Building a terrace /

planning and preparation

A terrace is the ideal place to relax, as it is the perfect mixture of indoors and outdoors. Especially in summer you can use your own terrace to barbecue and celebrate with family and friends. Before you build your terrace, you should include various aspects in your planning, such as the right location, the right size and, above all, the right material and everything you have to consider as regards the construction. We have provided you with some tips so that nothing will go wrong with your terrace planning and to ensure that you can relax and enjoy the warm weather.

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When planning and constructing terraces, you should bear a number of things in mind beforehand so that you'll be able to enjoy your perfect terrace later.

Terrace construction – preliminary considerations

Before you tackle your terrace project, you should consider what you want to use the terrace for. Your terrace must fulfil different requirements depending on whether it is to be used for private or commercial purposes. Perhaps you also have a pool that the terrace has to match. Or maybe it will be used as a pool side? Your terrace may have to withstand heavy weights and must therefore be very stable and sturdy. You should also consider whether there is sufficient space for a large barbecue or a sunshade. If you don't have any firm ideas, it's useful to find inspiration in lifestyle magazines or on the Internet. A list of keywords can help you get an overview of the requirements.

The following questions can be of help:

  • What will the terrace be used for? How big should it be?
  • Is it for private or commercial use?
  • How will surface water drain away? In what direction should it slope?
  • How can you ensure sufficient air circulation beneath the terrace?
  • What type of lighting is planned?
  • What is the condition of the subsurface?
  • How must the substructure be positioned and stabilised?
  • For roof terraces: What will the decking layer be made from? How can the planks be fixed in place without damaging the water-permeable layer?
  • What type of supports are to be used?
  • What should the transition to the house look like?
  • Should the terrace have a roof?

Orientation and location of the terrace

So, you want to build a terrace. That's fine, but where should it go? This question also has to be clarified in advance before you start building your terrace. It is also important that you know beforehand what the main purpose of your terrace will be.

If you intend to have big barbecue parties often, ideally there should be direct access to the kitchen from the terrace so that you don't have to carry food and drink from one end of the house to the other.

A very important consideration is the orientation of the terrace to the sun. A south-facing terrace is ideal for sun worshippers who can enjoy the sun for the whole day. With a south-westerly direction you will especially enjoy the late morning sun and some of the evening sun. If the midday sun is too hot, your terrace should face west. This will enable you to spend the late afternoon and evening in pleasant, warm sunlight. If you enjoy eating breakfast on the terrace, east is the ideal direction. If you want to use your terrace to enjoy some shade during the hot summer months, you may want to consider building your terrace so that it faces north. It's best if you sit in your chosen location for a while to test it. This will also give you a good idea of the view you can enjoy from your future terrace.

Another tip: Try not to build your terrace directly beside trees, as this will increase the risk of mould or rotting on the decking.

 

The ideal size for your terrace

No matter what you intend using your terrace for – you don't want it to be too small. Family and guests should be able to move around the terrace and there should also be enough space for a dining table and chairs, a sunshade and your barbecue. If a lack of space means that you can only build a small terrace, you could consider whether to integrate it into the garden design and make optimum use of the available space. Normally, for four people and a barbecue you should reckon with an area of about 20 m2.

 

The right decking – different materials

You are also spoilt for choice when it comes to the decking. There are many different choices of material: these include timber, tiles, concrete and natural stone. Wooden decking has the advantage that it doesn't get too hot in the midday sun. Stone terraces, on the other hand, are extremely durable but can be slippery in winter. WPC terrace planks are especially practical. This wood-plastic composite is environmentally friendly, durable and easy to care for. For example, there is the patented Twinson material that is available for various terrace systems.

In addition to the type of material, the type of plank must also be considered in the planning. Specific systems are available for different requirements. For instance solid planks made from WPC are particularly good for round and curved shapes or pool sides, as they can be sawn just like wood. Extra wide planks are available for especially large areas. And particularly stable premium systems are very suitable for upmarket applications or applications in public areas.

Terrace substructures and finishing profiles

You also have to consider a suitable substructure for your terrace depending on the decking that you choose. On the one hand, this depends on the subsurface and, on the other, on the terrace material. Here you can find more details about substructures and what you have to consider.

Suitable finishing profiles in different materials are available for most terrace systems. Generally, profiles are available in the same material as the planks, but often there are more elegant solutions in aluminium with different colours and shapes.
 

Professional assistance with the calculation software for your terrace planning

If you decide to build a terrace using Twinson wood-plastic composite, you can use our planning software to plan even the tiniest details. It will enable you to create true-to-scale sketches and installation plans in just a few minutes. The software also determines the technical requirements and the material requirements for planks, the substructure, accessories and also the clips quickly and easily. Even planning individual details, such as a pool side, is possible with the software. Give your creativity full scope.

 

Terraces – screening systems, sun protection and lighting

In addition to the construction of your terrace, you mustn't forget the necessary accessories. Awnings and sunshades are a good way of keeping cool in the blazing summer sun. Screening systems, hedges and fences protect your privacy. It is also important to plan power connections for lighting or for your barbecue, for example.