Decking Techniques For The Ultimate Garden Makeover
Whether it is because you find gardening a bit of a chore or because there is an area you can do nothing with, decking is a fantastic solution. It gives you a flat platform where you can sit and relax or entertain guests. The structure also integrates your house and garden in a neat way. It remains a popular choice to replace patios made of hard material particularly where the ground is uneven. If you wanted to raise a stone or concrete patio to match the floor level of your home, you would have to build retaining walls. Then you would need to fill the space with many tons of soil and rubble before laying the surface. Decking is versatile and the height at which you build it doesn’t matter; the construction method remains the same.
A sloping garden is ideal for decks. As you will see, it is easy to move from one level to another as you ascend or descend the garden. Here is my DIY how-to guide to construct a subframe and platform for almost every situation.
If the deck is at floor level, the construction method is simple. Because the entire frame will rest on the ground for support, you can use small beams. Make sure that you use a product that is pressure treated, or it will rot quickly.
Dig the area for the deck to a depth of about four inches. Make the bottom of the hole solid by treading it with your heels, using a ram, or hire a wacker plate to do the job. The latter will do the best job. The more times you work over the ground, the firmer it will become. Line the hole with a weed resistant membrane next. It comes on a roll from your local DIY store. Fill the hole with sand and hardcore and make it firm. Now you have an excellent base on which to rest the deck.
Build the subframe by drilling holes in the timber and inserting long screws. I recommend that you use a cordless screwdriver or drill for the job. Don’t space the beams any further than eighteen inches apart, or the platform might bounce when you walk on it. Cut the decking boards to size and screw them to the beams.
For a raised platform, you must mount vertical posts in the ground using concrete and then construct the subframe between them. If it is a small deck, you might build the frame on the ground and get some helpers to lift it while you secure it to the posts. That isn’t possible with a hefty platform. As the levels change in the garden, alter the length of the support posts. Though the principle is simple, it is a physically demanding project.
That is more or less everything you need to know about decking construction. Of course, you will enhance the structure with an attractive balustrade and steps where you need to. You will need to treat the decking boards with a protective coating every few years to keep them looking at their best, but that is easy. Just jet wash them first and wait for them to dry before you apply the product.
Do you think you could take on this project? Why not build a small ground level deck first and see how you get on? It is an enjoyable job that has a remarkable effect on your garden.