According to The Independent, the average homeowner now spends over £30,000 on their garden throughout their lifetime, with people increasingly treating their outdoor areas as an extension of their living space. John Carney, Managing Director at Cheshire Mouldings, explores how timber manufacturers and merchants can tap into this trend by providing products using the latest materials and designs, which combine practicality and style to help bring the indoors outside.
Latest stats from The 2016 UK Houzz Landscaping Trends Survey show that 70% of consumers predominantly use their garden as an additional living space, with 59% of homeowners citing “outdoor living” as the biggest influence in their overall outdoor project design and purchasing choice. But why has this trend become so popular and what can merchants and installers do to maximise all opportunities?
RIBA’s latest report shows that the average size of a new three bedroom, five-person house in the UK is just 89m2 — some 4m2 below the recommended space standard issued by the government. With “rabbit hutch” sized houses on the rise, outdoor living offers individuals the opportunity to enhance and extend their functional living and spaces in creative ways. However, as outdoor spaces are being used more frequently, products on offer need to be functional and durable, as well as aesthetic.
Walking the plank
Decking is one of the most popular ways for homeowners to increase their square footage, creating a space which will withstand the ever-changing requirements of family living. From alfresco dining with friends to acting as a children’s play area, decking is one of the best ways to create a multi-purpose outdoor area.
However, as a result of this, manufacturers are seeing a demand for decking products that are as hardwearing and durable as indoor structures such as laminate flooring.
Specifically designed with this in mind, Cheshire Moulding’s outdoor decking is sustainably sourced and constructed from the highest quality timber to withstand not only the external elements but daily wear. All our decking is slow grown Northern Scandinavian pine that is pre-treated with Tanalith E wood preservative to provide the highest levels of protection while making sure all future maintenance is kept to a minimum.
Furthermore, decking must be able to provide unique yet functional spaces that adapt to each garden’s specific size and layout. Cheshire Moulding’s Core Deck range, for instance, features four different types of contemporary and traditional softwood, allowing installers to transform any space into a durable and lasting family environment. This durability also provides installers with an attractive solution to promote to homeowners, as all future maintenance or upkeep is reduced.
Mirror, mirror on the wall
While substance is the most important factor for outdoor living projects, it cannot be sacrificed for style. Installers are increasingly facing client demands to not only provide durable products, but those which simultaneously and seamlessly reflect the visual style of homeowner’s indoor living spaces.
One way timber manufacturers are currently facilitating this demand is by incorporating materials that are traditionally used indoors — such as glass and metal — in their outdoor product offerings.
“Manufacturers are seeing a demand for decking products that are as hardwearing and durable as indoor structures such as laminate flooring.”
Cheshire Mouldings’ Modern Deck and Metal Deck is one example of this, fusing timber, glass and metal materials together to create a serviceable yet stylish outdoor living area. The range provides homeowners with a variety of styles, formations and designs to continue the personality they’ve projected inside of their home outside.
Timber and metal pairings are a common occurrence in nearly all homes, from staircases to furniture. To reflect this, timber and metal decking ranges are becoming increasingly popular throughout the UK market. Cheshire Mouldings’ powder coated jet black Bow or Eden aluminium spindles combined with softwood to create a unique and contemporary exterior look to any garden through the unison of contemporary and traditional.
Just as popular, glass panels allow homeowners to create a subtle addition to their outdoor area, which also maximises the sense of space by allowing the sunlight to flow through. Toughened glass decking panels with softwood provide the perfect backdrop, while the treated pine newel posts provide minimal maintenance. The range’s universal brackets also enable quick and easy installation of universal rails, shortening installation times for installers and, consequently, costs for homeowners.
While outdoor living is weather dependant, there is no sign of the average house size increasing, making outdoor living a popular solution for homeowners looking to effectively increase their living space. This gives merchants the ideal opportunity to enhance their current portfolio of products while simultaneously positioning themselves at the forefront of the industry’s designs and styles by supplying these products both in store and online to installers.
By offering products that combine both durability and design, manufacturers, merchants and installers can work together to ensure they all support and continue the popularity of the outdoor living trend for years to come.
For more information on the products and services available from Cheshire Mouldings, visit: www.cheshiremouldings.co.uk