Before getting started you should be aware, that with even small decking areas, Building Regulations may come in to force. You should contact the local council before you start on your project.
Once you have done this you can start your deck. You have probably already decided, where it’s going to go, but one tip that we would suggest is, look at your location carefully. Avoid damp areas, and areas that get very little sunshine, also avoid areas with a lot of overhanging bushes or trees, as this can cause algae to grow on your decking, causing rot, and making it slippery.
Plan your Deck
Mark out your decking, sometimes what you have in your head may not work, when you put it in practice. Check your measurements carefully, and make yourself aware of available joist and decking lengths, this will make doing your project easier, and could save you money using stock lengths, reducing cutting and waste. When planning your deck, make sure that you have a slight slope on your decking, this will let any water that accumulates on your deck run of. Make sure you run your decking boards the same way as your slope.
Preparing the Ground
Prepare the ground, ready for the joists. Ground should be firm and even. If you already have a concrete patio down, it is possible to lay your joists directly over it. If you are laying directly onto the ground, use a weed suppressant below the joists, to stop any vegetation coming up through the decking, and level out using paving slabs or thin offcuts of timber.
Laying the Joists
Your joists should be laid in the opposite direction to your decking boards, and you may also have to double joist depending on which pattern you choose. Joists should not be more than 400mm apart. Make sure that when fitting the header and footer joists, that you fit them inside your marked out frame not outside. Fit the joists in place using either 100mm nails or 100mm screws. Space out the joist using noggins, these will also give extra strength and stability to your decking frame. Treat all cut ends on the joists and decking with a treatment such as Ronseal Enselle.
Laying the Decking
Once you have your fame ready, you can start to lay the decking boards, again make sure you lay these boards the opposite way to the joists. Fix the decking boards down using 60mm decking screws. Make sure the boards are all straight, and keep the space in-between each board the same. Boards can be trimmed once all the boards are down, using a straight edge and a jigsaw. Finish the decking by adding decking boards around the base to cover up any joists.
Finishing the Deck
Although your decking is treated, it is advisable at this point, while the decking is nice and clean to treat your decking with a preservative or stain. Osmo do a great range of decking stains, in a wide range of colours.