It’s Saturday evening, you’re grilling chicken in the backyard and having a good time with your friends and family. 

If this sounds like the perfect weekend, it’s time you add a deck to your space. Decks are a great way to increase the resale value of your property. Also, they add beauty to the outdoor space of your home.

And honestly, nothing can beat the satisfaction of building a deck all by yourself. The good news is that you can even save a thousand dollars by installing it yourself. 

However, we understand the challenges that most homeowners face while laying decking in their gardens. Hence, we decided to curate this short guide on how to lay decking just for you. With proper planning, the right tools, products and the correct information, you can build the brand-new deck of your dreams. 

So, let’s get started!

How To Lay Decking

Two Men Installing Deck Slats

1. Get Your Toolkit

Decks are the perfect addition to the backyard of any home. While laying decking, it’s important to have the correct tools by your side. It will not only ease your task but also let you lay the decking in a breeze. That’s why the first thing that you will have to do is get your hands on the correct toolkit to ensure a smooth installation of the deck.

However, the tools you should use depend on the type of decking boards. If you opt for timber decking, you need not have to worry much about the tools. A standard toolkit with countersink tools, pre-drill bits and screws is enough to get the job done. 

That said, we suggest you get a power saw to cut the deck boards and a drilling machine for fixing the boards. In addition to that, you must also have a spirit level, measuring tape and twine for arranging the deck boards. 

2. Choose The Right Decking Material

Navigating through the plethora of decking materials on the market and choosing one from among them is a pretty challenging task. Thus, we recommend you choose between timber decking and composite decking. 

If durability tops your list, going for composite decking is your best bet. Also, it is available in a variety of colours, sizes and finishes, so you get the freedom to choose according to your needs. However, it is slightly expensive. But, rest assured, it will last for the coming years without any maintenance. 

Interestingly, it is safe for use around pets and kids and is easy to install. So, this one’s worth the extra bucks. 

But, if you’re on a budget, timber decking would be the perfect pick for your backyard. However, keep in mind that this one isn’t low-maintenance. So, we suggest you pick decking materials after considering your budget and needs. 

3. Measure The Site Accurately

While laying out a deck, accuracy is key. Of course, you wouldn’t want all your efforts to go in vain because of wrong measurements. That’s why accurate measurements are important

Doing this will save you time, money and the last-minute rush to the local store. On that note, do not forget to double-check the length and width of the area where you’ll be laying the deck. 

Once done, you can start working with deck boards and cut them accordingly. To be on the safe side, cut the boards only when you need them in short lengths. This will save you from all the extra effort. 

4. Lay The First Board

When the rest is done, it’s time to lay the first deck board. Keep in mind that decking boards are meant to lay straight. So, when laying the first board, make sure it is straight because the rest of the boards depend on this one for their shape. 

To ensure the board is straight, use a spirit level to bring the string line in alignment with the outer edge of the deck frame. 

5. Secure It To The Joists

Once you’re confident that the deck board is straight, go ahead by securing it to the joists. Decks can be fixed either from the top or the sides, depending on the type of fastener you’ve opted for. 

No matter how you fix the deck, the main goal is to fix them to the centre of the joists. This will ensure that your deck is safe and secure. To enhance the aesthetic appeal of the deck, you can keep the exposed fasteners straight. 

6. Repeat To Cover The Entire Framework

Once you’ve secured the first board successfully, secure the rest in a similar manner to cover the entire framework. One thing to keep in mind is that you must leave 3 to 6 mm gaps between each board for expansion. 

However, you must ensure that the gap between the boards is even. For this, you can use wedges or spacers. But, if you’re running late or looking for an alternative, you can simply hammer a spike into the joist.

Alternatively, check that the boards meet over a joist if you’re using multiple boards for a large deck. Also, make sure you stagger these joints. 

Here’s a pro tip for beginners- lay the deck boards in small batches for easy adjustments. Also, do not forget to use a string line and spirit level to check whether the decking is straight or not. 

7. Shear The Ends Of The Deck

After you’ve finished laying the deck boards and securing them to the joists, you must shear the ends of the boards that are jutting out. However, make sure to leave about 20 mm of deck board over the structure of the deck. 

8. Add Finishing Touch 

Adding finishing touches is imperative to any DIY project. And so, you may waterproof the deck to protect it from heavy downpours. 

Also, you can add shade to the exposed portions so that you can relax in broad daylight on the deck. If you want to enhance the appearance of your deck, adding some polish and oiling the deck is a must.

Safety Measures To Take While Decking

Man Checking Level On Timber Deck Frame

Decks are a great way to spruce up the outdoor space of your home. So, whether you’re a DIY enthusiast or a professional deck builder, you need to follow safety precautions while working on deck projects. That said, we’ve listed some safety measures that you must follow while working on your DIY deck project. 

  • Be careful while working with power saws and electric drills.
  • Put on safety goggles when sawing or working with chemicals.
  • Use a dust mask to prevent inhaling small particles.
  • Ask for help when moving joists.
  • Keep pets and children away from the decking area.

Laying Your New Decking

And that’s how you lay decking in the backyard of your home. With a few days of hard work and patience, you will have the deck of your dreams. Now, sit back and relax on your newly built deck! 

Just make sure you measure the site correctly and follow the instructions step-by-step. Also, invest in premium-quality materials to ensure the longevity of the deck. Remember, decks are one of the most valuable investments you’ll ever make. So, make sure it’s worth it! 

However, we suggest you take precautions while working on your deck project.

With that, we’ll be signing off now. But we’ll be back soon with more such interesting reads. 

Until next time, take care!

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