How to install garden decking

Author: dpinning  //  Category: Garden, Home Improvements, How To Guides

A deck tidies things up and makes it easier to take care of your garden, as well as providing a space for outdoor summer dining or a play area for the kids.

Preparation

Laying a garden deck need not take much longer than a weekend, although this all depends on the size of the deck and your personal DIY experience. Before you start the job, however, make sure you have planned it out carefully and measured up the area to ensure you buy the correct number of decking packs.

Start by marking out the area to be decked with pegs and string. Make sure the ground has been cleared of any grass or weeds, then level out with a spade and lay a deck fabric over the ground to prevent weeds growing up through the timber; you might also want to consider laying concrete slabs rather than placing your decking on exposed soil.

Making the framework

The outer frame is made from wooden joists cut to the required size. The frame is then filled with the long joists, spaced at 400mm intervals. Once you have cut all the joints to size, lay them out in the correct position on a flat area of garden.

Next, construct the frame by fitting the joists together with rustproof screws. Three screws are required at the end of each joist. Use a spirit level to check everything is level.

Laying the boards

The next job is to lay the deck boards, which run at right angles to the floor joists. Start at the front of the deck and make sure the first board is flush with the outside edge of the frame. Secure the boards to the frame with rustproof screws and predrill your screw holes so as not to split the wood.

Finish the job using extra deck boards to tidy up the exposed cut ends, which should be sealed with wood preservative to avoid rot.

Picture courtesy of Mark Philpott

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