Making the most of your outdoor space

Charles Taylor, director at Composite Prime, discusses how the garden can be used as an extension of the home, focusing on the practicalities and benefits composite decking can offer

The pandemic drove homeowners to reevaluate their gardens as an extension of their home and in the last year Brits have spent more than £16 billion renovating their gardens, with over half of them having carried out their own DIY updates.

When creating an outdoor living area, decking offers a year-round option which gives homeowners more space to enjoy. Carefully laid decking helps to create an increased sense of space by offering a dedicated area for entertaining and unwinding. This can be achieved by adding levels to a sloping garden or elevating an area with raised decking.

Most homeowners seek to create a garden that is practical and utilises a range of solutions to add value to a home and make outdoor living a reality.  When it comes to choosing the right materials to source for a residential project, composite decking is an ideal option due to its low maintenance and durable properties. It also has the ability to stay free from cracks and splinters, increasing its lifespan and making it bare-foot safe.

In the midst of the first national lockdown in 2020, Sera Sekerci and her family from York recognised the benefits of a garden revamp and transformed their tiny 60 square metre back garden into a stunning outdoor living space, using sustainable composite decking to create a practical, dedicated area for relaxing and entertaining.

Sera felt passionately about using materials that were sustainable and ethically sourced, and therefore selected and installed Composite Prime’s HD Deck 150 in silver. Each square metre of the brand’s decking contains the equivalent of more than 3,000 plastic bottle caps or 280 plastic bottles and in the six years of operation the brand has saved the equivalent of 151 million plastic milk bottles from landfill.

Composites are manufactured from a combination of recycled plastics and wood flour, which is a waste product of hardwood production. The wooden fibres and plastic shavings are then combined with colour pigments before being heated and extruded. The plastic content gives the boards a long lifespan without the need to treat or seal the decking, while the wood content enables the product to retain its natural look and feel.

Prior to her garden revamp, Sera commented that she’d been left with an ‘ugly outdoor space’ after an extension was added to the home that she shares with her husband and three children. Sera said: “We absolutely knew we had to have composite decking due its supreme durability and low maintenance properties. Sustainability credentials were very important to us as we looked to create a garden that not only looked stunning but was kind to the environment.”

Composite decking has become a sought after and stylish option for outdoor spaces that is practical for use year-round – it is the fastest-growing timber decking alternative currently available on the market. Although traditional timber decking has been the preferred choice of many for years, it’s a high maintenance product which requires annual painting and staining.

Sera continued: “We requested samples from six different companies as quality and a natural appearance that matched the interior of our house was very important to us. As a family with three children, we also wanted an area that was safe and could be used year-round with minimum upkeep. The composite decking itself is slip-proof and doesn’t rot or splinter so it’s the perfect solution for family living. When we’re not hosting dinner parties on the decking, it is extra space for the children to enjoy playing outdoors… mess and mud-free!”

The colour tones that composite materials are available in make it an ideal choice for home owners wanting to create a completely bespoke design and to also ensure that indoor and outdoor trends work together to create a seamless aesthetic. Statistics from Composite Prime demonstrate that interior trends are translating outdoors too; in the year Ultimate Grey was hailed as the 2021 Pantone of the Year, the brand identified that more than 90% of its products sold in 2020 were in varying shades of grey including silver, carbon, slate, lava, oyster and antique.

Sera’s beautiful outdoor area, which can now be used to entertain friends and family year-round, includes a modern dining table set at the far side of the garden under a tree, which acts as a natural canopy against the sunlight. Lighting and soft furnishings, including an outdoor sofa, have been placed on the decked area.

To find out more about how to renovate your garden using low maintenance and family-friendly composite decking, please visit: