With summer in full swing, now is the perfect time to put that decking in your backyard to good use, be it for barbecues or to catch some sun.
And if you always wanted to lay a deck but never got round to it, here’s your chance.
At the same time, if you’ve always wanted to lay a deck but never got round to it, here’s your chance.
It may sound like a hard job, but laying a deck is easy as pie, and the experts at Wickes have everything you need to do it right.
Before you start, you should check with planning authorities, though, to make sure you don’t need planning permissions.
To keep the peace, you might also want to warn your neighbors, especially if you’re building a more substantial structure.
Step 1 – Planning
First of all, location is everything, not just in terms of your privacy – decks in permanent shade can be affected by damp or algae growth, so they might need more care.
Essentially, it’s up to you where you build your deck, but make sure to avoid wet areas completely.
Decking may be fairly easy to install, but planning it as accurately as possible is crucial. It limits waste and also spares you you from having to take emergency trips because you didn’t buy enough boards!
Plan for a slight slope – ideally a 1:80 fall – to allow rain water run-off; for maximum effect, use fluted boards.
Mark out the area, remove turf and five centimeters of top soil and make sure the ground is firm, and then it’s time to start the actual handiwork.
Step 2 – The Base
If you’ve got a foundation, like an old patio or concrete base, you can use this to make the job easier – if you don’t, you’ll have to create a base for the wooden bearers your deck will rest on.
For this, place paving slabs in each corner of your plot, and in every place where a bearer will rest; mark them, replace the soil with gravel, and put your slabs back on.
Roll out, cut and trim landscape fabric to fit around the slabs before covering the membrane with a thick, even layer of gravel. (If you need the membrane to overlap, make sure you’ve got at least 10 centimeters.)
On to the outer frame! Mark, cut and lay it using decking bearers. Always make sure the frame rest flat and is supported before joining it with two external grade 150mm screws at each corner.
While working, use a spirit level to make sure your frame remains flat, and measure its’ diagonals to check if the corners are square.
Step 3 – The Boards
Depending on whether you want your boards laid out in a chevron, horizontal or diagonal pattern, lay your intermediate bearers accordingly and double check you have the correct numbers.
Then it’s time to lay the boards; to fix them, predrill all fixing points, which will prevent splitting before fixing your boards to the bearers with two 64mm decking screws.
It’s important to keep even spaces between adjacent boards. To ensure even spacing, use an offcut of wood, which you can easily move from board to board as you work.
If you’re looking to trim boards for an even edge, mark the wood before cutting overhang with a jigsaw; for a curved edge, use a string line to mark the arc.
To finish it all off, add deck board around the edges to give your project a neat, even finish.
Step 4 – Care
Decks are generally easy to care for.
If yours is located entirely or partially in year-round shade, you will need to keep an eye out for algae growth and dampness.
They make the boards slippery and have a negative effect on your project’s lifetime – but with a good clean and timber treatment once a year, those effects can easily be counteracted.
And if you’re ever stuck, or need some expert advice tailored to your garden, the experts at Wickes are happy to help you, plan what you need to do you project right