Tips and Steps on How to Build a Deck
Have you been thinking about adding a deck to your home and want to know how to build a deck? Maybe you are unsure of the process or feel that you lack the skills required. Building a deck is a great way to add more living space to your home, giving you more entertaining space; the kids more room to play and can be a great way to add value to your property. This simple guide outlines the key steps on how to build a deck.
Consider Your Needs
Despite there being no heavy lifting or power tools involved, this step is essential to ensure the end product meets your expectations and lifestyle needs.
Start off by answering the following questions:
What are the intended functions of the deck? ie. Entertaining/kids play area.
Who will be using the deck – from the most frequent to the least?
Are there location considerations? ie. Protection from the sun or rain, privacy and outlook/scenery.
What type of deck would you like? There are many options available – from the various hardwoods to modern eco decks. Do you want an insulated roof system? Will you install awnings or outdoor blinds or privacy screens? Will your deck include stairs or new doors and windows? Will you include lights, fans or electrical outlets in the design?
It is also very important to be aware that Brisbane City Council has regulations regarding the construction of decks. Usually, a building approval is not necessary for decks of less than 1 metres high and 10 square metres in a residential area. However, it is worthwhile checking with Council beforehand. Any electrical work or plumbing should absolutely be done by a licensed professional.
Planning Your Deck
This is where the ultimate goal begins to take shape on paper. Take measurements using a tape measure and then sketch out the deck in relation to the house, being careful to include windows and doors, as well as any other obstacles such as landscaping or sheds.
One of the biggest decisions at this stage is deciding how to build a deck that is attached to the home (if at all). Bear in mind that you may need to wrap your deck around a corner to make the most of your property’s best aspects. Choosing how to attach a deck to your home can be easy or hard depending on various factors such as the height from the ground, the shape of your deck (such as described above) and the structure of your home. You might find this information useful on how to build a deck on a sloping block.
Now that the planning is complete, it is finally time to get your hands dirty. Start by removing any vegetation or rocks, being careful not to disturb any underground pipes or cabling. Grass should also be removed. Measure out the site and hammer in wooden pegs at the corners running a string line from each of these to aid in the visualisation of the deck.
It is imperative to ensure you have all the necessary materials to build the deck as well as the various tools, which will be required.
Construction of Your Deck
This phase is where your deck finally takes shape. The footings are fixed in place typically with concrete and check that all posts are level with a spirit level. Once the concrete has been cured, the bearers are laid down, followed by the joists. The actual laying of the decking boards will require patience. Allowing the correct spacing between the boards and lining up the screw or nails gives a professional look. Installation of balustrade as per the Australian standards is crucial for safety and the certification process. Hardwood timber decks can be painted or oiled. Although, some people like the silver tones achieved by leaving timber natural. Composite decking products do not require painting or oiling.
A Genuinely Worthwhile Project
A well-designed and constructed deck can transform your home leisure time and expand your living area. Whether you decide to build your deck yourself or hire a professional, we wish you all the best and hope that you get as much satisfaction as we do from building a safe, functional and attractive deck.
(Please note that this general information on the process of deck construction has been provided by All We Do Is Decks, a specialist deck building business in Brisbane. The above information on how to build a deck is intended as an overview only. We recommend seeking advice from a fully licensed and qualified deck builder.)