Decking has become extremely popular over the last few decades. It is a great way to keep your yard looking attractive, plus it is low maintenance, so everyone can enjoy it for many years once it is installed. Getting the installation right is paramount, of course; if it is done wrong, the decking can be unsightly, unusable, and even dangerous. Therefore, read on to find out just what you need to do if you are laying down your own decking and need to know the basics before you start.
The Right Equipment
Before you begin any kind of DIY project, including laying down the decking, you need to ensure you have the right equipment and tools to get the job done. That means you need to choose the correct type of screws you need for your decking and landscaping job, have the right amount of wood, be able to saw that wood to the right size and shape, and of course, know what your plan is before you start.
Beginning with everything you are going to need in one place and close to hand so you can easily use it is important. It will make the job an easier one and one that you can finish a lot more quickly with fewer distractions.
Once you know what your overall design is going to look like you will need to make accurate measurements. You can use spray paint or chalk to create the outline of the decking in your yard, as this way not only will you get the right measurements, but you will also be able to see what the decking will look like when it is complete.
Use a tape measure to measure the perimeter of the outline you have made, and then you can calculate how many square meters of wood you are going to need. The last thing you want is to run out of materials and have to go back to the store partway through your project.
Prepare The Ground
Although you may think it is a matter of simply laying the decking down on whatever ground you might have, there is more to it than that. You will need to clear all the grass, weeds, stones and rocks, or even paving slabs away from the area so that it is all at one level and the underlying soil is compacted.
If you don’t do this, the decking will be uneven and impossible to use comfortably or safely. Remember that you will need to put a layer of weed control fabric down before you put the decking in place. Otherwise, you might have unsightly greenery growing through your deck.
Build The Deck
Finally, you can start to build the deck. Begin with the framework around the edges, and then ‘fill in’ that framework with the decking itself. The boards should lay horizontally across the deck. Leave around 10mm between each board as you lay them; the wood will expand when it gets hot, so you don’t want to run the risk of the decking buckling when it gets warm.
Once the decking is installed, it’s best to treat it with protective paint or varnish to keep it looking good in all weathers.