Creating your very own garden decking is not only possible, but it can also be a meaningful family project. However, the process can be quite complicated, especially for those who had no prior experience to deck building. But as long as you have the materials, the tools, and the willingness to learn, building a deck will be very satisfying and fulfilling.
If you are planning to build a garden deck all by yourself, here are the steps that you should follow.
- Before Construction – Before the after the construction process, you must first plan the decking. You will need to consider the size, the shape, and the location, among other things. Aside from the design, you should also be familiar with the materials that you’ll be using. Will you be using composite decking, wooden decking, or PVC? Aside from the actual deck, you will also need a few other materials.
- Be Familiar with the Tools You’ll be using – Part of the planning process is to ready all the tools you’ll be using. It’s also necessary to learn all safety precautions when working with these tools. You can look up more detailed information about these topics.
- Preparing the Construction Area. Now that you have a solid grasp of deck building and the required materials and tools, it’s time to ready your garden. You will need to mark the area with pegs and strings. Make sure to remove all obstruction in the area. You will also want to remove weeds so it won’t damage your decking in the future. For best results, use a weed killer and cover the ground with durable landscaping fabric.
- Start Building the Deck Frame. After preparing your garden, it’s now time to build the structure that will serve as the foundation. For this, you will need to create a deck frame. There are many ways to go about it. Some will lay the outer frame straight on the ground. Others chose to install concrete slabs. While for some, they’ll be making an elevated deck. Depending on how you want it to be, instructions will be slightly different. You can find more detailed instructions on the internet on how to do so.
- Finish the Frame. After building the basic frame of the deck, you will need to attach it to the intended part of your home. At this time, you will also need to place the joists and finish the frame. You’ll need to determine what type of joists to use. For the joists and the frame, it’s best to use pressure-treated wood or composite decking materials. It will protect the frame, and by extension, the deck, from damage. It would help if you also considered how thick and how spaced-out the joist will be. Thicker joists can withstand more load but can be more difficult to work with. Spacing is also crucial. It will determine how stable your deck will be.
- Placing The Decking Boards. You have the foundation, the frame, and the joists, it’s now time to install the decking boards. For this, you can choose different materials. For some, they prefer the feel and sight of real wood. Some choose composite decking for their durability and ease of maintenance. Regardless, make sure to dry the boards so that they’ll be in their original size. Wood and composites will shrink once exposed to varying levels of moisture. It’s also the reason why you should leave small gaps in-between the planks. Before permanently fixing the boards in place, it’s best to lay them all first. Once you’re happy at how it looks, you can start installing them.
When it comes to installation, the process will be different depending on the materials that you will be using. For wooden decking, you’ll be using nails and screws. For this, you will need to pre-drill them first. As for composite decking, they often come with clips. Regardless of what you use, make sure that they are firmly attached to the joists. Make sure also to do the steps and the edges of the deck.
Now that the deck is finished, you can move on to building other complex structures, like stairs and pergolas.