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LOOK: Not only did a Camps Bay family get a sleek new deck, the wood from the old one was used for panelling

Balau, a wood imported from the tropics, was used for the decking as it is able to withstand weather. Picture: Supplied

Balau, a wood imported from the tropics, was used for the decking as it is able to withstand weather. Picture: Supplied

Published Jan 6, 2022


It was satisfaction all around when carpenter Cornel Botha completed a new, integrated deck for clients in Camps Bay.

Botha believes his work has made a huge improvement to the property and he reports that the clients love it. “What they have now is all of a piece.”

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Previously, a high pine deck led down to the garden and then, a few metres away, the kitchen door opened onto a couple of steps down to the garden and pool area.

The brief was to create a sweeping deck leading from the back door to the steps up to the old upper deck.

From the new lower section, which was built over the unattractive concrete paving stones near the back door, new wide steps go down to garden level.

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Botha, who also builds kitchen and bedroom cupboards, as well as furniture, says: “The new deck allows the transition between the house and pool area and down to the garage. It looks so much better than the concrete paving that was there.”

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It ended up being a two-week job.

“The client wanted me to replace the decking on the old deck, as it was a bit unsafe and not in good shape, and then build the lower linking deck. So, I quoted on the tops, then realised some of the structure needed to be replaced too.”

Decking was extended to link the garage and step down to the pool area. Picture: Supplied

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The decking is balau, an all-weather wood imported from places like Malaysia and Borneo. When freshly cut it is golden in colour, but Botha says this will fade to silver in time.

It is an extremely hard-wearing wood, able to withstand anything the weather can throw at it without being varnished or finished.

The structure is varnished and treated South African pine – using balau for it would have been prohibitively expensive. Botha says the pine grown here is of good quality and that 95% of structural timbers in roofs is SA pine.

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Extending the decking from the garage gave improved access to the pool area. Picture: Supplied

The old decking did not go to waste. The planks were stripped off and used to create a feature wall in the garage, which is to be turned into a new bedroom for the clients’ son.

The versatile Botha’s next project will be for children.

Treated pine was used for the structure of the deck as it is economical and protects against beetles and termites. Picture: Supplied

“I want to make rocking horses – but they won’t be horses, they will be more African-orientated: rocking rhinos, lions, an elephant and even a shark. I’m also thinking of some dinosaurs.”

*Deck construction by High5. Contact Cornel Botha at 082 953 0954.

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