How to Build Decking

Learning how to build decking is not as hard as you think as long as you follow the steps indicated in the manufacturer’s manual. By just complying with basic DIY pointers and preparing the necessary materials for your decking project, you can easily complete the work from planning to completion.

It takes a lot of measuring, cutting and positioning especially if it’s your first time to do the work. While decks are built in almost the same way with others, you’re free to make up your own design depending on your requirements. While it’s more practical to reserve the job to a professional deck builder, knowing how to build decking helps you to arrive at the exact layout for your decking project.

1. Define your needs and preference.

Homeowners can never go wrong with proper planning. Just as any outdoor structures such as gazebos and pergolas, there are some factors to consider when choosing what materials to use for your deck.

  • Current home design to complement the deck
  • Level of maintenance required (cleaning, repairs, etc.)
  • Deck measurements
  • Budget needed
  • Preference and lifestyle of the house members

As you plan, verify if it:

  • Acts in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructional guide
  • Works well with your climate
  • Passes the council or local regulations

2. Choose the right decking materials.

Your choice of decking supplies and tools also determines the project’s outcome. Buying high-quality materials is essential to ensure the durability and longevity of the deck.

Materials to use for deck building:

  • String
  • Tape measure
  • Screws and nails
  • Bolts/nuts
  • Spacers
  • Caulking gun
  • Shovel
  • Dry concrete
  • Spirit Level
  • Hammer
  • Saw
  • Galvanised fasteners to attach the boards
  • Stiff brush
  • Decking cleaner, applicator and oil

3. Find the correct measure.

Knowing the right dimensions for each corner and where to position each board can help to prevent future building disasters. You may have to specify a few details before you work on the main procedures.

  • What size does your family prefer for deck construction?
  • Are you eyeing for a higher and wider outdoor structure?
  • What shape do you want for your deck?
  • Are you planning to make it as large as one of your rooms indoors?
  • Will you be attaching the deck into your house?

It’s important to finalise the overall size to give you an idea on the number of materials to purchase. It doesn’t have to be huge. A simple deck that makes the whole family comfortable brings satisfaction.

4. Start with the main process.

  • Prepare the ground surface by digging a hole for each post
  • Install the posts, bearers and the joists to strengthen your deck’s foundation
  • Position the frame using a spirit level to easily adjust if it’s not properly levelled
  • Secure the foundation by means of concreting the posts
  • Lay the decking boards on top of the joists
  • Secure the boards and use a spacer (can be a nail or screw) to align each board
  • Stain the deck and apply a decking oil for guaranteed protection

5. Protect your timber decking.

Decking oils are used to protect the deck from the harsh weather and external elements. If you want to extend its lifespan, it’s best to invest in waterproofing and sealing.

How to build decking on concrete

Building a deck on a concrete slab doesn’t have to be costly and difficult. Whether your existing slab needs a revamp or you just want to maximise the use of your concrete pavement, it’s best to:

  • Use it as a sturdy base (since concrete is used to withstand external elements)
  • Prepare the right materials such as the wood (timber, composite or treated pine) and tools
  • Get yourself protected with proper goggles, earpiece and arm covers
  • Attach the joist support (70 to 90mm) to the slab
  • Install and position the frame
  • Lay the boards evenly

Note: Be wary of badly cracked slabs as your newly structured deck may suffer over time.

How to build decking on grass

Before you start working, it’s good to check if the soil and grass can be built upon.

  • Get your desired measurement and hammer a hook on your prospective area
  • Remove the weeds or any debris such as rocks and leaves
  • Mow the lawn using a power tool
  • Use a spirit level and a straightedge to see if the ground is levelled
  • Remove the turf entirely
  • Pour a fair amount of weed control fabric to prevent weeds from growing
  • Double check the measurement and cut the deck boards using a saw
  • Lay the boards, drill a hole and fit the screws

Building a deck has plenty of advantages.

Investing in outdoor decks not only increases your property value but also lets you spend time with your loved ones. Owning a deck in your place allows you to enjoy the Australian climate without the need to go beyond your premises.

Learning the basics of how to build decking gives you the chance to construct your own whenever you decide to do so. If you’re thinking about when to initiate the task, spring and summer are the best time to build a deck. So grab your tools and get your handyman skills ready for the project! You may also call a reliable deck builder in your area for further assistance in buying the needed materials and forming the structure.

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