They say my obsession with decking is unhealthy. It fills my every waking thought from the morning until night and drives my family to distraction. As a construction material for the garden, I think it has no rival. Naturals stone is attractive, but it does not feature the warmth or softness of a wooden deck.
I aim to convert the world to my ideas, one garden at a time.
If you are thinking about building a deck but are unsure if you are up to the job, read on. You will see that it is hard work, but one of the most satisfying projects you can undertake around your home and garden. It brings instant beauty to what might otherwise be an uninspiring space. Now that I have your attention, we will begin. Here is the ultimate guru’s guide to decking.
You will need:
- Timber for the vertical posts. They are normally four inches square and made from pressure treated wood.
- Joists for the frame of the deck. The thicker the joist, the more robust the deck will be when it is complete.
- Decking boards. I advise you to but the best quality timber you can afford, and not the cheap generic products out there. They are on view to the world, and they determine the quality of the finish.
Here’s how you do it:
- Mark the positions for the vertical post and dig holes two feet deep.
- Place the posts in the hole and backfill it halfway with sand and hardcore. Ram the mix until it is solid and holding the post in a vertical position.
- Make some concrete from a mix of one part cement to two parts sand and two parts gravel. Put it into the holes dry, and ram it until it is solid. Pour a bucket of water around each post to start the curing process. Leave them for a day until the concrete has set.
- Make a frame by cutting and screwing the joists to the posts. Patio Living decking will slope away from the house so that the water runs off it efficiently. Yours should too. When you build the frame, try to get the finished level of the deck to equal that of the floors in the house. As you can see in the image, it gives a superior effect.
- Use invisible fixings to attach the decking boards. They are available online or in some DIY shops. They provide a clean finish with no screw holes to spoil the beautiful timber and are ideal for your project.
- Build some attractive balustrades if the decking is high off the ground. They come in kit form, or you might think about having some made out of glass for you. It is a chance to be creative.
- Coat the deck with some preservative when it is complete.
As you can see, it is easy to construct a high-quality deck that will last for many years and give you a lot of pleasure. It looks much more complicated than it is, so give it a go and see what you can produce with a little effort. The possibilities are endless.