Building decking at a holiday home or caravan park

Adding decking to your caravan park, static caravan or holiday home is a great way to create extra space. It allows you or your guests to enjoy the great outdoors all year round. However, there are some key things to consider. As well as the look and price, you also need to think about the health and safety elements.

Do you need to carry out a risk assessment? Is everything fire safe? Are there more requirements necessary?

We have put together a list of things you will need to take into consideration for both a static caravan within a wider caravan park and a holiday home.

Caravan parks and static caravans

Adding decking or skirting to your static caravan can be a great way to provide more space for your living area. It can also help to reduce draughts and protect pipes.

Firstly, it’s important to check with the caravan park if you can do so. You will need to look at your pitch licence agreement, as this could specify any guidelines or requirements. Most of the time, particularly with decking, you need to have permission first. They may also have specifications or a decking fitter in mind to build it.

Fire safety

Obviously, with timber decking, the biggest risk to tourists is fire. The UK Government provides fire safety risk assessment material to anybody responsible for sleeping accommodations. This would include static caravans within a caravan park. It explains what an assessment is and how to carry one out. They also advise on further precautions to make sure everyone is kept safe.

Fire can spread rapidly between caravans if they are not adequately spaced. Therefore, adding decking to your caravan is likely to reduce this distance even further. So, it’s important to consider this when thinking about the shape and size of your desired deck. It may also be tempting to use the underneath of your caravan decking for storage. But if what you are storing is particularly combustible this can also be very dangerous.

Proper ventilation

The British Holiday & Home Parks Association (BH&HPA) and the National Caravan Council (NCC) have published guidelines for good practice for those who own a static caravan. One section refers to precautions regarding skirting or decking.   

Adequate ventilation needs to be considered before your decking is built. It’s a matter of health and safety and some caravan parks will enforce this. Installing ventilation prevents the build-up of dangerous gas underneath the decking.

The guideline of good practice recommends that ventilation should provide ‘at least twice’ the amount of ventilation that is provided in the caravan. It should also sit ‘as low as possible within the skirting wall.’ Should the caravan sit on sloping ground then ventilation needs to be provided at the lowest point. The exact specifications for ventilation within a static caravan can be found in the EN721 document available from the British Standards Institution (BSI).

Holiday homes

Installing a decking area to your holiday home can add both financial value and experiential value to your property. It not only extends the size of your home, but also makes the garden accessible all year round. It makes for a great outdoor dining or entertainment area while also making space to relax.

First things first, you’ll need to investigate whether planning permission is required. You don’t normally need it if your decking area is going to be lower than 300mm high. The best way to check is to go to your Local Planning Authority.

Escape routes

As with the caravan park, a fire safety risk assessment is a legal requirement for all holiday homes.

If you choose timber decking and you’re likely to be having a BBQ or a fire pit, there is a fire risk. If this is something you’re concerned about, bamboo decking is non-combustible.  

All floor surfaces within escape routes should be ‘maintainable, even and slip resistant’. If your escape route includes your new deck, ensure that it’s cleaned regularly and has non-slip properties. To cater for all types of guests, also consider installing a ramp or slope to and from your decking for accessibility.

Slip hazards

Minimising slip hazards is also going to be one of the biggest considerations when installing decking in your holiday home. Non-slip decking is a safe and stylish alternative to other, more slippery styles of decks. Our products boast a non-slip guarantee of 15 years. Be sure to clear the deck of algae and moss regularly to maintain it to its fullest.

Installing a sturdy railing or balustrade can also help to prevent an accident if your guests are likely to be families. This will ensure your outdoor decking area is perfectly safe for children to play on.

Do you offer your guests the luxury of a hot tub or a swimming pool? Of course, where there is water, there is a slip hazard. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has guidance related to running and managing swimming pools specifically. They recommend that all surrounding floors have:

✓ Slip-resistant finishes
✓ A steady, even gradient
✓  Surface roughness
✓  Moisture displacement
✓  Foot grip


Our non-slip decking ranges are safe and bare-foot friendly for use around hot tubs and pools. When it comes to treating the wood, the higher the Usage Class the better. 3 is recommended as a minimum, however, if the deck is constantly exposed to moisture, UC4 or SS4 is best.

 

Gripsure

There are plenty of key considerations to make when choosing to build decking at a caravan park or holiday home. Ultimately, it will make a great addition to any property so long as you’ve taken precautions and completed risk assessments. The health and safety of your guests will no doubt be a priority.

Our non-slip decking range can give you the peace of mind you need. Know that your guests will be safe no matter the weather or the number of people in the pool!

You can request a quote from us here or get in touch with one of our friendly team members if you have any more questions.


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