decking suppliers hull-Whites Skip Hire Hull 01482 227468
Decking, Railway Sleepers, fencing supplier
Decking boards 3.6 metre £6.50 each
How to build a deck
Adding a deck to your garden will provide both a focal point and a place to relax in good weather.
If carefully constructed, it can also add value to your house. When constructing, always use pressure-treated soft wood or hardwood.
Time to complete job: 1-2 days
Approximate budget: Depends on the size of your deck. Decking boards and joist ledgers and noggins cost about £8 per 3.6m (12ft), each.
WHAT YOU NEED:
- Pegs and string
- Weed-suppressant membrane
- Graph paper and pencil
- Decking boards 28mm x 100mm (1 1/8in x 5 1/2in)
- Joists ledger & noggins 47mm x 150mm (2in x 6in)
- Screws & nails
- Fine-toothed saw
- Hammer & screwdriver
- 6mm (1/4in) spacers
Mark out the proposed area and lay out your furniture to see if it's large enough. Choose a position to catch the sun at the times of day when you will want to use the deck - south-westerly facing is usually a good choice but also consider the outlook, whether you will be overlooked, and the prevailing winds. Avoid any drains, underground pipework and cables. Check to see whether planning permission is required.
Draw a scale plan and calculate the materials you will need.
Tip: This guide describes the construction of a simple rectangular deck attached to the house, but you could consider wrapping a deck around the corner of your house, around a tree, or siting it away from the house completely.
Once you've got a beautiful new deck, you'll have to celebrate with an outdoor party.
Step 1: Preparing the site
Clear away vegetation to prepare the site, then mark out the area with pegs and string, making sure it's square. Lay a deck fabric over the earth to prevent weeds growing up through the deck in the future. The fabric can be pegged or weighed down with concrete, paving slabs or grit.
The framework for a deck should be laid onto concrete foundations rather than directly onto the soil. You can either lay down concrete for this or more easily use concrete paving slabs. If using slabs, place them in a grid pattern with each slab positioned approximately 1400mm (4ft 7in) from the next - these will support the timber joists that hold the boards.
Next, lay squares of bitumen DPC membrane over the concrete or paving slabs before laying the deck timbers.
Tip: Use a spirit level to make sure that the deck gently slopes away from the house. For every metre of deck there should be a 10mm drop.
Step 2: Attaching a ledger to the house
Attach a ledger joist to the wall using spacers for ventilation and drainage. This sets the height for your deck which must be at least 150mm (6in) below the damp proof course (DPC).
Fix securely as the ledger is load-bearing - the best method will vary according to your property's construction so seek advice.
Step 3: Constructing the framework
Attach a joist at each end of the ledger using angle brackets or galvanised joist hangers and check that they are square. Fix supporting slabs at the ends of these joists, to hold them level.
Fit joist hangers (using galvanised nails or screws in every hole) along the ledger at 400mm (16in) intervals. Join to a further joist at the other end to form a supporting beam parallel with the ledger. Check that construction is square and level at all stages.
Nail noggins 400mm (16in) apart between the joists to strengthen and stabilize the framework.
Fit a second joist onto the end joist for further strength and join with coach bolts.
Tip: It is possible to use posts on concrete foundations or fence post bases if you wish to raise the deck.
Step 4: Laying the decking
Decking is the most visible part so take care to line up all fixings and lay straight with equal gaps between boards. You can lay the decking boards diagonally or in other shapes (e.g. herringbone) but this exposes more cut ends with risks of splitting. Always use continuous lengths if possible.
Decking boards with an end grain are best. Lay this way up for reduced warping using two galvanised nails, screws or deck clips at every joist. Use purpose made stainless steel or galvanised screws so that your decking isn't spoilt by rust stains.
Use 6mm (1/4in) spacers or nails on each side of decking board to ensure consistent gaps. This is essential for ventilation and allows for expansion in wet weather.
Tip: If any boards need joining, butt together on top of joists.
Step 5: Finishing
Extend the boards over the edges of the side joists and cut straight when all are laid. If you want, use a fine-toothed saw to avoid splitting.
Fix on a facia board to cover the ends - if using nails, tap the ends first so they are blunt to avoid splitting the decking.
Tip: Deck boards are pressure treated with a long-lasting preservative treatment but the colour will fade after a few months. You can either leave your deck to age naturally or treat it with an exterior penetrating oil that soaks into the wood rather than sitting on the surface. These come in various timber shades and can be brushed, sprayed or rollered onto the boards.
Not sure if decking is definitely the right choice for your garden? See our garden surface guide for more options.