How to build a deck – 9 expert tips and step-by-step advice

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Building a plot platform is nary casual task to undertake. However, well-equipped, well-prepared, competent DIYers tin instrumentality connected this task themselves, though it is adjuvant to person astatine slightest 1 idiosyncratic to assist, and you should let plentifulness of clip to finish, particularly if yours is immoderate much analyzable than a elemental quadrate connected a flat, ready-laid base.

However, get the platform built and you tin bask a full caller abstraction outdoors. Deck ideas tin elevate an different underwhelming outdoor country into thing alternatively special, providing an other entertaining abstraction oregon a sunny spot to unbend in. 

The astir fashionable platform structures usually comprise of a raised woody level with steps to the plot oregon a elemental decked country that sits astatine crushed level.

From the size of the seating country to the benignant of the wood, you volition request to see each the options arsenic you program your plot deck. And if your fund does not agelong to employing a tradesperson for the job, past travel our usher connected however to physique a platform truthful you tin consciousness assured tackling the task yourself.

How to physique a deck

Consider utilizing a escaped bundle programme to assistance plan your deck. ‘These programs volition bash the layout of the framing for you and you tin past download a worldly ordering list,’ explains a spokesperson for online readying tool, (opens successful caller tab).

Think astir whether you program a level oregon a raised deck. ‘It’s important to instrumentality into relationship the complexity, terrain and immoderate existing substructure,’ explains Sam Toole, CMO astatine TimberTech (opens successful caller tab)a institution specializing successful precocious performance, composite decking.

Consider the size and signifier of the platform you program to build, too. ‘It comes down to however you privation to spot the space,’ explains Sam. ‘If you bask entertaining ample groups, past you should deliberation astir a ample platform that has aggregate zones for dining, lounging and grilling.’

However, if you are aft much of a backstage retreat successful your backyard, Sam recommends keeping the platform connected the smaller side.

Early on, you volition besides privation to determine whether to embed deck lighting ideas into the deck's surface; this volition evidently impact much disbursal and you volition request to employment a nonrecreational to get this constituent completed safely.

1. Choose your platform material: timber oregon composite?

As you are readying and past ordering your platform materials, you volition beryllium offered the prime of timber oregon composite decking. It’s important to deliberation astir the worldly you are going to usage carefully. Whilst wood has galore benefits and is, of course, the astir fashionable choice, it volition necessitate sanding and staining, oiling oregon coating astatine slightest each 2 years. There are, however, a assortment of wood-alternatives which bash not necessitate truthful overmuch upkeep.

Sam Toole from TimberTech explains: ‘Composite decking has a scope of earthy wood colors and texture options for the look and consciousness of premium hardwood without the frustrating attraction of sanding oregon sealing. Plus, it won’t fade, stain, splinter, rot oregon peel.'

So, the question is: bash you privation the quality of existent wood, but yearly maintenance, oregon a wood lookalike that's maintenance-free?

2. Gather the materials you request to physique a deck

Building a platform is not a one-stop store by immoderate means. It is apt you volition person to attack this occupation 1 measurement astatine a time: clearing and levelling the ground; laying a basal oregon gathering a supporting structure; creating the frame; laying the platform boards and yet finishing the deck. 

Unless you person plentifulness of onshore to store each these materials, it is astir apt that you volition store for your platform gathering task successful stages. However, this is an overview of the materials you volition request to buy.

You volition need:

Timber for the joists and woody props, to find however heavy the joists should be, usage a dedicated calculator.Decking boards (wood oregon composite)Quick-drying factual (for a raised deck)Exterior wood screwsPegs and stringTape measure, pencil, acceptable quadrate and tone levelJigsawHammerDrillScrewdriver3. Prepare the ground

Prepare the crushed by creating a level, weed-free spot for the deck. Carefully measurement retired a quadrate area. Place the pegs successful each country and usage drawstring to link them. Now you person a ocular representation of your deck. Carefully measurement diagonally from station to station (using a acceptable quadrate to find that everything looks straight).

4. Build a framework for a level deck

For a level platform you simply request to physique a platform framework utilizing the joists. Start by laying retired the joists crossed your quadrate country and presumption the platform boards connected top.

You volition request to screw the 4 corners unneurotic to marque the outer frame, past connect astir six ample joists successful the mediate of the framework (depending connected the size of your deck).

Measure your platform framework and chopped the joists to size.

Make 2 pencil marks connected each extremity of the platform frame's 2 outer joists - these are astatine close angles to the interior joists. These marks are wherever the screws volition go. You volition request to drill 2 screws into each corner.

Attach the interior joists with screws. Your framework is present complete.

5. Build a framework for a raised deck

To make the framework for a raised deck, excavation a spread successful each of the 4 corners you person measured retired and spot a station astatine slightest 70mm into the ground. Then adhd immoderate much posts (called enactment posts) successful the cardinal portion of your deck, spaced approx 50 inches apart. 

Use a tone level to cheque each the posts are the aforesaid height. Once you are happy, you tin usage factual to cement them successful spot successful the ground.

Using the tone level arsenic a guide, presumption the archetypal joist astatine its required level past unafraid it to the different country post. You volition astir apt request a helping manus to clasp the joist successful place. Repeat this process until this outer framework is fixed successful place.

Mark connected the framework wherever the halfway of the remaining enactment posts are positioned, and repetition the process of marking and drilling and screwing together.

To adhd your cardinal enactment joists, measurement the region betwixt other points connected the wrong of the frame. Then chopped your joist to this length. The cardinal joists should tally successful the aforesaid absorption arsenic your platform boards. Fix a cardinal joist to either broadside of the enactment posts.

6. Fix railings and posts

Deck railing ideas are by acold the astir fashionable prime for a raised deck, though it is imaginable to spell for a solid surface oregon thing similar. When it comes to railings, the experts astatine explain: ‘Your railing posts should beryllium enactment into spot anterior to installing the platform boards unless you are utilizing aboveground mounted posts.’

To physique and connect your railings, first, chopped and assemble your platform posts. You volition request a platform station successful each country and, depending connected the size of your deck, you whitethorn request a cardinal 1 connected each side. Cut the basal and handrails precisely to length.

Slot the spindles into the underside of the manus obstruction and unafraid them by screwing diagonally done the spindle into the rail.

Fit the basal obstruction onto the spindles and screw together.

You volition request to connect the country platform posts to the base. Finally, connect your finished railings into the country platform posts.

7. Lay the platform boards

To statesman laying the deck, spot the archetypal committee flush with the extracurricular borderline of the frame.

'The boards should beryllium laid successful the other absorption of the joists,’ explicate the experts astatine

If you are utilizing timber you should incorporated a 1/5in enlargement spread betwixt each board, arsenic timber expands and contracts.

Mark and countersink screw holes implicit the centre of each joist. Use astatine slightest 2 screws per joist for each decking board

Continue the process until you decorativeness your raised timber deck.

8. Build steps and finishing touches

For immoderate raised platform you volition request to see steps. Instead of cutting and assembling your ain steps, experts counsel buying ‘pre-cut step stringers.’

You whitethorn besides privation to see adding a handrail to your steps. Again, you tin bargain pre-made handrails oregon physique them yourself by pursuing the aforesaid process utilized to make the railings.

Deck edging ideas tin besides decorativeness disconnected the sides of the deck, hiding the model and creating a neat effect.

9. Protect the deck

If you person utilized composite platform boards, determination volition beryllium small to bash here, different than expanse and mop up immoderate messiness the gathering of the platform has created. If you person chosen a timber deck, though, your enactment isn't yet complete.

Oiling a platform volition bring retired the quality of the existent wood; however, if you are attracted to deck colour ideas that complement your planting scheme, backyard landscaping oregon the colour of your location oregon porch, you mightiness privation to see staining a platform oregon so coating a deck, though this tin beryllium a precise precocious attraction choice.

Is it casual to physique your ain deck?

It is casual to physique your ain platform if you person a flat, pre-prepared portion of crushed that you tin laic a elemental framework and platform boards over, particularly if you bargain a platform arsenic a kit. However, different decks are overmuch much analyzable to build, particularly if the crushed is sloping and they request to beryllium raised. If you person small to nary DIY, particularly woodworking and landscaping, acquisition and an awkward plot, it is usually amended to telephone successful a professional. 

Is it cheaper to physique your ain deck?

It is importantly cheaper to physique your ain platform – you tin recoup astatine slightest 50% of the wide outgo since a ample portion of what a platform costs lies successful labour costs. However, don't under-estimate the worth a well-built platform tin adhd to your location versus a poorly-constructed one.