A concrete slab works well for outdoor gardens. It’s durable, functional and low maintenance. However, as far as appearances go, it’s not exactly appealing. The bare looks of concrete on your garden is nothing outstanding. The good thing is, you can use that concrete slab as a foundation for other, more beautiful flooring options. Concrete is an excellent foundation for other floorings. If you’re tired of how your garden looks with concrete slabs, you can up its appeal by building a deck. However, you can’t install the composite decking directly on top of the concrete. You will need to create a frame first. The question is, how do you build a decking frame on concrete?
Things You Should Know First
Before building a frame over a concrete slab, there are a few things that you should consider first. First, consider what type of deck you’ll be building. Do you want an elevated deck? Or do you prefer a ground-level one? For concrete, ground-level decks are better. Knowing this is crucial since the process of how to build the frame slightly differs.
Another thing that you should consider is the quality of the concrete slab. How old is the concrete slab? Are there cracks in the surface? If so, are the cracks big enough to affect the installation? You may also want to check whether the slab is flat and levelled. Are there any issues with the concrete? These are just a few questions that you need to answer.
How To Build Decking Frame on Concrete
If everything is fine, the concrete is in good quality, and you managed to decide which type of deck to build, it’s now time to start building the frame. There are a few ways to go about it. But one of the easiest and fastest ways to do it is by using a sleeper system. Here are the steps on how to do it.
Using Sleepers Systems
One way of building is by using a sleeper system. If you’re using this method, make sure that the concrete slab is free from issues. You will need to fix any drainage problems, such as pooling and water run-off. If your concrete slab is not flat, you may need to resurface and level it.
After checking and fixing issues with the concrete, it’s now time to mark the layout of the sleeper. Then, pre-drill holes on the surface carefully. You don’t want to crack the concrete.
Next, install the sleepers on the concrete, making sure that screws penetrate the concrete at least one inch deep. When getting sleepers, make sure that they’re 1-1/2 inches in both width and height. For best results, make sure to get rot and moisture-resistant sleepers, especially if you live in a rainy or snowy area.
After installing the sleepers, drill the sleeper joists according to the instructions. In most cases, you will need to space the joists by no greater than 16 inches in the centre. After installing the sleeper system, it’s best to add protection by covering it with flashing tape. It prevents the material from absorbing too much moisture, which is quite helpful if you’re using wood rather than composites.
Now that you installed the sleeper systems, the only thing that’s left to do is to lay down the patio. For this, you can either use decking tiles or decking boards.
For Uneven Concrete Slabs
For uneven concrete slabs, sleeper systems alone will not suffice. Unless you want to level the surface by pouring concrete, you may want to try other methods. There are many ways to build a deck frame over on an uneven concrete slab. One way is by using support beams and joists, similar to the sleeper systems.
The only difference is that you will need bricks and blocks to make the frame levelled. You can also buy tools, such as concrete brackets, to be able to build the frame. After placing the brackets and/or bricks, you can build the frame the same way that you build deck frames on traditional foundations.
Building a deck over a concrete slab can greatly improve the look of your garden. When building a frame, especially on concrete slabs, make sure that it’s not connected to your home. Regardless of how you build the decking frame, make sure to get the best materials possible.