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How to Build Decking: A Comprehensive Guide

Decking is an excellent addition to any garden, providing an attractive and practical space for outdoor living. Decking can be a perfect choice if you’re looking to create a dining area, a relaxing space or a play area for the children. However, building decking can be daunting, especially if you have little experience. In this guide, we’ll take you through the process of how to build decking step-by-step and provide practical tips to help you achieve a successful project.

How to build decking on a slope

Building decking on a slope presents several challenges, including ensuring the deck is level, and providing adequate support for the deck’s weight. Here are the steps to follow when building decking on a slope:

  1. Measure the slope: The first step is to measure the slope of the ground where you plan to build your decking. A gentle slope of up to 1:40 should not present too much of a problem. However, steeper slopes will require more work.
  2. Create a level base: You’ll need to create a level base for your decking frame. This can be done by using concrete blocks or adjustable support pads. These can be adjusted to the required height, ensuring the structure is level.
  3. Install the frame: The frame should be installed on top of the base, and the joists should run perpendicular to the direction of the slope. It’s essential to ensure that the frame is level throughout the entire length of the decking.
  4. Install the decking boards: Finally, install the decking boards onto the frame. You may need to cut some boards to fit the slope’s contours. Ensuring the boards are level and securely fixed to the structure is essential.

How to build decking on grass

Building decking on grass can be a relatively straightforward process. Still, there are a few things to consider to ensure a successful project:

  1. Create a level base: The first step is to create a level base for your decking frame. This can be done by using concrete blocks or adjustable support pads. Ensure that the base is level and stable.
  2. Consider weed suppression: It’s important to consider weed suppression when building decking on grass. You can use a weed membrane or a layer of gravel underneath the frame to prevent weeds from growing up through the decking.
  3. Install the frame: The frame should be installed on top of the base. The joists should run parallel to the direction of the decking boards. It’s essential to ensure that the frame is level throughout the entire length of the decking.
  4. Install the decking boards: Finally, install the decking boards onto the frame. Ensure that the boards are level and securely fixed to the frame.

How to build decking frame

The frame is the foundation of your decking, and it’s essential to get it right. Here are the steps to follow when building a decking frame:

  1. Measure the area: Measure where you plan to build your decking and mark out the shape using pegs and string.
  2. Create a level base: Create a level base for your decking frame. This can be done by using concrete blocks or adjustable support pads. Ensure that the base is level and stable.
  3. Install the frame: Install the frame on top of the base. The joists should run perpendicular to the direction of the decking boards. Ensure that the structure is level throughout the entire length of the decking.
  4. Fix the frame together: Fix the frame together using screws or bolts. It’s essential to use treated timber for the structure to prevent rotting and galvanised or stainless steel fixings to avoid rusting.

 How to build decking base

The base is the foundation of your decking, and it’s essential to get it right. Here are the steps to follow when building a decking base:

  1. Clear the area: Clear the space where you plan to build your decking. Remove any plants, stones, or debris.
  2. Mark out the area: Mark out the area using pegs and string. Ensure that the site is square and level.
  3. Create a level base: Create a level base for your decking frame. This can be done by using concrete blocks or adjustable support pads. Ensure that the base is level and stable.
  4. Add a weed membrane: Add a weed membrane to prevent weeds from growing up through the decking.
  5. Add a layer of gravel: Add a layer of gravel on top of the weed membrane. This will help with drainage and prevent water from pooling underneath the decking.
  6. Install the frame: Install the frame on top of the base. The joists should run perpendicular to the direction of the decking boards. Ensure that the structure is level throughout the entire length of the decking.

How to build decking stairs

If you plan to include stairs in your decking design, there are several vital steps to follow:

  1. Measure the height: Start by measuring the height from the ground to the top of the decking. This will determine the number of steps needed.
  2. Determine the number of steps: Divide the height by the desired riser height, which should be no more than 200mm, to determine the number of steps needed. The tread depth, or the horizontal distance between each step, should be no less than 250mm.
  3. Install the stringers: Install the stringers or the angled supports that hold the treads in place onto the decking frame. Space the stringers no more than 450mm apart, and ensure they are level and securely fixed to the frame.
  4. Install the treads: Install the treads or the horizontal boards that form the steps onto the stringers. Ensure that the treads are level and securely fixed to the stringers.

When building decking stairs, safety is paramount. Ensuring that the stairs are sturdy and comply with building regulations is essential. If you’re unsure how to make decking stairs safely, consider hiring a professional. A well-built set of stairs can add function and aesthetic appeal to your decking design.

Is it worthwhile to build decking?

Some people may argue that building decking is expensive and time-consuming. However, while it’s true that building decking can be costly, it’s also an investment in your property. Decking can add value to your home and provide a practical and attractive space for outdoor living. Additionally, while building decking does require time and effort, it’s also a satisfying and rewarding project that can be completed with the right tools and guidance.

Conclusion

Building decking can seem daunting, but following the steps outlined in this guide can achieve a successful project. Whether you’re building on a slope, grass, or a solid base, ensuring the frame is level, and stable is essential. Additionally, when building stairs, it’s vital to ensure they are safe to use and comply with building regulations. 

Consider weed suppression and drainage when building on grass or a base. Building decking may require time and effort, but the rewards of creating an outdoor living space that adds value to your property are well worth it.

 If you want to know more or would like a professional to quote for your decking, don’t hesitate to contact us at Forget Me Not Garden Transformations to discuss your softwood, composite, or hardwood decking requirements.

 

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