Now that the weather is [finally] starting to warm up, if your anything like me, you are going to want to spend more time out in your garden, and what better way then to sit out on a DIY decking!
Decks are great for enjoying the summer sunshine, relaxing with family, and even entertaining guests. As the bridge between your indoor and outdoor life, they are a great way to extend the liveable areas of your home and increasing the value of your property, no matter the size of your garden.
If you’ve always dreamed of having your very own deck, the good news is that building one is possible with enough guidance – even on a budget!
Below are some steps to build your own outdoor sanctuary. So keep scrolling!
Image credit: Thomas J. Story
Step 1: Create your decking plan
Good planning and plenty of research is important to make the most of your available resources and avoid costly mistakes. Study the layout of your garden and where you would get the most from the decking. Something important to consider is what the primary use will be for the decking – Will it be a hub for your thriving garden herbs, a centre for al fresco dining, a place to simply soak up some sun, or a combination of the three? What you plan on using it for can help decide where you should build it.
You can use decking to enhance your garden as a whole, too. Wood Magazine explains that even the most difficult problems like steep slopes and unsightly views can be easily solved through smart decking.
Image credit: Anthony Tieuli
Decisions like these will guide you when figuring out the size, shape, and layout of your project. Of course, smaller decks will be less expensive to build than larger ones, as is ground-level decking compared to raised or multi-level decking. (It might be worth noting now, that depending on your area and the size of the decking you will be building, you might need to look up your local laws and see whether you need to obtain any building permits)
Step 2: Lay down the foundations
Image credit: This Old House
Decks need a bottom supporting structure to ensure that the boards don’t touch the ground, which is especially necessary in our notoriously wet English climate. This is comprised of rim joists or beams, ledgers, and interior joists. A good foundation also ensures that the structural integrity of your deck will be strong enough for years of family use. I know that all sounds complicated, but with a little research anything is possible – and google is an amazing resource!
Image credit: David Carmack
To start, The Spruce recommends using stakes and a string to outline the shape. Using a shovel remove any grass and weeds within the area and level out the ground. If building next to the house – remove the trim and sliding where the ledger board will go.
As shown in the picture on the right, you cover the exposed sheathing with waterproof membrane to keep moisture out, and then install your ledger boards. These will anchor your deck to your existing house. Cut each joist to the right size you need and screw them together to build your frame. These will provide a level surface for your deck planks.
Step 3: Install decking boards
When it comes to the decking boards themselves, remember to choose carefully depending on how much you’re willing to spend not just during your construction, but also later on for maintenance. Decking boards and kits listed on Screwfix come in a variety of materials and finishes to suit every type of budget. A really popular type is composite boards, which are engineered from wood fibres and plastic that don’t stain or fade for up to 25 years. They’re typically low maintenance but can be a little more expensive initially. On the other hand, wood decking can be less pricey but will weather over time and have higher maintenance costs.
Image credit: Art Gray
Once the frame and foundations are in place, cut your decking boards.
These will be placed perpendicular to the frame using galvanised screws. Depending on the planks you buy, you may need to sand them down to get rid of splinters and rough edges.
An important step that you shouldn’t skip is to varnish your timber to protect your deck from rain and the sun’s heat. It will increase the life expectancy of the wood, and reduce your maintenance costs.
Step 4: Make it liveable
Image credit: Dominique Vorillon
The last step to building your deck is to make it comfortable for you and your family. Sunset Magazine suggests incorporating lighting, fencing, and railing to match your house’s style and suit your needs. You can also choose to add some shade by adding awnings or even training climbers to add shade through a pergola or trellis. Dress up your deck with furnishings, container plants, and even a hammock or two for the warm summer days ahead.
Image credit: Van Chaplin
Are you looking to add more to your backgarden?Maybe you’re thinking of adding a greenhouse and want to makeit yourself?
Check out my guide to building your own greenhouse. Where i provide a step by step review of how I am making it!
Alternatively, if you want to have a little project in the kitchen and enjoy the sweeter things in life, how about making homemade jam?
What ever you’re in the mood for making, have fun and enjoy the coming warm weather!