In days gone by, the only option for decking an outdoor entertainment area would have been natural timber, which requires constant maintenance, finishing and partial replacements to keep in serviceable condition.
Outdoor braai areas, plant boxes and zoning features to create different usage or feature areas in a garden – such as a deck and a fire pit – would typically be made out of concrete, which suffers from stains and algae when exposed to long-term weathering. Similarly, posts, beams and other structural elements made of metal are well known for being prone to rust and becoming dangerous or unsightly as outdoor features in an entertainment area.
Composite Materials, An Entertainer’s Dream
Building an outdoor entertainment area with composite materials means being able to create outdoor areas for socialising that maximise the use of the space available while overcoming many of the aesthetic limitations of traditional building products. Composite materials are an entertainer’s dream, allowing homeowners to create comfortable, relaxing spaces full of texture and aesthetic appeal.
These modern building products combine the best of all possible worlds in bringing outdoor entertainment dreams to life, while also protecting the environment by making use of fast-growing, easily replenished bamboo fibres and recycled plastics that are reclaimed from the natural environment, says Eva-Last marketing director Shelley Galliver.Eva-Last’s composite decking boards feature a hard outer cap made from recycled plastics that prevents scratching, splitting, warping and discoloration from stains while standing up to the elements for much longer than traditional materials such as hardwoods. The solid pressed bamboo fibre core covered by a textured cap with a natural grain design never need anything more than a regular sweep and a clean.
A variety of durable capping materials give customers choice around not only the colour and grain finish of the boards but the durability required for any specific application, as well as the length of warranty that is needed for the customer’s use case. Some of Eva-Last’s warranties stretch into decades, underlining their durability and performance compared with traditional building materials.
The versatility of composite materials is astounding – from traditional uses such as decking, cladding and pergolas to a myriad of functional applications, blending them into the environment or your entertainment space. From seating to bar counters, plant boxes, pool pump covers, to storage cabinets – these materials are impervious to all weather conditions, making them ideal for the outdoor setting that really complements the South African way of life, given our fantastic climate. They also come in a wide variety of colours, tones and finishes to suit any possible aesthetic.
Nothing Says Outdoor Entertainment, More Than A Poolside Deck With An Outdoor Cooking Area
There is nothing that says outdoor entertainment area more than a poolside deck with an outdoor cooking area, but using traditional hardwoods would mean a constant need for sanding and finishing to get rid of splinters that would be a danger – especially to kids running around a pool.
Around a fire pit or built-in braai, traditional hardwood products would also be a no-go, but with composite products like Eva-Last’s Apex range, which has a Bfl s1 fire resistance rating, aesthetic designs can extend right up to the grillside.
While we may love to entertain, we also love to keep our engagements relatively private. The versatility of composite decking and cladding products really come into their own when creating screens, pergolas and gazebos that offer both protection from the elements and privacy in housing developments and complexes where off-plan designs lack adequate screening, says Galliver.