8 Things You Need To Know Before Building A Deck



With the current trend for outdoor entertaining and relaxation, building a decking area is more popular than ever before.

So, how much does it cost of building a deck in Auckland and what are the things to look out for??

The team at Style Plus Renovations North Shore Auckland look at 8 things to consider for building a deck:

  1. Rules & Regulations.
  2. Planning your decking space.
  3. Entertaining or recreational decking space?
  4. Timber decking types.
  5. Composite decking.
  6. Can you remove my old decking and lay new decking?
  7. How much will it cost to build a deck?
  8. Do I use a Project Manager?
building a deck


When the time comes to plan your decking space, it is important to review the rules and regulations around building a deck.

The following are some guidelines to consider:

  • For outdoor structures like fences, decks and retaining walls, the main reason you may require a consent is if you are building a deck over a certain height. You do not require a building consent for decks that are up to 1.5 metres above ground.
  • Any deck where someone can fall 1 metre or more requires a barrier and you may require a resource consent.
  • If the deck is attached to the house then you should allow a 12mm gap on the ribbon plate to stop moisture retention behind the plate which can lead to mould mildew and eventually rot.
  • Decks must still meet other building requirements, primarily the durability and structural requirements. Check with your designer or builder on those requirements.

Tip: Check out Auckland City Council webpage – Fences, Decks & Retaining Walls. Alternatively, contact Style Plus | Renovations and we will guide you through your building process.a


When planning your decking space think about what the deck will be used for and what elements will be needed to accommodate your daily outdoor living needs. Think of your deck as an open concept space such as a kitchen, dining and living area.

Once you have determined your needs, you can then determine how much space should be allotted for your deck and the different functional areas within the space.

If a BBQ is high on the list of priorities then consider an outdoor kitchen with ample space for prep work, grilling and cleaning.

If you are looking for al fresco dining, your decking space should include a great patio set with plenty of seating and table space. There should be enough space to move around the deck with ease.

If a pool or hot tub is a must for family fun, keep this in mind when planning the deck’s dimensions, layout and required services.


Another great advantage from creating a new decking space to your home is additional space for entertaining or for home recreation.

If you want a cosy spot to sit outside and read a book, have lunch, or host a party, a new deck or patio space or combination can meet all of those needs and more.

Summer days can bring plenty of sunshine to our homes but that can also mean dealing with harsh UV rays and heat.

A decking space with a Louvretec system addition can provide the space you need to get outside and enjoy the weather while keeping you cooler and more comfortable at the same time.

The Louvretec range is engineered to compliment today’s architectural styles, adding to the aesthetic value of your home. They can be motorised, hand operable or fixed into place.

building a deck


Decking materials come in various types of shapes, materials, and sizes but the two common types are softwood and hardwood. The most commonly used decking timbers in New Zealand are:

  • Pine (softwood): Treated pine is widely available and commonly used for New Zealand decking. If well maintained, it will be long lasting. However, on the downside, this product warps and bends easily and contains chemical preservatives.
  • Kwila (hardwood): Kwila decking has long been a popular choice for New Zealand residential decking construction. This hardwood can last for years and can be left natural or stained. It always looks at it’s best when freshly oiled.
  • Kwila contains a water soluble tannin that leaches out when wet. The tannin that leaches out will stain concrete and tiles. At Style Plus we suggest it is either left to weather on grass or washed off using Resene Timber and Deck Wash (usually takes 2 or 3 washes).
  • Vitex (hardwood): Vitex hardwood timber decking is a light coloured creamy brown tropical hardwood that comes from the Solomon Islands. Vitex decking timber has a tight fine even grain in appearance.
  • Vitex decking does not have the natural dark sap to repel UV so applying it with a protective coating almost as soon as construction of your deck is completed is essential.
  • Macrocarpa (softwood): Macrocarpa decking timber is naturally durable when used outdoors above ground and so does not need to be treated. It is chemical free and has a lovely fresh smell making it a favourite for those who want the all natural deck.


A sustainable alternative decking option is composite decking. Also known as plastic wood.

These are manufactured from recycled plastic (HDPE) and waste timber fibre, which is heated and pressurised then extruded into a decking timber shape.

Eco Decking is an example of sustainable alternative to tropical hardwoods. It is made of recycled wood and the highest grade (11) recycled HDPE composite.

It has the highest non-slip rating, no splinters, no nails or staining required. Eco Decking is 60% wider than timber and has 3-5% less waste compared to timbers 15%.

building a deck


Typically this is not an option as by the time the decking has reached its lifespan the supporting structure will also need to be replaced.

Here are a few pointers to determine the condition of your deck:

  • Look for signs of rotting wood, not only in the decking but in handrails, steps and all other timber parts. A good idea is to use a screwdriver to determine the condition of the wood. For example, if it penetrates the wood easily, without splintering the surface, you may have a problem and the board, or other component, must be replaced.
  • Next, you should check that all railings, banisters and steps are still solidly constructed, with no loose parts. Bear in mind that the boards on the deck may have been replaced while the underlying structure could be older.
  • Damaged or rotten decking boards are ugly, and they could be hazardous too.
  • When building a deck it pays to use a certified builder because even a simple job such as a deck can occasionally go wrong and this way you are guaranteed a level of skill and professionalism.


“How much should I charge when building a deck”

This is a common question that we consider and are asked. The answer will typically depend on the complexity of the design and the height of the deck.

Decking build costs do vary but expect to pay in the region of for a deck under 1m high:

  • $470+ per metre square for treated 90mm wide pine decking.

Other factors to consider when building your deck include:

  • Site conditions i.e. type of soil, is it a sloping site?
  • An elevated deck is more labour intensive. Therefore, it will cost more, and if above 1 meter in height, a council consent is required.
  • Accessories, including substructure timber for bearers and joists, nuts, bolts, posts.

This information is a basic guideline and does not include stairs, seating, base cladding, demolition or any allowances for specific design, plans or permit fees.

Tip: The best way of finding out the cost of your decking job is to get at least 3 quotes from local deck builders. This will provide you with a sense of what the market rates are.


Engaging a project manger and licensed builder ensures your specific outdoor living project is tracking along to plan and is being built to code.

The project manager manages the project so it finishes to the agreed timeline and to the budgetary requirements, and that the builder completes the project according to building codes, plans, and specs.

Engaging a project manager increases project success, is an effective option and includes specifying a scope of work, budget management, tracking schedules, selecting subcontractors and workers, developing communication strategy for resolving conflicts, and more…

At Style Plus Renovations, full project management is what we do. We partner with select architects, engineers and licensed professional builders to create that indoor | outdoor flow that features a designed decking space.

Check out our article on indoor outdoor flow.

Want to ensure your deck renovation goes smoothly? Talk to the experts at Style Plus Renovations now.


As an Auckland North Shore family-owned and run business, Style Plus Renovations cares about what we do and we take the time to fully understand your renovation needs. We are also proud to receive some exceptional compliments from our Auckland clients.

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