If you want to enhance your garden for the summer months, adding an purpose built seating and barbecue area to make the most of the sunny afternoons and evenings, you could do much worse than think about building decking,especially if you have a sloping garden that does not easily accommodate a table and chairs. In this article we look at how our builders go about constructing decking for your garden so that you really can make the most of the glorious sunshine that we enjoy in South Devon and the South West.
Plan Your Decking
Planning forms a vital part of every construction and exterior decking is no exception. The types of issue that you should consider are height of the decking, whether it will affect existing drain covers, as you will probably want to include a trap door if it does, do you require a single raised decked area or are you planning for the possibility of adding to the decked area in the future? Particularly large decking constructions may also require planning permission to be obtained before construction commences.
The preparation of the site is an equally important component of your decking construction. Your builders should measure the area of the decking carefully in your chosen location, marking it with string and ensuring that the edges are square. Any turf should be cut out before the foundations are laid. It is critical that the measurements are carried our accurately if the foundations are to positioned correctly to take the decking.
Building the Decking
Mark the positions for the joist support posts and excavate holes that are around 60 cm deep and about 40 cmm square, ensuring that each of the corner posts is offset by the width of a post, thereby permitting the balustrade posts to slot into the corners. Employing dry post mix the posts are set into the holes, using a spirit level to ensure that they are all at the correct height. The mix should set in a day. A layer of building membrane covered with gravel should be placed over the area and left to dry for a further two days.
Although the balustrade is an attractive decorative addition to the decking the railings are also an important safety feature. It is important to fix the balustrades prior to the decking boards, with the handrail being fixed at one metre above the deck and the base rail at a maximum of 7.5 cm above the decking boards.
The decking boards should then be cut to size and attached to the frame using 5 cm deck screws into each joist. It is important to ensure that a gap of 3 cm gap is left between each of the decking boards and that any joins are situated half way across the joist. Your builder will probably also try to stagger the joins in order to add to the strength of the decking and produce a more attractive finish.
Raised decking is likely to require the addition of steps. This can be easily achieved by firstly constructing the step treads at the required width, secondly, measuring the height of the risers against the height of the deck, attaching the risers to the frame and Fixing the treads to the risers, using two 8 cm deck screws at each end.
If the deck is constructed from untreated wood, it should be treated with the appropriate preservative.
Although building an area of decking is not the most difficult of construction projects, if it is to be done properly it is better to employ a local professional builder. The Builders SW, Torquay, Newton Abbot and South Devon Builders have many years of experience in building exterior decking. For a quote please visit our site, phone us or call in to:
The Builders SW
Decoy Industrial Estate
Tel: 07515 393231, 07710 621755, 0800 0322213