Everything you need to know in order to build your own decking.
Summer is just around the corner, or so we like to think, but regardless of the frosty May mornings and unseasonal wind and rain we still dream of lazy summer days and long warm evenings spent outdoors in the garden.
A garden deck is the perfect spot to enjoy a family barbeque, drinks with friends or simply just somewhere to sit and unwind so why not build yourself some garden decking that will be the envy of your friends and neighbours? f you need some inspiration just take a look at these decking projects decking projects.
We think that this is the perfect springtime project so let’s take a look at what we are going to need to make sure that our decking does the business.
In order to do a good job you need the right tool for the job and when it comes to building decking there are five types of tool required.
Let’s take a look at our kit list:
1. Planning and measuring tools
2. Digging tools
3. Cutting tools
4. Fastening tools
5. Finishing tools
Planning and measuring tools
‘Measure twice and cut once’ – Planning and setting out your project is possibly the most important step in any diy project, Firstly a good strong 25M tape measure will handle all but the most ambitious of decking projects, ensure that all parts are level and edges are square by using a spirit level and set square or framing square. A chalk line or chalk box is a handy tool for marking out straight lines that can be easily erased later on.
You can refer to the Timber Decking and Cladding Association for lots of technical advice on the construction of your decking and the materials you should use – supports, boards and fixings. To review their publications visit their downloads page.
A good old fashioned spade will serve you well for general digging however a more specialised tool may be required for digging your post holes, consider using a drain spade or for deeper post holes a clamshell posthole digger.
To cut your timber you ideally want a tool that will reliably cut piece after piece with the same precision and clean, sharp finish. For straight edges circular saw with a sharp carbide tipped blade will give you the best and most consistent results. The GMC 1200W (pictured right) is a good choice and is available for just £50.42 from Qwikfast). If you need to cut curves then make sure you use a jigsaw for free flowing lines and tight control. When it comes to those hard to reach, tight spots then you are going to need an oscillating saw.
You need your decking to be solid construction therefore it needs to be well fixed together, to achieve this the following tools will be invaluable.
A hammer and nails – possibly the most basic of all diy tools but still remarkably effective however for a faster job and a firmer fix consider using a power nailer.
A cordless drill allows you the freedom to move around without all those trailing wires and a 18 or 20 volt model packs plenty of punch.
For really secure bolts and screws try using an impact driver rather than hand tools, faster and stronger.
The final finish is what will make your decking really stand out so make sure that you take a little time and care over the final stage of your project.
We would always recommend using a router for a professional finish on those sharp edges and either a belt sander or an orbital sander for a smooth and consistent finish.
Well done! You have made a wonderful deck. Remember that your deck will need some periodic maintenance in order for it to keep it’s looks and maximise it’s life. If you want to read about decking care then check out our article.