There’s every reason that you might want a deck or skirt on your static caravan, and we completely get that. Well, as long as you consult with your park operator and a local contractor, you should be happy with your deck for years to come!
There are set regulations for static caravans when it comes to living in them, renting them out and even changing features such as the interior and exterior. These regulations are in place to help keep the static caravan safe and in good condition for both yourself and visitors to the site.
In this article we are going to talk about these regulations that are in place, who is in charge of them and what exactly you can do to yoru static caravan decking.
What Regulations Are In Place For Static Caravan Decking?
Generally speaking, static caravan decking and skirting are regulated by the owner of the caravan park upon which your caravan sits. They’re a private company that owns the land privately, so it’s unlikely that you’ll have to jump through too many legal loops aside from safety ones which must be followed by everyone.
To get started, you should check through the contract that you have with the operator of your park, and, using that, see what steps you need to go through to get approval. Different park operators will require different things of tenants that want to build decking, but by and large, they will all require at least written consent. The only way to know for sure what they require and desire is to check your contract.
When considering your application for decking, the owner of the park you’re on is likely to consider three things first and foremost: ventilation, space, and preferred contractors.
Firstly, the owner of any caravan park will be concerned about the ventilation under your caravan. There are a number of regulations that govern the amount of ventilation that is needed in different caravan parks, and your park owner will likely be able to furnish you with a set of requirements.
These requirements will be based on the law, and so you must follow them to the letter – safety laws about gas buildup and ventilation are put in place to keep people safe, so make sure to understand the rules fully before you start building.
The owner and operator of your caravan park may have a specific set of contractors or materials that they feel would be best for the project that you’re embarking upon. While their recommendations might not be ideal for you, it is worth considering. You only need to build a deck once, but the park operator will have had a lot of experience with it.
The final thing that the operator of your park might be concerned about when you’re considering building a deck is how much space you might fill up. A lot of caravan parks are built-in spots where space might come at a premium, such that you get an allotted portion of land as a garden, and that’s all you get.
If you want to fill that land, the park operator may disallow the building, as it would alter the resale value of your plot. Generally speaking, talking to park operators about this will clear up any questions you might have, and they’re likely to be supportive, or at least work towards a compromise.
Can You Change The Decking Around A Static Caravan?
You certainly can change the decking around your static caravan! There are a couple of things that you’d need to bear in mind though.
First things first, you need to speak to the manager of the park that your caravan is within. They will likely have either built that decking themselves or have overseen construction by a previous tenant. This means that they will be able to direct you to the company that installed the decking, and perhaps even get you a family and friends discount.
If you’re replacing the decking due to the material itself degrading over time, then consider using a different material. Typically, either wood or uPVC are common materials used for building decks on static caravans. If a wooden deck was installed a long time ago, then it may have started to degrade. A uPVC deck may last longer and can come in a number of different color options to boot.
Do You Need To Use Special Materials?
There are three different materials that are often used for decking and skirting on static caravans: wood, uPVC, and metal.
Wood is used most commonly as it is very cheap relative to a number of other materials that can be used. On top of that, It fits in with the rustic aesthetic strived for by a number of different caravan parks and can be ideal for cheaply upgrading your static home.
A drawback of using wood is that wood itself can be quite susceptible to damage. On the one hand, wood is likely to rot and mold if it is not treated correctly. This may mean that you have to have regular maintenance done to the deck in order to keep it in good shape. Also, fire is obviously a concern for wooden decking.
While both of these problems can be solved by properly treated a wooden deck, the treatment process adds additional costs.
uPVC decks have become a lot more common in recent years. The material itself is quite cheap, plus the decks can be quite easy to put together. Static caravans are largely the same size as each other, which means that you wouldn’t need to custom make parts for your desk. Instead, standard fixtures and fittings can be mass-produced and used simple – this cuts down on the cost greatly.
Another benefit of uPVC is that it’s incredibly durable to the elements. While it doesn’t have the same tensile strength as wood, it is completely waterproof, and won’t rot or collapse when regularly exposed to water. It may begin to stain if mold or moss grows on it, but that’s nothing that hot, soapy water and a sponge can’t handle.
The main drawback of uPVC decks is the aesthetic. Wooden decks are traditional, and, as we said above, can provide a look that fits with a simple rustic aesthetic. uPVC decks don’t have this and can look more modern and sleek than people often desire. Of course, this is a matter of personal preference, but it is worth bearing in mind.
Can The Decking Be Replaced By Yourself?
In theory, you could replace your own caravan decking. However, unless you have experience in doing this and things like it, we’d recommend that you don’t do that. The things that become tricky when doing this yourself are threefold: leveling the ground, making decking long-lasting, and upfront costs.
If you don’t have access to a large volume of professional-grade tools and equipment, then leveling ground can be quite tricky indeed. If you’ll be laying decking on something that’s already level like paving slabs, then the process might be easier. If you’re laying decking on grass or earth, however, then it can become more tricky – we’d definitely recommend a contractor for this task.
One of the reassuring things about using a contractor to build and install your decking is that they’ll likely offer a guarantee of some type for a period of time after they’ve built your deck. Whether that’s a three-year quality assurance or a period of guaranteed repairs, it’s reassuring to know that the contractors believe in their work.
If you build your own decking, you won’t have this guarantee. Instead, you’ll be subject to any mistakes that you make, from aligning decking planks to waterproofing the floor. Any mistake that you make can be very expensive, another reason that we’d recommend using a contractor.
The final reason that we’d recommend using a contractor is that they will likely be able to source materials at a discounted rate as they’re in the trade. This means that their valuable skills will come at a great price, as you’ll be paying a lower price for the materials alone.