Once the colder months draw in, our thoughts often turn to hibernation and our outside space is abandoned until spring arrives. However, decking can – and should – be enjoyed all year round. Just a few additions can make your decking the perfect place to be, even on the coldest and darkest of days.
Perfect preparation for your decking this winter
Firstly, we would recommend preparing your decking for the coming colder months. If you have composite decking, simply sweeping away debris and leaves will help to keep the surface clean and prevent discolouration and slipping hazards. You may even want to give your decking a wash so it looks its best throughout the winter.
Four ways to enjoy alfresco dining on your decking this winter
Once prepared, here’s some finishing touches to ensure you enjoy alfresco dining on your decking whatever the weather.
1. Turn up the heat
Heating will help to create a cosy and warm atmosphere for your winter alfresco dining. There are myriad options now available, from conventional standard heaters and tabletop heaters to the more rustic fire pit and chiminea. Each will help you stay warm, so you can enjoy alfresco dining on your decking all year round.
Remember, if you choose to use a fire pit or chiminea, raise them off your decking to prevent potential heat damage.
2. Take shelter
Shelters are not just there to shield you from the sun – they can also be very handy during the winter months. The last thing you want whilst enjoying a delicious outside dinner is a downpour. By adding a shelter to your decking, such as an awning or canopy, you can stay dry and finish your meal – regardless of the rain or snow.
A shelter will also help prevent heat from any outdoor heaters escaping so you can stay nice and cosy.
3. Let there be light
Lights are a beautiful way of creating a romantic ambience for your outdoor space. You can install lighting underneath seating, steps, or railings, which will not only protect it from the weather but also add a subtle warm glow to your decking. For more cost effective lighting alternatives, outdoor fairy lights are a beautiful way to create a gentle light and add interest to your decking for a minimal cost.
4. Outdoor furniture to withstand the elements
Suitable furniture is a must if you want to continue dining outside throughout the winter. There are several materials to consider that will withstand the harshest of weathers without rotting or becoming discoloured. These include powder-coated aluminium, composite wood polymer and even a good quality rattan can be a wise choice to withstand the elements.
And don’t forget the soft furnishings too – fake fur rugs, cushions and blankets are great additions to outdoor winter terraces or bars.
Alfresco dining requires quality decking!
Whilst each of these ideas will help create a wonderful outdoor al fresco experience, don’t under-estimate the need for quality decking underfoot!
We may be biased, but we believe composite decking is your best option. It needs very little maintenance to keep it safe and looking beautiful. Unlike timber, it requires no sealants or paints to protect it against the elements and it is rot and split resistant – allowing you to enjoy your decking rather than work on it! It’s also slip and splinter resistant, making it safer underfoot when the weather turns colder, as opposed to timber decking which can become precarious when the ice and snow arrive.
If you currently have timber decking and are wondering how much use you’ll get from it through winter, maybe it’s time to consider upgrading to composite.