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If there’s one outdoor project Kiwis love the most, it’s adding a new deck to their backyard.

And for good reason — decks look fantastic, they’re relatively affordable, plus, they add a whole new living space to relax and entertain with family and friends.

However, knowing what works for your backyard can be tricky at the start, with sorting things like the deck design, deciding on the best deck materials, and figuring out how much a deck will cost in NZ.

If you want to know what everyday Kiwis are doing with their backyards, check out this Project Story chock-full of before and after deck photos from five of our awesome homeowners.

We’ve asked them all the juicy questions to help get you in the know for your own project, like:

  • What made them choose a deck (over, say, a patio)?

  • Which deck materials did they use?

  • What size is the deck?

  • How much did the deck cost?

  • How long did the renovation take?

  • Plus, plenty more!

Let’s check out the backyard transformations!

Deck: For A New Home

Before (starting from scratch), and after (brand new deck ft. Smudge the cat). 

Homeowner: Geoff, from Hamilton

  • Before: It was a new build home, so Geoff wanted two Kwila decks – a small deck at the front door, and larger deck off of the living/kitchen area running down the side of the house.

  • Materials: Kwila. Geoff thought about using pine or composite, but decided to go with Kwila for longevity.

  • Size: Approx. 36m2 (two decks combined).

  • Cost: Approx. $19,000.

  • Job duration: From job post to review it was about two months, and once Geoff chose a tradesperson, the deck build took about a week (a couple of days got rained off).

  • After: Backyard will be finished off with landscaping, then they’ll install a Louvretec so they can have both a covered and open area outdoors.

“We’ll be sitting out here with a cold wine” — Geoff.

Deck: For A New Space

Before (a small undercover deck), and after (removed the old decking, replaced with new). 

Homeowner: Jonty, from Hutt Valley

  • Before: Jonty originally wanted to extend the old deck so that they had an outdoor space where family and friends could hang out.

  • Materials: Pine (premium pine).

  • Size: Approx. 40m2.

  • Cost:

  • Job duration: From job post to review it was about two months, with a couple of weeks on site building the deck.

  • After: Now they’ve got plenty of space, with some of the deck partially undercover. The deck height was taken up with steps added on each side.

“It’s gonna be awesome eating out there in the summer” — Jonty.

Deck: For An Extension

Before (a grass area with paving tiles), after (a deck extension + pathway).

Homeowner: Karl, from Botany Downs

  • Before: Karl recently moved into a new house which is situated on a bank. The top section has a garden, and the lower section has decking. He wanted to continue the decking around the house.

  • Materials: Pine, to match the existing pine decking.

  • Size: Approx. 35m2.

  • Cost: Approx $6,000.

  • Job duration: From job post to review it was under a month, with the deck built in just under a week. Karl says he was keen to support a young-ish business and the tradesperson was extremely efficient.

  • After: Finishing touches include adding a table and chairs to the deck extension.

“In lockdown we’ve been able to spend a great deal of time out here” — Karl.

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Deck: For A Replacement

Before (past its use by date), after (decking replaced while using old framing).

Homeowner: Bill, from Manukau

  • Before: Bill was keen to replace the old decking that was unstable and past its use by date with rusty nails.

  • Materials: While the top components had weathered, the original beams and framing were still a solid foundation. Bill opted for remedial work to stabilise the deck by putting in some posts, then adding new decking.

  • Size: Approx. 17m2.

  • Cost: Approx $1,100.

  • Job duration: From job post to review it was under two weeks, with three days on site to repair. It’s worth noting Bill’s tradesperson experienced materials delays.

  • After: Bill has since sold the property, but when the repairs were finished he held a BBQ on the deck in place of the classic roof party, as a way to celebrate the end of his house renovations.

“Tradies are booked up, so plan it a month out, add photos to your job post and if a tradie contacts you, you’ve got to drive it from there” — Bill.

Deck: For An Upgrade

Before (a zen garden), after (an entertainment area ft. Goose the cat). 

Homeowner: Samantha, from Waitakere

  • Before: Being a small backyard, Sam originally did a zen-style garden with small stones and plants. But the stones got hot, and Sam and her cat named Goose weren’t fans of the heat, so they decided to replace it with wooden decking.

  • Materials: Kwila. Sam tossed up between pine and kwila, but decided to go with kwila for aesthetics.

  • Size: Approx. 15m2.

  • Cost: Approx $7,000.

  • Job duration: From job post to review it was under one month, with the deck built in a couple of days.

  • After: Sam ended up adding some planter boxes and custom-made furniture built by the same tradesperson who built the deck.

“We’re out here almost all the time; you know, morning cups of tea, and during lockdown we’ve had private picnics — we put a rug down, music on, have a few beers and some crisps, it’s great” — Samantha.

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Thank You

A huge thank you to our awesome homeowners, Geoff, Jonty, Karl, Bill and Samantha for sharing your renovation project.

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