Have you recently installed or are thinking of installing composite decking boards for your home? You may want to double check if those boards actually meet the necessary safety and compliance standards.

Many popular composite decking products sold in Australia are not actually codemarked or compliant with Australian Standards.

Before you start building that dream deck, it’s important to understand what this means and how it could affect you. Non-compliant building materials can be dangerous and in some cases void home insurance policies or warranties. As a homeowner, the last thing you want is to invest time and money into a deck that causes harm or isn’t covered if something goes wrong. Read on to learn why composite decking compliance is so important and how you can make sure your deck is built to code.

Composite decking boards are a popular choice these days thanks to their durability and low-maintenance. But did you know that many of the most well-known brands don’t actually comply with Australian building standards? Before you instal composite decking, it’s important to understand what it is and why proper certification matters.

What Is Composite Decking?

Composite decking is made from a blend of wood fibres and plastic polymers. The wood provides structure while the plastic protects from weather, insects, and rot. Composite decking comes in a range of styles resembling natural wood grains.

Why Is Certification Important?

In Australia, building products must meet certain standards to be used in construction. Composite decking is required to pass fire safety tests, have proper slip resistance, and meet structural requirements. Without certification to Australian Standards, composite decking may not perform as expected, posing risks like trip hazards or difficulty accessing emergency exits.

Before purchasing composite decking, check that the brand holds a current CodeMark certificate of conformity. This shows an independent review has verified the product meets all regulated criteria for its intended use. If not CodeMark-certified, the decking will require additional approval through a performance-based solution to comply with building codes.

Composite decking offers an attractive, low-maintenance option for outdoor spaces. However, it’s critical to choose a brand that’s properly certified for safety, quality, and peace of mind. Your deck is an investment that should stand the test of time, so don’t cut corners when it comes to compliance with building standards.

The Issue With Non-Codemarked Composite Decking

If you've installed composite decking that isn't officially approved for use in Australia, you could face some serious issues down the line. Many popular brands of composite deck boards haven't been codemarked, meaning they don't meet the minimum standards for safety and performance.

Without the codemark, there's no guarantee your decking will hold up to harsh weather conditions or heavy foot traffic. It may start sagging, warping or developing trip hazards much sooner than a compliant product. The decking also hasn’t been tested for fire resistance, so it could be a hazard in bushfire-prone areas.

If you plan to sell your home, non-compliant decking could pose problems. Buyers and building inspectors will want to see certification proving the deck meets building codes. If you can’t provide it, they may ask you to replace the decking before the sale goes through.

Local councils and homeowners associations can also take issue with non-conforming building products. They may require you to remove and replace the decking to meet community standards. Failure to comply can result in penalties and legal action.

The risks far outweigh any small savings from choosing a non-certified product. For your safety, convenience and peace of mind, only purchase composite decking materials with an official codemark certifying they meet or exceed Australian building standards. Your deck will last longer, and you’ll avoid potential headaches down the road.

Ensuring You Choose Compliant Composite Decking

To avoid the headache of non-compliant building products, do your due diligence when choosing composite decking. Check that the product you want to use has a current CodeMark certification before purchasing. This means it’s been evaluated to meet the performance requirements of the National Construction Code.

If there’s no CodeMark, ask the supplier for documentation showing compliance with Australian Standards for things like fire testing (AS 1530) and structural stability (AS/NZS 1170). They should also provide instructions for proper installation and maintenance to ensure safety and code-compliance. It may be necessary to get a performance-based design solution created by an engineer to allow the use of that product.

As a consumer, there are a few steps you can take. First, search online for the brand and product name along with terms like “code compliance”, “Australian Standards” or “CodeMark”. Check what others are saying about that product’s certification and compliance. If there are concerning reports, it may be best to choose an alternative.

You should also ask the retailer directly about compliance and certification for the specific product you want to buy. Get copies of any paperwork to review before purchasing. If they can’t confirm compliance or are hesitant to provide documentation, that’s a red flag.

Once you’ve installed the decking, keep records of the product details, specifications and any certifications or compliance information in case questions arise down the road. Having this information on hand will help ensure your deck meets regulations and avoids issues.

Choosing compliant composite decking materials from the start will give you peace of mind that your deck is safe, secure and built to last. Do your homework and don’t get caught with non-conforming building products!


It's important to do your research before purchasing and installing this material. Don't expect that suppliers or retailers have checked into the adequecy of the product they are selling. They should have as that is also part of the law, but often what should happen and what does happen are not the same.

As a homeowner, the last thing you want is to fork out thousands of dollars for a flashy new deck only to have issues down the track or run into legal trouble. Make sure any composite decking you buy has been properly tested and codemarked to ensure it will stand the test of time and keep you on the right side of the law.

Click on the link below to read what the QBCC had to say about composite decking boards in May 2023