On the job in Otago region

The ideal size for a deck

Posted February 1, 2023

In Wanaka and the surrounding Southern Lakes area, everywhere in fact, the climate is changing. The summers are getting longer, and the winters shorter. People are embracing the indoor/outdoor alfresco style of living. More decks are being built than ever before.

If you fall in love with a big-scale outdoor table and chairs setting, it's likely you are going to need a bigger deck to accommodate your new furniture.

What is the right size deck for all the new furniture? Oh!! And I seem to have bought a new 6-burner bbq too!

How Big Should My Deck Be?

Ok, you have the table and chairs setting. You need to be able to sit everyone around the table for dinner and a few cheeky wines. Someone needs to get up from the table for more wine. You push the chair away from the table with your hand or the back of your legs, and you walk around the back of the chair and away you go. There must be room on the deck to be able to walk comfortably around the back of the chair and all the other participants still seated, without having to leave the decked area. This important spatial rule applies to all the chairs and seating. The minimum measurement needed to achieve this is 3.5 metres. Minimum!! 4 metres is even better.

Can I Add On To My Existing Deck To Suit My Wānaka Alfresco Lifestyle?

Yes, of course you can. Having a new section of decking against an older section is always going to be pretty obvious, but only for a short while. The weather will act immediately on the new section and in no time it will be weathering to silver grey. After about 2 years the difference will be almost imperceptible.  

If an oiled deck is your style, then the difference between old and new can be mitigated almost immediately with the oil product chosen, blending the 2 sections together.

A New Wānaka Deck Extension

I recently built a deck extension at a Wanaka address (see image). Their situation was pretty typical – a new table and chairs setting, plus some bean bags, and suddenly the old deck is simply too small for the change is usage. The original deck was constructed at the same time as the house was built and was about 4 years old. It was 2 and a bit metres wide. The deck timbers were weathered to silver grey. 


Deck extension for a Wanaka property