Benefits of caravan decking
Not only will decking transform the appearance of your holiday caravan it will help to extend your overall living space and provide a great area outside for dining, entertaining or simply relaxing and watching the world go by.
Decking, combined with skirting, will also help to insulate your static caravan and reduce drafts underneath. It will also provide added protection for water pipes and with an access hatch you can create some extra outdoor storage underneath (if fire regulations allow).
As well as making your static caravan or lodge look great, decking could also help to increase its re-sale value.
And with a ramp access, a decking can help improve accessibility to your caravan or lodge by wheelchair or pushchair!
Types of caravan decking
Traditional decking is made of treated timber but there are a myriad of choices from design, to colour and the make of product, such as uPVC, vinyl and composite decking.
Many specialist holiday caravan decking companies use uPVC, vinyl or composite decking boards which are available in a wide range of colours that can often be matched to complement the colour of your holiday caravan. White, cream, grey, brown and green are popular colours. You may even choose your decking boards and fencing in contrasting colours such as white and grey or cream and brown.
uPVC, vinyl or composite decking is easy to clean with a mild detergent or specialist Washbomb and doesn’t need treating, staining or varnishing. Some specialist caravan decking companies also have woodgrain effect decking, which looks like wood but without all the extra maintenance.
U.K. Sundecks said: “With the UK’s variable weather, the galvanised steel sub-frame and anti-slip uPVC decks we supply are much more durable than other types of decking such as timber.”
uPVC decking is often built on a galvanised steel frame with steel reinforced handrails for maximum durability and to provide a lasting structure for the decking. But a treated timber frame is also very popular and the most cost-effective.
Other benefits of uPVC decking are that they are fire and water-resistant, anti-slip, low maintenance, and extremely durable against harsh weather conditions. Plus many are made from recyclable products.
There are also different styles of holiday caravan decking to suit your individual tastes or needs. Some owners choose a small verandah or entrance walkway, right up to a complex L or U-shaped deck that wraps around two or three sides, of their caravan, with a seating area off the lounge or breakfast terrace next to their bedroom.
“The secret is to spend time with your chosen decking supplier to know exactly what your options are, and then design the deck around your requirements,” said UK Sundecks.
Then there are different styles of balustrades and fencing, from traditional picket fencing to high-end glass panels. You might also want to add accessories such as lighting, steps, ramps, gates, skirting to really finish off your decking. Even a hot tub! Although, if adding a hot tub on top of your decking you’re going to need extra support and Mayfield Group said the decking company must be advised in advance, so they can work with the hot tub provider to co-ordinate the installation. Also, not all holiday parks allow hot tubs, so check this with your park first.
Should you choose skirting around the base of your caravan and decking, you may then decide to add various access points underneath the decking and caravan.
“Underneath storage is not always permitted due to fire regulations,” said Mayfield Group. “Skirting is great to give a smarter appearance and also blocks some draughts and helps prevent unwanted visitors getting under the home.”
All good decking companies will have a local representative who can visit owners at their holiday home and show them samples and colours and talk through their requirements.
“Most parks have preferred companies that they use so we advise that owners check this first to make sure the company they want to use are an approved installer on their park,” added Mayfield Group.
Lighting can really enhance your decking area and help you to get the most out of the outside space. Decking lighting can range from small posts lights to balustrade lamps, plus lights set into the steps, skirting or decking boards. The Mayfield Group even has a “revolutionary LED handrail”.
“Lighting is great for ambiance and also makes the park look great when they’re all on, they’re also a nice welcome when the owners return,” said Mayfield Group.
Things to consider when adding decking
Consider what you want to use the deck for. Is it simply safe access or to add extra living space? If it’s about adding space, what do you want to do with the space?
The deck will need to be designed with doors and access to the holiday caravan to make sure there’s enough room to make it a truly useable space. If pets or young children will be using the deck, then you’ll need gates.
UK Sundecks said: “An issue often forgotten is how big your plot is and what the park rules are concerning distance to boundaries and adjacent homes. This can have a significant influence over the design of deck available to an owner.”
Decking companies do not connect the lights to the home so this could be an added cost as an electrician will need to do this.
How much does caravan decking cost?
Costs vary depending on the size of your decking, the type of decking board, as well as the location of your caravan.
A small uPVC decked area creating a balcony at the front of a caravan which has patio doors may cost as little as £3,000 but adding decking and steps down the side is going to see that price increase to more than £5,000. And then there are all the extras of skirting, railing, steps, lighting, etc to consider on top of this.
Looking at our recent poll results, one customer paid £9,000 and another was quoted £12,000 for uPVC decking, with typical holiday caravan decking costing between £6,000 and £8,000.
How long does decking take to install?
Depending on the size, a typical caravan deck installation would take around two to three days.
Do holiday parks allow decking?
First of all, you’ll need to check that you have the space to fit decking to your caravan and if your park has any specific requirements about how far you can extend any decking, as well as checking if they have any stipulations over the type of caravan decking they do and do not allow. In some countryside locations, like the Lake District, they might only allow wooden decking to tie in with the natural environment, for example.
Always check your park agreement/site license and speak to your park owner to gain permission before starting any work. They might even recommend a specialist company in holiday caravan decking.
Holiday caravan decking specialists
Although it’s possible to install decking yourself it’s probably best to pay for a professional company that is experienced in fitting holiday caravan decking and to make sure you get a high-quality fit. Decking boards can be easy to fit together, but you want to make sure the initial groundworks, decking structure, and levelling are perfect to avoid trouble and possibly costly repairs down the line.
Many holiday caravan decking specialists will also offer a guarantee of up to 10 or 15 years on their decking and can design bespoke structures to meet your needs, with lots of options depending on your budget, space and style.
Specialists in holiday caravan decking include:
The Mayfield Group: www.themayfieldgroup.co.uk
AB Sundecks: www.absundecks.co.uk
U.K Sundecks Ltd: www.uksundecks.co.uk
Vinyl Solutions: vinylsolutions.co.uk
And don’t forget a Leisuredays static caravan insurance policy provides cover for damage to caravan decking as it’s part of your holiday caravan structure. Make sure if you add decking or skirting you need to include its value in your sums insured.
Looking after your caravan decking
Mayfield said a well-maintained deck will last the lifetime of the home with regular cleaning. They recommend keeping rusty tables and chairs off the deck and not using a BBQ on the decking as it could lead to marks and stains that can’t be removed.
Over to you
Got any advice on planning and installing decking onto your static caravan or lodge that you’d like to share with other owners. Please feel free to add your comments below.