So you want to build your own deck, and why not? Having a deck on your property not only increases the value of your home, but it will also complement your lifestyle. Here are a few tips and tricks to get you started on this wonderful home improvement project.
What You’ll Need to Build Your Own Deck
Some of the materials you’ll need to build your own deck are:
- Decking timber
- Joist hangers
- Coach screws
- Bracket nails
- Decking screws and nails
The tools that you will need for a DIY decking project include:
- Tape measure
- String line
- Hammer or nail gun
- Circular or hand saw
- Spirit level
- Nail punch
Start With a Plan
Before you buy all the equipment and start hammering away, there are a few practical matters that you’ll need to consider. First, you’ll have to get approval from your local council that will outline things like what materials you’re allowed to use and minimum construction standards.
Then consider the orientation of the sun and which way you want your deck to face. Check underground for any cables and pipes to make sure you don’t do any damage during construction.
Then you’ll need to come up with the design for your deck, considering how high you want it to be and whether or not you’ll want it on the same level as your floor or if you want to add steps.
Finally purchase the wood and tools necessary.
Start Measuring and Setting Out the Deck
Once you’ve made all the arrangements, it’s time to set out your deck. This is probably one of the most important steps you’ll take because if you get the measurements wrong initially, you’ll pay for it later. Measure and mark out your deck, ensuring that it is a perfect square.
Install the Foundation
You need a strong foundation, and that starts with installing the stumps and bearers into holes that have been dug according to your plans and council regulations.
Next are the Joists
Once you have installed the foundation, the joists come next. Joists are beams that will support the decking boards.
Cut the Decking to Size
Measure the width of the area to determine how many pieces of decking you’re going to need and then cut it to fit, making sure to keep a piece of wood along the outer edge of the deck so the decking flushes to the edge.
Lay out the Wood
After all of the framing is complete, it’s time to lay the decking boards. Line up the first piece of wood against a wall or edge, and then secure it. Lay another piece, and then the rest, repeating the same process until it is all completed.