, heaters are used. Once the boards are flexible, they can be bent into the needed design. There are two types of heating methods used to curve composite decking.
- Torpedo heater (the faster of the two)
- Heating blanket (this is not the one you use on your bed)
Curving/Bending Composite Decking
While we will not go into the specific method for bending or curving composite decking, we will mention a couple of high points.
- Circular seating areas – Bending composite boards for this venture usually means the piecing together of smaller segments of board. To make the full radius of a circle, shorter curves are used. The reason is that, before being damaged, composite boards can only be curved so far.
- Curving decking (as in the case of custom-shaped decks) – For this you will need a jig. Before these boards can be nailed in place, they must be shaped (after heating) and allowed to cool. There are numerous types of jigs that can be used, and it’s going to take some considerable know-how.
Looking at the Job Realistically
Here’s the bottom line – it’s not easy to build a curving composite deck. On the other hand, it will leave a lasting impression on everyone who sets foot on it! It is a sight to behold! If you don’t know what you’re doing, however, it can end up being messy, expensive, and a futile effort.
Here’s the truth for most of us: It’s less important to know how a curved deck is built and more essential to know where to find a reputable professional to build it.
Curved deck, square deck, big deck, small deck, backyard, side yard, front yard – whatever type of deck you decide upon, it may be in your best interest to consider having it built (and possibly designed) by a reputable professional. The workmanship and materials will very likely carry some type of warranty, and you’ll know that it’s been done right.