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Laying garden decking


laying garden decking

'How do I lay garden decking properly?' We show you step by step how to lay decking properly, if you want to build your new garden design deck yourself. We give you valuable landscaping advice, so get your drill, saw, spirit level, screwdriver, spade & tape measures out and start laying garden decking!

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step 1 - clear the site and markout

Using a scaled plan of your deck, mark out it’s position and clear the site of all vegetation.

step 2 - level your site

step 2 - level your site

Level and compact the surface.

If the area has an existing hard surface like concrete or slabs, these can remain in place under the deck.

step 3 - lay your foundations

step 3 - lay your foundations

If you’re using concrete pads to support the deck, dig out a cube of soil
300mm x 300mm x 450mm deep (12"x12"x18") and fill with concrete.

Old paving slabs may also be used, but for the most solid deck, I would recommend new concrete pads. Space your support pads no more than 1800 mm or 72" apart.

step 4 - laying your decking joists

step 4 - laying your decking joists

Once your support posts have set, lay your network of joists on top of these, checking they are all level with each other (following the required slope) using a spirit level as you go.

To ensure the structure can support each deck board adequately,
position your joists approx 400 mm (16”) apart.

step 5 - laying deck boards

step 5 - laying deck boards

Lay out the decking boards at right angles to the joists. Check at this stage that the joists do not sag or bow under your weight. At this point, you must add more supports if necessary.

Once you are happy and have cut any boards slightly oversize to fit, you can then start to secure the boards to the joists.

step 6 - spacing & nailing deck boards

step 6 - spacing & nailing deck boards

Try to ensure the gaps remain constant between your boards. Stagger
the joints so no continuous breaks occur across the deck.

Use galvanised nails or stainless steel countersunk screws to secure each decking board in place, using at least two in each joist position.

DIY tips for your decking project

DIY tips for your decking project

Lay out the complete deck before you start to fix together.
Don't forget to treat any cut edges with preservative.
Cut boards slightly oversize then trim once fixed for a neat finish.
Use decking boards to create a fascia to hide any exposed joists.         
Predrill holes for screws to prevent the wood from splitting

Your deck must be at least 150 mm or 6" below your house DPC (Damp Proof Course) if it’s next to the house, and remember to slope the deck away from walls or fence - a slope of just 25 mm over 1.5 m (or 1:60) should be sufficient.

Open this How To guide as a PDF and print...

Click to open this PDF document Click the Icon to open this How To guide as a PDF document and print out...


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