Building Your Own Patio or Decking
Getting decking constructed for you can be a very expensive choice that won’t necessarily provide you with greater quality. Creating your own decking can be very easy as long as you are prepared to commit some sweat and work to the job. You will need little more than a basic selection of cordless tools to complete this job and it will be well worth the effort.
What a Deck is made of
A deck is made up of several small elements that raise the wood off of the ground and give you a slightly elevated area. The basic frame of the deck is constructed out of a ledger, joists, beams and piers. Atop this sits the actual decking.
Where to Begin
You will need to begin by removing the outer trim from the wall thatyou will attach the decking to. You will need to remove up to a foot of trim above where the decking will sit and then cover this area with an adhesive waterproof membrane.
Install wood spacers along the outer wall for every two feet of wall and then nail the ledger into these spacers. These joins should then be strengthened by screwing them through both ledger and spacer into the wall. You will need a cordless drill and some screws of at least three inches in length to achieve this.
Protecting the Ledger
As the ledger will be bearing most of the weight from your decking it is important to protect it from the weather. Cover the top of the ledger with an adhesive waterproof membrane to start with. You should then attach a piece of sheet metal bent into an ‘L’ shape against the ledger and the wall. Nail this sheet in place.
Using the ledger as a base, determine where each footing location will be. There should be one for each corner and one every eight feet along the decking. At each footing location dig a hole for the footing and construct the pier atop each by following the manufacturer’s instructions.
Before filling, check that the level of each pier is correct and in line with the others. Once you are sure that the footings and piers are in the correct positions, fill them with concrete and allow them to set.
Install Joists and Posts
The posts need to be measured against the piers to ensure they will be the correct height. Once you have ensured that they are all accurately measured, you will need to bore a hole for a bolt with a masonry hammer drill. Use this hole to bolt the posts into place securely. This should be possible with basic hand tools once you have bored the correct hole but you may need to use an impact wrench.
Once the posts are in place you can simply attach the side rim joists to the posts and ledger. You will need to square the corners once they are nailed in place and metal corner braces need to be attached with heavy duty bolts.
Install Interior Joists
The interior joists will need to rest on joint hangers. Attach these to the ledger and front edge joists. Check that each is properly aligned each time and continue the process until all of the interior joists are in place.
Check that the top of the joists all remain level throughout this process. Any raised edges will need to be planed and sanded down to the correct level so that it is far easier to ensure they are correctly positioned at first.
Attaching the decking to the joists is an easy process but it needs to be done neatly to ensure it looks attractive. Equally space the nails from board to joist to ensure they look attractive and properly patterned.
Treat the Wood
Once the decking is all attached and complete it is worth sanding the surface and treating the wood again. You can decide between staining, waxing and polishing the wood but whichever decision you make it is essential to ensure it is a weather resistant solution.