How to have socially distanced meet ups on your decking

outdoor seating

Spring is in the air, and as the sunnier weather approaches, there’s a bit of optimism on the horizon. With cases gradually declining across the UK, the Prime Minister has announced a roadmap out of lockdown. We reached the first step on the 8th of March, with the widespread reopening of schools and changes in care home rules.

Lockdown restrictions will be further eased on the 29th of this month. The stay-at-home guidance will be dropped, the Rule of Six will return, and people from different families will be able to meet in outdoor spaces, such as parks and back gardens. So at long last, you might finally be able to host some guests out on your decking!

Now, social distancing rules will still be in place for the time being, but that doesn’t mean you have to call the whole thing off. You just need to be careful about how you adhere to them. So, we’ve got a couple of tips for you on how to see friends and family while still staying safe on your decking!

Create a space that flows

You’ve seen all the one-way systems in shops and supermarkets by now, helping strangers manoeuvre round each other while minimising close contact. Let’s be honest, not everyone sticks to them all the time, but they can still be helpful for you to implement out on your decking. For starters, it means that it’s easier to minimise the risk of close contact for more vulnerable members of your family. What’s more though, it’s just tidier and safer all round, as people have to spend less time trying to dodge round each other – especially while carrying plates and drinks!

You can set up your decking furniture in a rough circle to encourage a flow from the patio doors, all the way around the decking, and then back in again. You’ll need to think about what they can reach along the way, so that they don’t have to keep weaving between everyone else. (So make sure to place the drinks table fairly prominently, for example!)

Obviously children and pets can be the wild cards in these sorts of situations, so try and account for them by having clear, obvious pathways back inside – and be prepared for them to hurtle towards you at knee-height! If you’re optimistically planning a barbecue or something in the coming months, make sure these sorts of things are well away from those clear pathways.

garden party

Consider designated seating

In years gone by, everyone could sit more or less where they wanted, and quite right too. These days though, it’s possible that some of your visitors might be more vulnerable than others, so this is worth taking into consideration when you’re laying out your seating area.

For example, you can reserve your comfier or heavier decking furniture for visitors who are less mobile, and / or likely to be sitting down for longer periods. Meanwhile, teenagers and parents can have the lighter chairs, or those further towards the outskirts. This way, they don’t have to worry about picking their way out from the more densely packed areas when they fancy a change of scenery, or have to fetch something from out in the car. Now we know you might have trouble selling that scenario to some of your guests, but if they turn up at your house expecting to be fed and entertained, you’ll be well within your rights to set whatever ground rules you’re comfortable with.

Stay prepared for inclement weather

Let’s be honest, the weather’s always somewhat unpredictable in the UK, even during the sunnier months. The sun can go in and out, and occasionally the wind can end up being chillier than expected.

This is where pergolas can end up being quite so handy! They’re useful for shielding your decking from the elements all year round, whether that’s wind and rain or scorching sunshine. All of that’s equally likely in the British springtime, sometimes even in the same afternoon! As well as protecting you and your guests from being battered too much by the elements, a pergola also opens up a range of practical possibilities for your outdoor space – it’s a fantastic designated dining area, for example. (If that’s got your creative neurons firing, you can explore a few more ideas in more detail in our previous post about the benefits of pergolas for your decking.)

Whatever you end up planning, just remember the two golden rules – enjoy each others’ company, and stay safe!

If your decking project isn’t quite yet ready for Spring, then never fear – you’re in exactly the right place. Here at Savoy Timber we have a huge range of timber decking products available, making us your one-stop shop for decking. And don’t forget, composite decking boards are much more resistant to the effects of such extreme weather, so if you’re doing some maintenance on your deck it might be time for an upgrade!

If you fancy browsing our products for yourself, feel free to pay a visit to our DIY stores in Blackpool, Preston or Wigan. We’re dedicated to helping you to shop safely during the ongoing Covid-19 situation, so don’t forget to check our latest Covid-19 service update before you visit!