The Joys of Deck Building

Deck building can be a fun process for the average home handyman, particularly if it is less than 1 metre high which means that no council permit is required. While it was still a good idea to follow all technical recommendations by Building Research, one could legally just about build any type of deck.

Decks are built to solve problems, and it can be a fun challenge for the home handyman to solve as many problems as possible with their deck solution. The advantages of a wooden deck over concrete or paving solutions is that the deck is not nearly as hard to fall on, it looks attractive and stays attractive with minimal maintenance, it is free draining after heavy rain, and it can be built over ground conditions and terrain that would be nearly impossible to achieve with concrete or pavers.

Every homeowner will want their deck to be both functional and aesthetically pleasing, and it can be a lot of fun coming up with a design that achieves this. While the glamorous part of the finished job is the decking itself, the most important part of the build process is getting the bearers and joists properly assembled and fixed and level and strong. It’s worth taking a lot of care over this step because it is very difficult to correct problems if they are detected once the decking has been installed. It pays to be very conservative with the spacings between posts and bearer’s and joists, and it is best to follow the standard recommendations for spacings rather than trying to cut costs by having larger spans for bearer’s and joists.

Once the framework has been properly installed then it is advisable to hand-select all the pieces of deck from the building supplier, as there are always damaged or warped or otherwise marked pieces in the stack of decking. The most preferred attachment method for the decking is 65 mm stainless steel screws, and the decking will need to be pre-drilled. The challenge for laying any deck is to make certain that all spaces are even and the deck lines are dead straight, and it is well worth taking care and time over this aspect. Once all the decking has been laid then it is worth spending a little bit more money and facing off the ends of the deck using the same decking material. This leaves a very professional finish.