How to Lay Decking – 11 Simple Steps to Laying The Perfect Deck

August 31, 2020


Spring brings on nicer weather, sunshine, and warmer temperatures. It also brings out the desire to spend time outdoors. So, you’ll need a good place to spend it on to truly enjoy the benefits of vitamin D. A place like a deck! So, this guide contains everything you need to know about how to lay decking. 

Decks create extra living space for you, your family, and your friends to enjoy. It’s like having an extra room in the summertime! It can be transformed into a space for dining, lounging, or just enjoying the sun. No matter what type of entertaining you plan on doing, you’ll have a great space. 

You can personalise it to suit your tastes. Have your deck in full sun for tanning, or choose something shady to enjoy even on the warmest days. 

Of course, if your deck is looking shabby, it won’t be up to the summer times you have ahead. Or even worse, perhaps you don’t have a deck at all! Thankfully, laying decking is not an impossible task. Depending on what you want, it could even be a project you can tackle on your own. Ready to embark on your own project? Follow this helpful guide to make sure your project is done right. 

Short on time? Click below to find out how much it costs to lay decking in your area


Decking


How to Lay Decking Step By Step

Before you get started on a major project like a deck, you’ll need to do the research to make sure you don’t miss a step, and that you are confident you know how to lay decking. A step-by-step guide prepares you for each step and helps you figure out what materials and supplies you need for the job. After all, you won’t want to begin, and then have to put your project on hold while you make a supply run! 

When it comes to physical structures like a deck, this is especially important as you may not be able to just stop and leave your timbers in the air. Plus, you are dependent on the weather when you work on an outdoor project like a deck. You won’t want to stop while the sun is shining, just to pick up work again in the rain!


Preparation

It’s very important to plan before you start your project. This ensures you have the right materials in the right amounts. It also helps eliminate surprises in the middle of the job! 

As you work out your design, allow for a space between each deck board. This space should be about 5 to 8 mm, allowing the wood to shrink and swell along with the weather. Also, consider the width of each deck board. The total width of your deck should allow each board to be installed in full without cutting them down to fit. This improves the look of your deck. 

Decide on exactly where your deck will be placed. Will you want it connected to your home, or set into your garden? This will help determine the type of footings and supports you’ll need to incorporate into your design. Avoid setting your deck into a wet or damp area that doesn’t get much sun, as this can make your wood prone to rot. Also, check on where it sits in relation to your neighbours, to create privacy. 

If you are building your deck right off your home, consider the damp proof course as to where you fasten it. You’ll also want to set your deck on a slight decline, moving water away from your home.


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Materials

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Materials

Here’s a general overview of the types of materials you can expect to need in your project. Of course, depending on your plan, you may find you need more or less equipment. Remember that preparation is key to know how much wood and decking is required.

  • Tape measure to determine appropriate size and length
  • Chalk line and pencil for marking off your measurements
  • Level and carpenter’s square to check on your work for proper fit
  • Drill, bit, and decking-appropriate screws for fastening your decking and joist boards
  • Hammer and nails for framing purposes
  • Saw for cutting wood
  • Paintbrush and chosen stain for finishing
  • Other finishing touches for decorating
  • Timbers for your posts, joists, decking boards, and railings, as needed for the scope of your project


Step by Step Guide on How to Lay Decking

  1. Start by preparing the area. Measure and lay out space for your deck. You’ll want to create a solid foundation for your deck. Use paving stones or a concrete base to support your deck in place and prevent it from sinking into soft ground. Make sure this surface is level, or you will have to raise your frame to accommodate.
  2. A simple box frame will start out your deck. This should be as wide and long as you’ve envisioned your deck to be.
  3. Place your joists in the frame. Lay them out to make sure they are spaced properly, around 400mm between them. Remember that a shorter space is better for support than leaving one that is too wide. Once you are happy with the positioning, nail your joists to the frame.
  4. Check that your frame is level. If it isn’t, you’ll need to add support to raise up any low areas.
  5. Secure your frame to the ground so it won’t move. You can use posts or wooden spikes that dig into the ground and fasten to the corners of your frame to hold it steady.
  6. Add noggins to your frame between joists for extra strength. This is just like framing a wall!
  7. Start at one end and fasten the first decking board with screws. You’ll want a slight overhang with the first board to ensure proper water runoff.
  8. Then, apply the next decking board. There should a gap of 5 mm between each board for an even, consistent look that allows your wood to react to weather changes.
  9. You can plan and sand the other edges of your deck for a nice finished effect.
  10. Now, move on to the finishing touches! Whether it’s stain or paint, you’ll want to treat your word properly for it to last. Read on for more information about the best decking paint for your needs.
  11. Once your deck is built and sealed, you can decorate with furniture and start enjoying your space.


Modern Deck


What is The Best Decking Paint?

Now that you’ve learn how to lay decking and built your deck, it’s time to think about the finish you’d like to see. This is an important step since proper finishing takes care of your wood, making it last longer so you can enjoy it for years to come! Taking care of your deck with regular maintenance will keep it looking picture perfect, but it also allows you to use it without worrying about doing damage. But before you break out the brushes, you’ll want to know what’s the best decking paint for the job.


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Clear

Clear stain helps to seal your decking, but won’t change its colour or hide the look of the grain. When you love the look of natural wood but still want to protect it, this is the perfect choice for you. It makes your wood water repellant to help preserve it, getting it as close as possible to being waterproof. This type of stain generally does not last as long and will require refreshing at least once a year to keep your timber safe and secure.


Semi-transparent

This range of stains will tint your wood but allows the texture of your wood to stand out. Semi-transparent stains are available in a small range of colours, usually mimicking natural colours. But you may find a deep blue or green to make your deck unique! Whether you go light or dark, these stains will last longer than clear stain since they soak into the wood to colour it. You may still want to refresh it at the start of the season to ensure your wood stays preserved.


Solid

A solid stain will cover your wood like paint would, giving you full, rich colour. It will cover up any irregularities in your wood, such as a newer board that hasn’t quite aged like the rest. It still lets some of your wood texture to shine through. Solid stain comes in a wider range of colours but usually sticks to natural, earthy tones so your outdoor space suits the outdoors.


Paint

If you want to get truly solid colour, paint is the finish for you. The colour range is immense and will disguise the texture of your wood. Unlike stain’s more natural range, paint can be in any colour you wish! If you want a bold colour like purple or red, this would be the finish for you. Your paint will need to be of high quality, sure to withstand the high traffic and bond with your decking to last. Remember that paint will not protect the surface of your wood as a stain does, so you may need to protect your wood with a sealant coat. This will ensure your beautiful and bright painted deck lasts just as long as a classic tint. 

In any case, your chosen product will need reapplying to stay pristine and protect your wood. You’ll also want to ensure the finish is flat, matte or eggshell so it does not become slippery in the rain. Since you walk on it, this is important to remember in the finish you choose!


Decking


Summary

Now that you know how to lay decking, all you need to do is dream up a design for your deck and start building! So whether you’ve chosen real wood timber in a natural or colourful stain, your deck is only a few days of work away. As you toil, just remember the end goal: a beautiful space where you’ll enjoy time outside. Soon, you’ll be bringing in plants, furniture, or even decorative lighting touches to claim this space as your own. 

But if laying decking yourself seems like more of a challenge than you like, remember that you can always hire a professional to handle the work. They can make your vision a reality, and you’ll just be able to step outside to enjoy it.


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The sunny skies and warm temperatures of summer are on the horizon, drawing us all out of the house! It’s the perfect time of year to stake your claim on a nice patio chair and make the most of the next few months. But before you do, you’ll want to make sure your patio is ready.

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1. Take the Indoors Outdoors

Your garden patio can be a valuable space, extending your living area outside of the constraints of your home. Why not supply an outdoor patio with all the comforts of indoor living? You can sit back and relax with the right furnishings

Start with a good, weatherproof couch and chairs for seating. Add in side tables of metal or ceramic and make it warm and inviting with lighting and cushions. You can even add outdoor plants in pots for a spot of life!

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A Place to Read

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2. A Place to Read

Sometimes the best way to relax is to curl up with a good book. In the summer, you can take your reading material outside, whether it’s a newspaper, book, or e-book! Your garden patio will allow you to take in the warm temperatures along with some entertainment or education. A reading nook is easy to create. All you will need is a comfortable chair and good lighting.

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3. Make It Bright and Colourful

When you’re searching for top garden patio ideas keep in mind that your garden patio should be anything but boring. Colour is an easy way to spice it up and make it a more inviting space. Give your existing patio furniture a fresh new look with paint. Try bold colours like blue, red, or yellow for a summery feel or, if you need new furniture, find products that are in the palette you want.

Aim for a monochrome scheme for a tied together look or, stick with a neutral like white, black, or brown with one or two colours as your accents. If you want to be truly bold, go for a full rainbow to create a unique and bright outdoor space.


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4. Sunbathers Paradise

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Set up a chaise or outdoor lounger that makes it easy to lie out and catch some rays. Just make sure that your chaise doesn’t get too hot in the sun or it could turn into a painful experience. You can also add an umbrella for the days when the sun is just too much. This also adds a pop of colour and height to your garden patio!


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No matter what project you are tackling, the most important step is to draught a detailed plan. Your plan should include the layout and design, measurements, materials, a budget, and a timeline. Having the information for these aspects written out will keep your project running smoothly and ensure that it stays on track.


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Start by taking a look at your yard. Do you have a particular wall that would align well with a rectangular patio? Would a circular patio add a quaint and charming air to your yard? Do you have space for an extensive patio or do you just need enough space for a few patio chairs?

When you figure out the answers to these questions and questions like these you will discover that your yard has already provided you with a bounty of inspiration.

Then, once you’ve decided on the essentials like size and shape you can begin to get creative. Intricate brickwork? A mosaic-style patio? The options are endless!


Measurements

Once you’ve settled on a design and drawn it out, it’s time to take some measurements. These measurements will serve as a guideline for the entire project. Your measurements will determine how much and even which kind of materials are best for the patio. So, it is absolutely essential that you take great care when heading out with your measure tape.

You’ll want to measure around the entire perimeter of where the patio will lie. This will provide you with the square meterage of your patio. You can then take this information and use it to purchase the correct amount of materials for your project.


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Spring has sprung and it’s understandable that you might want to start thinking about updating your garden. Garden decking is a great way to create a space for hanging out with friends and family and to encourage you to get outside. Read on to discover some great, modern garden decking ideas that will totally transform your garden. Whether you are looking to repair and remodel an old deck, or if you want inspirational decking ideas for a new build, we have you covered!

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If you want to lay decking in your garden, you might be overwhelmed by the number of options that are out there. Before you can delve into decking ideas, you need to work out what type of decking will work in your space. So, which option is right for you? You should take into consideration your budget, the type of garden you have, and what you intend to use your deck for.


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Ground Level Decking

Pros: Ground level decking is incredibly popular in households across the UK. It’s not hard to see why, as ground level decking is usually very easy to install. Ground level decking is also often the cheapest type of decking to install due to its popularity.

Cons: Ground level decking can be susceptible to rotting. This is because the wood will be sitting directly on the ground, which means that it is in constant contact with the water in the soil. You can avoid this problem by adding proper ventilation underneath the wood. Talk to your deck installer about ventilation before you begin.


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Cons: Unsurprisingly, multi-level decking is one of the most expensive types of decking. It can take a while to install. You also need to make sure that your multi-level decking is properly supported, as the weight of seating and other furniture could compromise the deck.

Whatever type of deck you choose, we have plenty of decking ideas for you. Read on to find out how you can make the most of your garden decking.


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