How To Build A Timber Deck
Building your own timber deck is a fantastic DIY project for anyone looking to move from beginner projects to more advanced challenges but still quite simple. We have outlined the basic processes you need to follow below.
Planning and safety
Before you start building your deck, you first need to plan out exactly what you’re going to do, where you will build, and what safety measures you will take to keep yourself safe and protected. Having the correct safety gear is obviously paramount, but you also need to think about how you will dispose of excess timber and cut-offs.
If you have young children or pets in your home, make sure your work area is clearly cordoned off and that you have warned everyone what kind of work you will be doing out there.
Prepare the oversight
With your plans in hand, you are ready to prepare your chosen location. Preparing the ground properly now will avoid issues in the future, so it’s worth doing right.
If you aren’t using an under-deck drainage system, you should build your deck on a free draining oversite with a gradient of around 1 in 40.
Once you’ve identified the site for your deck, place pegs in the ground to mark the corners. You can then use string line to measure the dimensions. Clear away any rocks and other debris from the site and spray some weed killer or remove the grass.
Build the frame
Before you can build your frame, you need to set out your piers or decide whether you will be laying over an existing concrete slab.
The most popular method is the former, and for a good reason. It’s the approach that we would recommend. Building a raised deck gives it a solid footing and ensures it is strong and durable. Raising it off the ground also prevents it from absorbing rainwater and also prevents termite attack. We can also supply termite resistant timbers for your deck.
With the area set out and positioned, you then need to mark out where the posts will go. They can be placed as per a design that we can do for you. Posts/ Piers are generally at regular intervals. You can dig holes for them and pour concrete into each one. You should give the concrete about a week to set.
Attach the frame to the building
Most decks are fixed to a building using ledger board or the preferred option is a bearer close to the house.The deck joists attach with hangers or place the joists on top of the bearer.
Use joist capping over the bearers and joists to keep water off the top of the joists.
Fit the Newel posts and boards
Newel posts are attached to the outer frame for railings to rest on if the posts are too far apart and you have a roof over the deck. You should fix these before you lay the boards down.
Preparing the Decking boards
You must oil or coat the decking on both sides twice before laying to increase the life of the deck. At Sarwood we have Quantum timber deck oil that you can use to do this.
Fitting the boards
Starting with the boards nearest to your building, position each board where you want it to go. Remember to leave a gap between each one, so they have room to expand when it’s wet. It’s worth positioning all the boards before fixing them or doing groups of five boards.
Where the decking passes over joists they are fixed down with our range of stainless screws or nails. Pre-Drilling holes is sometimes required at the ends of the boards unless you use our special range of screws that requires no pre-drilling except for the ends to prevent the decking splitting.
Sarwood Building Supplies in Ballina stocks timber supplies and everything you need to build your own timber deck. Check out our building supplies and don’t hesitate to contact us if you need any advice or guidance.