Building a great looking timber deck is not rocket science; all it takes is a good understanding of the basics involved and of course, your skills as a do-it-yourself person. The trick to building a great looking timber deck is to keep it simple. Break the entire project down into a series of smaller, simple steps here’s how:
1. Start off with a bit of research coupled with some old-fashioned question-answer session at your local Canberra decking supplier. With plenty of reading material available online, it is not hard to find all the information you need on types of timber and their differences. But be sure to back this up with a chat at the local decking supplier because there can be a lot of information on the net that is ambiguous and sometimes, downright incorrect.
Talking with your local decking materials supplier might also reveal new products on the market that are engineered for specific needs. For example, there are now under-deck ceiling systems that not only waterproof but also redirect rainwater away from your decking area. The product is watertight and is easy to install.
When you do your research, always keep your location in mind i.e., is the location of your home or office in a bushfire prone area? If so, you might want to research more on composites rather than real wood timber decks. Also, it is easier to work with composites than real wood timber decks. Also keep in mind local legal requirements.
2. Know your requirement – how big a timber deck do you need?
Know the purpose of your timber composite decking. For example, should it be large enough to fit a Jacuzzi? Or perhaps you would want to place a 6-seater dining table? Maybe your kids would love to ride their bikes on it? How about protection from the rain and sun? Or perhaps you love to have it sunny in winter and shaded in summer? How about some privacy? Or access to the kitchen and other areas?
Whatever be your requirement, draw up a design (to scale) that caters to your requirement. The design will not only help put your timber deck in prospective, it will help you quantify your requirements in terms of material and finances.
A great looking outdoor timber decking starts with a good design – horizontal and vertical. Always do your design in two dimensions; it ensures greater accuracy and less chances that you might miss something – drainage for example.
If you are not too confident about your artwork, do not hesitate to engage the services of a draftsperson or engineer (it is less expensive than you think).
3. Site preparation – Clear the site of bushes, structures, etc. Avoid cutting down trees unless you really need to; trees blend in nicely with your timber decks and make for some great looking timber deck.
4. Setting-out the area – After the site has been prepared, work on setting out the area i.e. location set out, horizontal set-out and vertical set-out.
5. Construction. Start with footing and footing holes. Always check that your posts are completely vertical by using a spirit level on all four sides of your post (not just one side).
Once you have your posts in place, you can begin laying down the bearers. Again, use a spirit level to ensure your bearer is absolutely horizontal. Your next step thereafter would be laying the joists. Space and fix the joists in accordance with your design.
Finally, you can lay the deck. Ensure your screws or nails or are consistently in the centre of your decking board – mark the locations if necessary.
6. Painting or Sealing. This step is required to protect your investment. Without some form of protection, a great looking timber deck will not remain great looking for long.
7. Certification. Even if you are an engineer yourself, you should have your timber deck certified by a professional. Certification ensures your great looking timber deck is truly safe for human use.
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