At EnviroBuild we are often asked how to install a variety shapes of decking. A later article will explain tips and tricks on how to mitre boards. However, as a majority of our customers are already very capable with a circular saw the more frequent question is can I have a circular deck.
They undoubtedly look beautiful and become a real feature in a garden. However no amount of cutting will get a perfect curve that doesn't require finishing without looking untidy.
The easiest way to create a curved edge is to use the composite fascia boards. The composite fascia boards are thin and flexible enough that they will bend. The fascia needs to be screwed into the sub-structure to hold them in place, where a standard countersunk wood screw is perfect or this. Start at one end and apply a constant force, then simply work around the bend that you are intending. This is very much a two person job, particularly if the bend is acute.
Thought has to be given to the sub-structure as well. You're going to need to measure around the inside of the curve and ensure sub-structure is in place at regular enough intervals to hold the fascia to the curve.
The end result is however magnificent and can transform the look of a garden. It works with either of the Hyperion Composite Decking ranges that we stock. Below is in the Oak Pioneer range.
The only other method of curving is actually heating the boards. Due to the plastic content, they will become softer with heat, and can bend to a variety of shapes. There are youtube videos available on how to do this, however, it is technically difficult to do without damaging the boards, requires expensive specialist equipment and doesn't give significantly better results, thus we do not recommend this option.
Following from our article on how to design your decking, we're focusing upon the versatility of the Hyperion composite products. When people think of composite decking it's balconies, terraces or garden decks. Instead, we're looking to show you the other ways that the double sided Hyperion has been used by our customers.
Being double sided, Hyperion Decking is perfectly placed for anything that needs to be viewed from both sides. See the Stone Pioneer range being used on this gate by a customer in his home. The steel supports were installed to allow a lattice of decking with expertly mitred corner. As the material never requires treating or maintenance over it's life this creates the perfect low maintenance gate that will look great for decades to come.
Composite Bin Stores
Being easy to clean is an important requirement for bin stores. This example of a storage area is actually made using the 2.2m Stone Pioneer fascia boards. They have the same properties as the decking, but are lighter and thinner, allowing an elegant bin store to be made that will have a fraction of the maintenance time and cost than timber.
The entrance gate to the bin store is also made from the fascia boards.
There are a number of ways of using composite decking as a bench. The bench below is made from Hyperion Pioneer decking in the White Ash colour and is finished using the corner nosing trim. This example is on floating supports on their rooftop terrace, another popular bench option has full boxed sides and can also be used as external storage.
The space under a raised deck can be the perfect space for outside garden storage. Here the Hyperion Pioneer Oak decking is used on a raised deck, with ample space created for storage.
Another method is a stand alone cupboard, this example is from made using White Ash fascia boards.
In a garden setting a deck is often surrounded by plants and flowers to help you blend in with nature. A raised bed, or planter is surprisingly easy to make and work best in the colour of the deck itself. In both the examples below the decking boards are used to makeup the planter walls and finished on the top edge with the corner nosing trims. Dependent on the size of your planters the top edge can either be finished with a fascia board, or using either half or a full decking board.
With Summer nearly upon us, it is time to revamp your garden with a new deck, a deck that stands out and will be the envy of all your friends and neighbours. With each passing Summer being the hottest on record, it is definitely time to think about soaking up as much Vitamin D as your body can handle.
We've been giving a lot of thought to our favourite deck designs, here's our top five deck patterns:
Picture Frame First up is a traditional but reliably great-looking pattern. The picture framing boarder of the decking really rounds off a job well done. Used for horizontally, vertically or diagonally laid boards, the frame acts as a beautiful border to highlight the deck features. You could try using a different colour for the border, especially for horizontal or vertical patterns to set it apart from the main area. You can also increase the number of boards wide of the boarder on larger decking areas.
The Chevron Secondly, give your decking pride of place in your garden running alternate diagonal sections within your decking area to create a fantastic chevron effect that will certainly get the neighbours talking. If you're feeling a little creative with the landscaping of your garden, you could vary the colours of each chevron or section which can make for some great eye candy during the Summer BBQs.
Patchwork Laying alternate squared sections of vertical and horizontal boards gives a brilliant patchwork effect. This is a favourite of ours and many British homes which install square or rectangular decks. If you are feeling brave you could attempt to use this pattern within deck which use non-conventional shapes. Be certain to plan this out ahead of time to ensure you are able to keep continuity throughout the deck.
Diamond Frames For many the decking is the jewel in the crown in their rejuvenated garden. Why not show it off with a diamond design to break up the vertical or horizontal pattern. Choose an alternate colour to make up the diamond, make the relevant cuts (a simple 45-degree angle is easiest) and lay it amongst your regular deck pattern.
Pattern Break Break up the usual run of deck boards by throwing in a line of boards running perpendicular to the main style. This really breaks up the pattern in a smart way and is amazingly easy to pull off. The different areas can indicate various 'living zones' on your deck, such as the lounge area, BBQ zone, etc. Whether you choose to use an alternate colour or the same, this pattern is dynamic.
So there you go, our top five designs which we hope will inspire you to revisit that decking project you've been putting on the back-burner. Switch up your old timber decking or build yourself the new one you've always been promising to do.
These are our top five decking designs for your garden, but our composite decking has been used to create a range of other beautiful designs. If you're feeling particularly bold then feel free to experiment with specific and unique designs such as the below.
The Compass Made from three different colours this labour of love is not for the feint of heart, but turns a deck into a showstopper. If you have a favourite decking design that we've missed then please let us know, we're always keen to receive your pictures!
The latest statistics from the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA) reveal that the UK recycling rate for ‘waste from households’ fell from 44.9 per cent in 2014 to 44.3 per cent in 2015.
The map below illustrates which local authorities in England recycled a higher percentage of their household waste in 2015/16 than in 2014/15, and which didn't.
The statistics from DEFRA reveal that the ‘waste from households’ recycling rate for England has dropped from 44.8 per cent in 2014 to 43.9 per cent in 2015, or 9.8 million tonnes. This is the first time that the recycling rate has fallen below 44 per cent since 2011.
There is an EU target for the UK to recycle at least 50 per cent of household waste by 2020.
While England adds the largest contribution to the UK recycling rate, other nations saw a year-on-year increase. The ‘waste from households’ recycling rate for Wales has increased from 54.8 per cent in 2014 to 55.8 per cent in 2015; and Scotland has also raised its household recycling rate from 41 per cent in 2014 to 42 per cent in 2015.
Northern Ireland follows the nationwide downwards trend, recycling 42.5 per cent in 2014 compared to 42 per cent in 2015.
At EnviroBuild, we believe that the lack of comprehensive UK wide policy results in a mish-mash of council schemes that generate huge confusion in the population. However, we also recognise that some councils are bucking the trend, showing it should be possible.
Research has continually shown that generally people don't know how to sort their recycling pre-collection, why it's important to sort and what materials can actually be recycled. A more comprehensive education system would help increase the rates closer to those seen in our European neighbours.
"This hasn't been helped by a lack of policy intervention and a decrease in commodity prices through 2015, and is part of a wider plateau in recycling rates since about 2011”.
In its England-specific report Defra said: “In 2015 the decrease in the ‘waste from households’ recycling rate was driven by a 4.8 per cent fall in ‘organic recycling’ set against unusually high figures for 2014, particularly for January to March 2015 and April to June 2015 compared to the same quarters in 2014".
“There was a smaller decrease of 1.1 per cent in the amount of dry recycling in 2015 compared to 2014".
The UK is recycling less, but it is also creating less household waste. The government data for England also shows that the waste from households totalled 22.2 million tonnes in 2015, or 407kg per person, a decrease of 0.6 per cent on 2014 but very close to the three year average of 409 kg per person for 2012 to 2014.
The UK’s waste management sector continues to face a number of obstacles that were a result of the recession and austerity driven cuts. Local authorities responsible for recycling have faced budget cuts and the government’s main body for increasing recycling and cutting waste, WRAP, has seen its budget cut from £37.7m in 2011 to £17.9m in 2014.
Figures released this week by the Department for Environment and Rural Affairs revealed that for the first time the percentage of household waste being recycled has declined. With the government aiming to increase recycling levels to 50% by 2020 this step backwards is an unwanted set back.
There are two main reasons why recycling is declining, confusion and contamination. Biffa Municipal's managing director Roger Edwards said "Contamination can cause entire lorry-loads of recyclables to be rejected, at high cost to already-stretched councils." By not correctly washing out your milk bottles or Coke cans you could be responsible for whole lorries full of recyclable material being dumped in landfills or burnt in incinerators. Many U.K residents are unaware of what they can and can’t recycle. Add to this the fact that most local councils have different recycling policies and will accept or reject different materials you can see why so many people are confused.
David Palmer-Jones, chief executive of SUEZ recycling and recovery UK has been the leading voice in calling for change. He is calling for a “polluter pays” policy which would see manufacturers taxed according to the amount of non-recyclable materials used in consumer goods with the cost being passed onto the customer. Palmer-Jones claims that "The tax would help pay for better household collection of recyclables and help address the huge funding challenge that local government faces."
Aidan Bell Director of EnviroBuild believes that "the current recycling system is unnecessarily complicated and is causing an important service to fail." He agrees that "changes needed to be made to make the system simpler and wants to see a blanket policy across the whole country."
Time to test your recycling knowledge.
Which of the following do you think are recyclable?
Yes: (but check your individual council's policy as they vary)
Paper: cardboard boxes, newspapers, magazines, envelopes, junk mail, food and drink cartons including Tetra Pak
Plastic: margarine and ice cream tubs, yogurt pots, fruit punnets and ready meal trays
Bottles: drink, shampoo and detergent bottles
Tins and cans: both steel and aluminium, as well as aerosols
Kitchen foil and foil trays
Glass: all colours but no broken glass or ovenware
Tissue and kitchen roll
Plastic wrap, cling film, bubble wrap and plastic bags
Plastic and paper contaminated with food - including grease-stained pizza boxes and paper food plates
Crisp packets and sweet wrappers
Soft plastic / metallic packaging like pet food pouches
At EnviroBuild we focus on only using recycled products, from our little fastener clips to our 4m decking boards. One of the products which is particularly interesting is our Manticore Plastic Lumber which is made from 100% recycled plastic. It is made from plastics which are traditionally very hard to recycle and therefore end up in landfills. They use plastics such as HDPE, LDPE, PET, PVC and polypropylene to form a non-absorbing and weather proof material that has a lifetime that lasts over a millennia that can be used in a variety of construction and DIY scenarios.
We donate 10% of our profits every year in an effort to offset the carbon footprint of our production process. By only using recycled woods and recycled plastic to fabricate the decking board and by supporting charities that protect important rainforest we hope to be an as ethical decking product as possible. In April last year we were able to help Rainforest Trust purchase 101 Acres of key rainforest on the Indonesian island of Sumatra as part of their project aiming at saving the Sumatran Rhino. In total Rainforest Trust were able to purchase 184,795 acres in the Aceh province, the only province in the world where you can still find the Critically Endangered Sumatran Rhinoceros, Sumatran Orangutan, Sumatran Elephant and the Sumatran Tiger.
The Leuser Ecosystem
An impressive 6.5 million acres of once pristine lowland forests, cloud shrouded mountains and carbon rich peat bogs. This diversity of landscapes means that is one of the most biodiverse areas ever recorded, an incredible 130 species of mammals, that’s 1 in 32 of the world’s mammals, call this expanse of forest home! You can also find 382 species of birds including hornbills, hawks, falcons, eagles and owls and 95 reptiles and amphibians such as king cobras, pythons and monitor lizards. But it is not only rich with fauna, perhaps two of its most impressive residents are World Record holders. The Rafflesia, the world’s largest flower and the Amorphophallus the world’s tallest plant thrive in this endangered ecosystem. Aceh is not only vibrant with wildlife it also supports 4 million people who mostly live in coastal areas living subsistent lives growing rice.
The Leuser Ecosystem Endangered Species
There are fewer than 6,600 individual Sumatran orangutans left in the wild, and about 75 percent of the world’s remaining population live in the Leuser Ecosystem. Some of which were successfully reintroduced after being rescued from the illegal pet trade.
Less than 100 individual Sumatran rhinos remain in the wild.
41 percent of tiger habitat has been lost in the last 10 years. Sumatran tigers are critically endangered, with fewer than 400 believed to remain in the wild, a large proportion of which live in the Leuser Ecosystem.
Much of Sumatra’s remaining forests consist of areas smaller than 100 square miles—too small for viable elephant populations—however, the forests in the Leuser region are still large enough to support multiple elephant herds.
Also provides shelter for the endangered Clouded Leopard, Sun bears and Marbled Cat.
The critically endangered Helmeted Hornbill has been documented in the province.
The Economic and Global Importance of The Leuser Ecosystem
Astonishingly it is not its high levels of biodiversity that cause it be valued at $US 400 million per year. It is instead the ecological services it provides both on a local and global scale. It is thought that the province stores over 1.6 billion tons of carbon, most of which is stored in peat bogs. The peat bogs and forests also provide protection to local communities from natural disasters such as fires, floods, droughts and landslides. All of which results in not only economic loss due to damage to agriculture but also the loss of hundreds of lives each year, which will only increase each year as the destruction and degradation continues. Not only does it protect the 4 million residents but it also a source of clean water, irrigation for their agriculture and a sustainable food resources such as fish. Many of these people have lived in the region for generations and each community has their own unique cultural heritage.
Inconceivable this area of both natural beauty of importance is rapidly disappearing. The biggest driving is the skyrocketing global demand for palm oil, a product that is found in vast amounts of processed food, health and beauty products and cleaning products such as ice cream, cookies, frozen meals and lipstick. Vast swathes of forest have been cut down and replaced with endless rows of monoculture plantation, many of which have been planted illegally. The unchecked industrial development of mining as well as pulp and paper plantations and the increase in illegal logging and poaching have all helped to create a perfect storm of degradation.
The Effects of Lost Rainforest
The loss of jungle doesn’t only have to impact those directly living in the area, it has worldwide repercussions.
This destruction of naturally occurring jungle dramatically changes the landscape. The peat becomes dried out and highly flammable, the resulting fires send up giant plumes of CO2 which annually can exceed the amount of fossil fuel emissions emitted by all of Western Europe!
The extinction of wildlife and the degradation of soil quality will ultimately make it impossible to restore.
Changes to the water cycle will lead to a decline in agricultural productivity and fish stocks as the water supply becomes more erratic.
More frequent and hard hitting natural disasters leading to an increase in loss of live and agriculture.
No longer being able to profit from the preservation values of the forest such as ecotourism and carbon trading.
What is the Rainforest Trust doing
The Rainforest Trust is working with a local partner to purchase private properties in the Kluet Watershed in strategically important locations and thereby blocking key access points into the proposed Gunug Leuser National park. In buying these properties one of the area’s most important watershed areas can now become the 184,795 acre Kluet Wildlife Reserve. The reserve will act as a buffer zone for the National Park, creating a natural barrier that will help to keep out perpetrators of illegal logging and poaching. By halting access to the National Park and preventing further unsustainable exploitation will help ensure the survival of the Sumatran Rhino, Sumatran Orangutan, Sumatran Elephant, Sumatran Tiger as well as the other species found in the region. To ensure that the newly created Kluet Wildlife Reserve is properly protected Rainforest Trust will employ a well-equipped and highly trained team of rangers that will regularly patrol the reserve to protect it from illegal activity. Rainforest Trust will also construct guard stations throughout the reserve making it easier and more efficient to patrol the entire 184,795 acres of the reserve.
What can You do to Help
Avoid purchasing products that use palm oil from unsustainable plantations.
Buy products that use recycled wood to reduce the need for logging.
Building your composite deck from scratch might seem a quite demanding task to execute, but with this easy-to-follow installation guide you will soon be enjoying your great outdoors worry-free.
Step 1: Preparation of the Deck
Power mitre or circular saw (40 tooth blade preferably)
Hand Drill 3mm and countersink drill bits (can use all-in-one smart bit)
Impact driver (Use T15 secure drill bit supplied in all Hyperion hidden fastening packs, use low torque setting)
Safety Glasses and relevant Personal Protection Equipment (PPE)
The height of the decking will be determined by the depth of your balcony. Your deck should be neither lower than the tip of your balcony, nor exceeding it. Accordingly, the depth of your terrace will determine the type of pedestals and substructure that needs to be fitted underneath the deck. Should you have any questions, give us a ring at (0) 208 088 4888.
It is recommended that you add approx. 5% to the total material required for a wastage factor. It is unlikely you will use the board lengths perfectly on your balcony.
If you are attaching the boards on your balcony at an angle (diagonal to joists), you will likely generate more scrap from cutting; in that case, it is recommended that you add 15% extra material.
We recommend that the correct-sized pilot holes are pre-drilled before screwing into all composite products to avoid splitting. The length of the hole must be at least the same length of the screw.
you leave a min. 20mm gap when your deck abuts walls or other fixed objects.
decking boards do not overhang joists by more than 20mm.
there is a deck slope of min. 5mm per meter towards a drainage area.
the deck is not laid directly onto any surfaces, and that you leave at least 50mm beneath the deck for air circulation.
you measure twice, cut once!
Step 2: Building the Deck Sub-structure
Recycled plastic supports (pedestals) whose height is adjustable
Lay the joists on top of the pedestals. Ensure that:
the distance between the joists is no more than 300mm apart for the Pioneer range, and 400mm apart for the Frontier range.
you have doubled up joists for butt joints across the deck.
each joist must be supported in a minimum of 3 places. Specifically, joists need to be supported to the following maximum spans: - 50 x 50 mm profile at max. 500 mm intervals - 50 x 100 mm profile at max. 750 mm intervals - 50 x 150 mm profile at max. 1500 mm intervals.
the joists do not overhang a support by more than 50mm.
the deck boards run perpendicular to the joists.
Screw down the joist cradles to the plastic lumber (make sure to leave an expansion gap of 6mm between the joists).
Adjust the height of the pedestals accordingly, making sure that each of them supports the joist.This can be most easily achieved by setting out each end, and then extending the pedestal until it is touching the joist. The joist shouldn't bounce over a pedestal at all.
Step 3: Laying the Deck
Screw down the starter fasteners into the outside edge of the outer joist.
Slide the first decking board towards the clips and secure. Decking boards should be gapped min. 3mm side to side. This is dictated by the size of the clip that you use, and doesn't need to be measured.
Tilt up the decking board slightly & screw down the fastener. Insert one hidden fastener at each joist. The hidden fasteners shown leave a 6mm gap between the decking boards.
Install the second row of decking boards. In any row where butt joints are required, make sure to leave an 8mm expansion gap. Failure to leave a gap can result in undue strain on the decking boards as they try to expand, and potentially eventually splitting. Always use one fastener per decking board at butt joints.
Screw down the second hidden fastener, in order to secure the second row of decking boards.
Return to tighten up the first row of decking boards.
Repeat for the rest of the decking boards, up to the last two boards.
Attach the hidden starter fasteners securely to the end joist for the last decking board, and then place the penultimate board.
Slide the fastener between the last and the second to last decking board over the joist, and screw down.
Step 4: Finishing the Deck
Screw the fascia board to the joists, in order to hide the grooved decking edge.
Add any corner trims (provided only for the Pioneer range).
And that’s it. More detailed guidelines could be found here, and you could also watch the EnviroBuild decking tutorial video here.
NASA data shows the first six months of 2016 were globally the hottest on record, with each month setting its own respective record. A list of American scientific organisations and a worldwide list of scientific organisations that agree climate change is a result of human activity shows the scientific consensus is overwhelming.
However an IPSOS survey shows only 54% of Americans believe that climate change is the result of human activity. The lowest of any of their surveyed countries!
Sadly the reporting of statistics within the mainstream media is poor and the general populations understanding of complex scientific issues is always going to be low.
At EnviroBuild, we hope XKCD’s graphic showing the data simply, comically and graphically, might swing a few more people around and force governments to make the actions they’re currently too slow to make! Share away!
Although EnviroBuild do not offer an installation service itself, we do have a growing network of professional installers who we will happily recommend for your project. All you have to do is ask and we will put you in touch.
Our network of installers is thoroughly vetted to give you the best possible access to reliable third-parties through which you can work out terms of contract for the installation of your EnviroBuild products.
Can I find my own installer?
It is entirely up to you as to who you choose to install your project. Even though we will happily pass the details of our recommended installers onto you, you are by no means obligated to enter into any agreement with them. If you wish to use an installer you have found yourself that’s entirely your choice.
We do urge you to thoroughly check the credentials of any installer you are considering. The easiest way to do this is to choose an installer who comes previously recommended by a family or friend. This means you are easily able to check on previous work they have fulfilled and get a real understanding of their overall professionalism from the person(s) who recommended them.
Another great way of finding good installers is to check their rating on websites similar to checkatrade.com. Most tradesmen can be found on such websites and are rated according to previous works. This will give you a fair indication of how well they are likely to perform on your job. These sites allow you to see all the company credentials, background checks and services, as well as reviews left by previous customers. Each company is rated out of 10 (by previous clients) and are given an average score overall which is again a great indication of how reliable, honest and recommended the company is viewed.
Although these sorts of sites are fantastic at checking credentials for tradesman, EnviroBuild always urge you to do your own research into any third party installer or company that you are thinking of using for your project.
When considering any composite decking project it is highly likely that you are going to have to make some adjustments to your lengths of board. We know that there are literally thousands of tools out there so we thought we would help you understand how to choose the right saw blade for cutting our products. This blog post will break down the various attributes for the appropriate saw-blade and why we recommend them for your fine cuts.
The EnviroBuild installation manual advises the use of a circular saw using a 40 tooth alternate top bevel finish blade. The amount of teeth on the blade is important to the speed and accuracy of the cut. A blade with a lower tooth count will cut faster but with a rougher finish. Alternatively, the higher the tooth-count on the blade the slower the cut but the more accurate it will be. With this in mind, if you choose a blade with a tooth count that is too high then you run the risk of the cut being to slow and burning the material you are cutting. This may be problematical with composite materials with a high level of plastic. EnviroBuild recommend the 40 tooth blade as it is quick enough to not burn the material yet it has enough to make accurate cuts.
The alternate top bevel finish blade refers to the tooth configuration on the blade. In this instance this specific configuration makes the angle of the teeth useful for cutting material like our composite boards, natural wood or veneered plywood.
Most of the major manufacturers will make what appears to be a similar blade, but the price will range from a few pounds up to just under £100 in the same way that the quality will differ. The design, amount or carbide and the quality of carbide used in the blade is what primarily influences the cost.
EnviroBuild recommends going for one of the more well-known makes such as DeWalt, Bosch or Titan as the blades tend to keep it’s sharpness for a longer period hopefully ensuring that you will only require 1 or 2 blades for your project (depending on project size).