Winter months are long and dark. As soon as it hits spring we start to plan how we will spend our summers. In this article we look at a project that you can start now so that you can enjoy your hot summer nights. If you are considering doing your own decking, be sure to allow plenty of time because it can be quite tricky.
For your decking you will need:
- A Pencil
- Squared paper
- A metal tape measure
- Some wooden pegs
- Some string
- A strong Spade
- A weed proof membrane, you can use a heavy-duty rubble sack that has been opened out.
- Gravel or other small stones
- Wooded deck boards and joists
- Newel posts
- A saw
- Depending on the size, one or more tins of wood preservative
- A drill
- Some stainless steel or galvanized countersunk screws
- An electric screwdriver
- A long spirit level
- Draw a plan of your decking on the squared paper. You can use this to work out how much wood, and weed membrane that you will need.
- Using the pegs and string mark out where you will be putting the decking.
- Once you have dug the ground over and removed all of the weeds and grasses make sure the ground is level and spread out the weed membrane. Cover the membrane with the gravel or small stones.
- The next thing to do is create the frame. Start by putting together the joists to the size of the outside edge of the decking. Screw them together.
- Mark the frame every 400mm for the floor joists.
- Cut the joists to size. Put the frame and floor joists into the correct position in your garden.
- Join them together secretly using three of the screws at each end of the joists. Use the spirit level to make sure that all the joists are level.
- Next you need to place the deck boards on top of the frame. For the stronger decking the deck boards should be placed at a right angle to the joists. Use 2 of the 50mm countersunk screws at each end of the deck board to secure it. There should be a gap of at least 3mm between each board because the wood may swell in warm or moist conditions.
- Most decking designs include a handrail. To create your own handrail, you will need to create even spacious grooves for the spindles in the handrail, you can either glue or nail them together. Do the same with the newel posts. Attach the spindles to the outside edge of the deck using long nails.
- Use the wood preserve liberally to cover the whole decking and handrail. This should be repeated every few years to keep your deck in tip-top condition.
Roll on the summer evenings with a good book and glass of wine.