Industry News

Composite Decking Vs Timber Decking

When our clients are looking to add a deck to their property they often have questions regarding the benefits of composite decking compared to timber decking. Composite decking is a relatively new product but has gained traction quickly due to the minimal maintenance. 

Both materials have their advantages and limitations. It is beneficial to weigh up the pros and cons so you can decide which option is most suitable for you. 

In this article we compare composite decking to wood decking so that you can make an informed decision and install a deck that you can enjoy for many years.

Timber Decking Materials

Timber decking can be made from a variety of hardwood timber species such as jarrah, merbau, blackbutt, spotted gum and more. Choosing the best timber for decking will depend on a number of factors such as the climate where you live,  where your deck will be installed, how much sunlight it will be exposed to and your preference of the look and feel of the timber.

Composite Decking Materials

Composite decking is manufactured using a combination of wood fibers and plastic which are held together using binding agents. As with timber decking, you should consider the location and weather conditions. There are a range of appearances available with composite decking, including styles that mimic natural timber.


One of the major reasons why people choose timber decking is the natural beauty and richness of the material that other options can’t compete with. There is a warmth of feeling timber under your feet that composite material can’t replicate. Depending on the species you choose, colours can range from deep reds to light browns to radiant golds.

Some timber decking species like jarrah age gracefully even without regular recoating in oil and many people celebrate the natural weathered grey look of aged timber. Timber can have natural imperfections that are also cherished by timber decking enthusiasts.

Composite decking is manufactured to look like natural timber, however most can be easily distinguished from real timber. That’s because most composite boards look more consistent in colour and texture than real wood. Cheaper brands can look very fake and you definitely get what you pay for in this regard.

composite v timber decking


Composite decking generally costs a little more than timber decking. A decent quality composite product tends to cost more per metre, combined with the fact that concealed fasteners are usually required which adds some cost.

In comparison, the most popular hardwood timber options are generally a little cheaper to purchase and install. Higher-end or rarer timber species tend to cost more than composite. For example, a popular timber at the moment called PCA (Pacific Crows Ash) will cost more than a composite material, but in general applications using timber will cost you less than composite decking. 


Composite decking is often easier to install than timber decking because the composite boards are supplied in one length, usually longer than 4.2m.

In comparison, timber planks come in a variety of random lengths which can add extra time to the installation process as the installer needs to map out the most efficient way to install the timber with minimal wastage. Timber will often not be straight and can require some manipulation to install correctly.

Composite decking is not as flexible as real timber and may need extra supporting elements during installation. 


It’s important to understand the maintenance that will be involved before purchasing your decking materials as this weighs into the decision. Minimal maintenance is the main selling point of composite decking when compared to timber.

Most timber would generally require at least yearly maintenance to keep it looking great and to ensure a longer lifespan for the deck, however this can vary depending on exposure to the elements and the type of timber. If you are not the type to enjoy spending hours maintaining your deck or not likely to pay someone to perform the maintenance for you, then perhaps you should consider the composite option.

Composite decking typically doesn’t require painting, staining, oiling or varnishing however some composite decking brands do require sealing to maintain the colour of the decking. 

Timber requires more maintenance to preserve its appearance. Some species require cleaning and oiling less often, but the biggest factor is exposure to the sun. Overtime UV rays will remove the natural colour pigments in the wood, creating a greying effect. Always check with your timber supplier about the frequency and best methods for maintaining your timber decking.

Lifespan of the product

Composite decking is considered highly durable and will have a long lifespan with minimal maintenance. Timber decking can also be highly durable when looked after properly. Hardwood options like jarrah, ironbark and burnt ash outperform cheap options like treated pine and will last much longer.

Some timbers like blackbutt and spotted gum are naturally fire resistant, making them an excellent choice for areas that are prone to bushfires. Timber species like jarrah and ironbark are naturally resistant to termites and rotting and an option like pacific teak performs well in coastal areas where high salt levels are an issue.


Well maintained timber decking is feels nicer to walk on than composite decking. When exposed to the hot sun, composite decking can become extremely hot to the point where you cannot walk barefoot on it. This can be a big consideration in particular where the customer has small children or pets that may be exposed to the extreme heat of the composite decking in Summer.

In contrast, timber regulates heat better and is cooler to walk on during the summer months.

When timber decking is not well maintained it can lose its structural integrity and may even splinter. It can also swell and shrink depending on humidity and weather conditions. If it swells too much it can come in contact with the other planks of timber and can permanently warp / change shape. Composite decking will not splinter like timber can and won’t change shape.

Composite V Timber. Which should you choose?

Ultimately this is a decision that only you can make. We are neutral in our opinion as we believe that both options can be suitable depending on the specifics of the project.

If you are looking for a highly durable, low maintenance option, composite might be right for you. However, if natural timber appearance, are worried about the surface becoming too hot and prefer a more environmentally sustainable option then timber decking might be a better option for you.

Feel free to contact us to discuss what option will be more suitable for you.

Industry News Patios

PPI are now stocking and installing Illume Skylights

Platinum Property Improvements (PPI) have recently become installers of Illume Skylights for clients throughout the Gold Coast.

Illume is an alternative to traditional skylights. Using a solar collector to source power to light the skylight. Being completely powered by solar energy there is no requirement for mains power or batteries, which means no electricity costs for the skylight.

The other benefit of Illume Skylights is that there is less disturbance to the roof structure, which minimises the change of any roof leaks. In addition, traditional skylights also transfer unwanted heat into the area below and tend to clog up with bugs – all of this is avoided with Illume.

Illuyme Skylights in outdoor patio installations

The team at PPI have recently started including Illume Skylights in their outdoor patio cover installations throughout the Gold Coast. These skylights look very classy and allow more light into the outdoor patio area.

If you are located on the Gold Coast and would like a price or more information on a flyover patio (or any other type of patio) with or without Illume Skylights, please contact Platinum Property Improvements for an obligation free quote.

Industry News

PVC Fencing Gaining Popularity on the Gold Coast

We are all familiar with the more common fencing styles that are used throughout the Gold Coast such as colorbond, timber, brick and modular wall fences, however one option perhaps not as well-known as its counterparts is the stylish PVC fencing option.

This style of fencing is gaining popularity and they always attract a lot of positive comments when we build them.

We use the highest quality PVC fencing designed and manufactured in Australia to suit the harsh Australian conditions. Our PVC products are backed by a 50-year warranty (platinum series) and 30-year warranty (gold series). Interested? Read on…

PVC Fencing Installer

What is PVC Fencing?

All PVC products are made from a combination of vinyl resin and various additives, which gives these products their particular properties.
Some of the additives commonly used in PVC include the following:

  • Impact modifiers improve impact strength, or resistance of the profile to cracking or breaking.
  • UV inhibitors protect the finished product from damaging rays of the sun.
  • Pigments provide consistent color throughout the product.

What Styles are Available?

We offer all types of PVC fencing however our most popular requests are for post and rail fencing and gates (for rural properties), and privacy fencing.

It’s Virtually Maintenance Free

  • PVC requires no painting or treating.
  • No rusting.
  • Is non-porous, therefore mildew and mold cannot get a hold.
  • Is easily cleaned with a solution of mild household detergent and water.
  • Termites also won’t eat it.

It Reduces Noise

Independent studies have shown that a steel fence will actually amplify noise. A PVC fence however assists in reducing noise thanks to internal air pockets. Tests have shown that noise is reduced by up to 23db.

It’s Safe For Livestock/Horses

PVC Fencing products have smooth surfaces with no nails, sharp edges or splinters. The specially designed rail notching system allows the rail to pop out of the post under severe impact, rather than breaking. A wooden fence would be inclined to break and leave sharp points and splinters which could impale the horse.

Want more information?

Here at Platinum Property Improvements we pride ourselves on being able to provide our customers throughout the Gold Coast with a selection of high quality fencing products to suit every lifestyle. From Colorbond fences to Modular Walls and everything in between, we only build fences with products that are sourced from reputable suppliers to ensure that your investment is second to none in style and quality.

If you like what you see and want to know more, give us a call. We would love to discuss all your renovation needs and we happily provide all of our customers with obligation free quotes. Please call Graeme on 1300 774 753 or submit an online enquiry.

Carports Industry News Patios

Patio & Carport Council Regulations Explained

Patio and Carport Council Approval

It’s the most commonly asked question when we arrive on site to complete a quote on a Carport or Patio…

“Do I need to get Gold Coast City Council (or other councils) approval?”

The answer is in most cases will be yes as council regulations are fairly strict, however there are exceptions and we at Platinum Property Improvements are happy to assist you where possible through this process.

More often than not, we use a general rule that any new (not replacement) structure to be built that is attached or freestanding that is over 10m2, should ideally have council approval. Whilst it is sometimes possible to get away with not getting council approval, it is likely that any unapproved structures will cause issues when it comes to selling your property. Buyers can be spooked by unapproved structures, causing them to wonder what other shortcuts have been taken and in turn lowering the potential amount of buyers or the price buyers are willing to pay. They may request you demolish the structure or discount the price as a result. In addition, council can order the structure to be demolished if it is not able to be modified to meet their requirements.

The second most common question prospective clients ask us is “What are my limitations or rules I need to keep in mind when designing my new Carport or Patio?” It’s a very valid question because you don’t want to have an idea or create a design that will just get rejected by the council and have to be redesigned!

Below are some general guidelines to help you understand the restrictions or limitations to take into account…

How close can I build my Colorbond® Patio to my boundary wall/fence??

  • General rule is no closer than 1.5m from the side and/or rear boundary, and 6m setback from the front boundary if you are putting a Patio on the front of your property (rare).
  • There are exceptions where you can build 900mm, however there is an additional cost and council process which can be applied for, called ‘town planning relaxation’.
  • If the above is granted, you can have your posts set at 900mm from boundary, but hang the non-combustible roofing 450mm further than the posts, essentially like an overhang.
  • If you are prepared to build a fire rated wall eg. Brick, then with the town planning relaxation approval, you can build hard on the boundary.

How close to the front/side boundary can I build a Colorbond® Carport?

It is quite common for property owners on the Gold Coast to build close to or on the front or side boundaries as they attempt to gain more use out of their land. To build a carport in the front 6000mm, you simply require a ‘town planning relaxation’ which providing its approved, will allow you to build on the front and/or side boundaries. Gold Coast City Council have a number of regulations relating to carports, such as:

  • No structures are generally permitted within 6000mm from your front boundary (not the road or the gutter or where the wheelie bin sits etc)
  • If less than 9m in length, the structure can be built within 1.5m of a side boundary
  • A good guide for your front boundary line can be the end of a side fence, your letterbox, or even a power box
  • The maximum height of the carport at road front elevation is 3 metres from the ground level to the top of the fascia for a hip, Dutch gable or parapet roof, 3 metres ‘mean’ height from the ground level to the top of the fascia for a skillion roof, and 3.5 metres from the ground level to the top of the ridge for a gable ended roof.
  • The maximum width at road front is 6m for a double carport from outside pier to outside pier, or 7.2m if you have eaves (600mm eaves each side).
  • If your carport has eaves it cannot hang over the front boundary.
  • The carport should be set back a min of 150mm to ensure the gutters do not protrude.

There are many other regulations but the above gives a little bit of an insight into how strict councils building regulations are.

A lot of the rules and regulations can actually change between zones (estates, suburbs, etc) between the Gold Coast and Brisbane.

Useful links:

GCCC Carports & Garages

GCCC Building Setbacks and other info