Building a Timber Decking Area
What do I need to consider when building garden decking?
First things first, you need to design your decking area. Do you want to use it for extra entertaining space, a BBQ area, al fresco dining or relaxing? The primary function will then dictate whether you want it to be in the shade or to be a sun trap, or whether you'd like it up against your house or isolated. Finally you need to decide on how big an area you'd like to cover.
When constructing your decking you need to think about drainage of water, if build against your property you will need to slightly slop the ground away from your walls. Also, you don't really want weeds or other plants growing under your decking as this can cause damage, rot or subsidence. This can be prevented by laying a weed proof membrane or adding gravel once the deck-base is in place and level.
Simple steps to preparing your ground:
- Use pegs, linked with string, to mark out the decking area – you'll need to ensure that all the corners are at right-angles.
- Next, remove any stone, debris or detritus from the area within the string square. If there is a lawn, remove the turf. The ground needs to be as level as possible, unless by a property wall.
- Lastly, you could add a anti-weed membrane or gravel
Building your deck bearer base:
The majority of our decking kits include a bearer base for your decking boards, if not here is how you build one.
- Ensure that all the bearer planks are cut to the same length as your deck boards
- Form a square (or rectangle) with four bearer joists, which forms the border of your decked area
- Fix these joists together and insert/fix cross-joists to this frame (opposite direction to how your boards will lay).
- Keep the structure square, throughout, using a spirit level.
Installing your timber decking boards:
- Place one decking board flush with the edge of your bearer frame and attach.
- Line-up the next board square with the first, leaving a set gap between them and attach to the frame.
- Repeat steps 8 to 9 until the frame is covered.
- To finish, clad the outer edge with decking boards.