Improvements don’t just stop inside the home. Upgrading the looks and utility of your outdoor spaces is also important, especially during the spring and summer months as you make more use of your garden. Make those seasonal BBQs and garden parties even more enjoyable by improving your garden with a decked area. For a small cost, wooden garden decking can add a smarter and more stylish appearance to the exterior of any property and allow you to make the most of the space you have outside the home.
Whether you are planning to use the area to house a new furniture set or want to create a safe area for your children to play, let us take you through how to install decking, from start to finish…
Consider Your Coverage
Using pegs and string, start the installation process by marking out the area you plan to deck. Once you have figured out how much decking space suits you, clear the sectioned area of all grass and weeds until just soil remains. Turn the soil until it is fine and level using a spade. Next, add a heavy-duty membrane to stop the growth of weeds under the decking area, and weigh the weed-proof membrane down with a layer of gravel. Alternatively, if you are covering an existing patio area, you won’t need to excavate the site or add the membrane or gravel.
Construct the Decking Base
When creating a base to lay your decking boards, start by framing the area you have prepared with wooden joists that have been cut to size. This frame will then be filled with floor joists, providing the perfect sturdiness for the boards. Lay the joists around 400mm apart, mark the desired positions onto the frame, and cut the required joists to the right size.
Fix the joists and frame with 70mm countersunk screws (be sure to pre-drill all holes first); we recommend 3 screws per joist end. Finish the base construction by checking that all joists are level using a spirit level.
Lay the Boards
Lay the decking boards across the floor joists at a right angle. Start laying these boards from the front of the decking area, which will ensure that the first set of boards and subsequent boards all lay flat or ‘flush’ to the frame of the base. Each board should be laid and fixed to each floor joist using 2 countersunk screws, again in pre-drilled holes, the final board on the row must then be cut to fit. Repeat this until the entire decking area is covered. Leave a 3-5mm gap between each board to allow for the natural expansion of the wood.
Seal the Decking
Both the base and boards need treating to finish the installation process; use a good quality wood preserving product to prevent your newly installed boards from falling victim to mold and rot. Make sure to sand all sharp edges before painting the boards. If you have some decking boards left over, you can use these to cover cut edges that can often be unsightly.