How To Build A Deck
Why You Should Build A Deck
Decking will transform your garden and bring the benefits of outdoor living to your home. Even a small area of decking with the
natural warm color and texture of wood will benefit your garden. Your new deck can be a place for barbecues with friends and family, a safe play
area, a relaxing spot for morning coffee, or a romantic outdoor dining room. A deck can enhance your home and how you use it in so many ways.
There is a great range of wood and other materials to choose from when planning to build your deck as well as many other
features. Balustrades, steps, a gate, skirting and a multiplicity of project finishers give plenty of scope to create a deck that reflects your
How To Design A Deck?
Before you can build a deck you need to design it and the very first design step is deciding the best position for your deck.
Decide whether you prefer a sunny or shady site and reflect on which direction the prevailing wind comes from. Think about how you will access
the deck e.g. will you be using a path, walkway or steps. Also bear in mind that you might want to extend and add to it later. Imagine the view
you will get from your deck once it is constructed and also what view it will obscure. Mark out the position with pegs so you can see
exactly what space it will occupy. Finally, keep the size of the deck in proportion to the garden and house.
Which Deck Board?
A simple ground level deck consists of a sub-frame made up of outer joists and inner joists overlaid with deck boards. There is a
wide choice of deck boards including:
The classic decking style with warm color tones and soft to touch. Softwood blends easily into the surrounding landscape.
Hardwood is the wood to choose if you want a quality finish that is hard to beat. It is extremely
durable, easy to maintain and weather resistant. It is also much more expensive.
Composite decking is made from recycled timber and PVC and is tough, durable and almost maintenance free. It is easily laid using special screws
and fixing clips.
Heat treated Scandanavian softwood which has a tough, water resistant finish that will last for at least fifteen years.
GrasseDeck ® (Finnforest)
A deck with a green textile finish which complements its green surroundings.
It is suitable for sunbathing or as a childrens play area.
Preparing The Decking Site
Mark out the dimensions of the deck. Tap pegs into the ground and stretch string between them to give you a line to work to. Make
sure your layout is square by measuring the diagonals. Remove the turf making a neat edge along the outside of the string, remove any stones and
debris and firm the ground. Do not disturb any underground cables or pipes. Level the area accurately using a spirit level with a length of wood
as a straight edge. Cut a piece of building membrane a little larger than the size of the deck and lay it over the prepared area. Spread travel
over the membrane to a depth of about 40mm. This will prevent unwanted vegetation sprouting under the deck.
If the ground is wet then you should raise the deck off the ground using concrete pads.
If your site is sloping you will need to find out how to build a raised deck.
Making The Decking Sub-frame
First, cut the outer joists to the correct length and fix allowing for the timber overlap at the corners. Cut the inner
joists to length and lay them in place inside the frame. Check the frame is square by measuring across the diagonals and make sure the timbers
are level then fix the inner joists to the outer frame
How to Lay Deck Boards and Deck Tiles
The final stage of building a deck is laying the deck boards. Reversible deck boards can be laid with either the smooth or ridged
side up. Lay the deck boards on to the sub-frame so that they overlap the edge and then trim to fit or alternatively cut to the correct length as
you lay them.
Adjacent boards should have staggered joins as this looks more sttractive and increases the strength of the deck. Leave a gap of
3mm between boards to allow for drainage and movement. Fix each board to the subframe at every joist using two 50mm deck screws evenly
Lastly, treat the newly cut wood with an end grain preserver and treat the deck with stain, varnish or preserver as required.