A deck is a great way to add appeal and value to your garden. It can also provide your family with some much-needed outdoor living space. If you feel handy, you may be able to DIY this project in less than a week. Follow these steps to lay your decking boards properly and get advice on decking costs.
Plan and prepare your deck
Before you start excavating your garden, make sure you measure and mark out your deck. If you already have an existing tile or concrete slab, it may provide the perfect foundation for your decking boards.
You can also lay a deck over your lawn. After you mark the deck perimeter with string, you’ll need to remove about 50 mm of topsoil. Cover the ground with landscaping fabric, and fill the area with gravel and stones to support the timber.
Add the wall plate and frame
If any side of your deck will touch the exterior of your home, you’ll need to affix it to a wall plate. Use a spirit level to ensure your wall plate gets positioned correctly, and allow enough room to accommodate windowsills. You will attach the wall plate directly to the wall of your home using a drill, wall plugs, and 100 mm screws.
Both freestanding and attached decks need a frame. You can build a sturdy frame using large pieces of timber. Connect each piece using screws. You’ll need to add internal joists and noggins as you assemble the frame. These components will support the decking boards.
Lay the decking boards
Once you finish building and installing the frame, you are ready to lay the decking boards. For the best results, always use structural treated timber and sand the ends to remove splinters. Experts recommend pre-drilling all screw holes to prevent cracking the wood. Attach the boards to the frame using 64 mm decking screws. Always maintain a gap of 5-8 mm between each board to allow for wood expansion.
Continue laying each board until you cover the entire frame. If you need to cut any boards to allow room for an obstacle, do so using a jigsaw. Once you finish laying all the boards, you can add the fascia, if you desire. Fascia creates a more finished look, but it’s completely optional. Use packers underneath the boards to level your fascia, and secure it into place with 64 mm screws.
Installing the final touches
Consider adding lighting, railings, or foliage to your deck to create a warm ambience. Rope lighting, for example, is both easy to install and cheap to purchase. Add your favourite outdoor table and chair set, and your finished deck is finally ready for your family to enjoy all year long.