A decking area can be a beautiful feature in your garden – it could be a great place for socialising in the summer or simply eating al fresco. Creating a decking area can be simple and rewarding. Here are some of the steps you’ll want to take when building a deck in your garden.
Choose a style
It’s up to you which style you choose for your decking – it could be raised with stairs or it could be fairly low much like a patio. You could opt for simple horizontal decking or you could try something more ambitious such as your own diagonal design (this guide will focus solely on the horizontal design and you may want to try this first before experimenting with patterns). Make sure that you know the style and size first before beginning.
Buy your materials
You can buy timber for decking from sites such as George Hill Timber. Decide whether you want the wood to be pre-treated or whether you want to apply this finish yourself. You may also be able to find stylish decking boards with grooves and other features. On top of timber, you’ll want to buy lots of screws. If you don’t want to source and measure out these materials yourself, you can always buy a decking kit – these come with instructions are a lot more convenient for beginner DIYers.
Create a level, weed-free area
Your decking needs to be built on a flat and weed-free area. Take time to dig up this area and flatten it out – use a plank of wood and a spirit level to check that it is flat. Mulch up the soil to prevent weeds – you don’t want plants growing up through your decking. You can buy long-lasting weed-killers from companies such as Agrigem or to stay chemical free cover the ground in weed blankets.
Build the base and frame
Once you have an area for placing your decking, start laying down the initial framework. You may want to support this frame with stone blocks and slabs to ensure that it’s stable. If you’re raising the frame, you’ll want a block of wood in each corner to serve as a leg – screw these to the inside of the frame using three screws per block in order to make the frame stable. After you have your initial square frame, start placing joists horizontally over the top – these will support the decking laid on top. Consider supporting these joists with extra legs to ensure that your frame is as stable as possible. Better to be too stable than sorry.
Begin laying the deck
Once you have a frame, you can start laying the decking over the top. When laying these out, it’s important that you leave 5mm gap between each board – this is because timber will expand in warmer temperatures. You can then start screwing these boards to the joists. To minimise splitting when putting in screws, consider drilling a pilot hole first. For every joist, make sure to use two screws in order to keep your decking secure.
If the wood is already pre-treated – voila, you have a deck! Of course, there are more ambitious features that you may want to consider adding such as stairs for access, railings for safety and possibly even a wooden roofed veranda for shelter from the elements.
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