There’s nothing better than a beautiful decking area out in the garden. It’s a simple place for you and your friends to enjoy long summer nights under the stars. You can watch the children playing on the lawn, and soak up the sun (when it comes out!) It will really help you make the most of your home. But, rather than pay a fortune for contractors, why not build it yourself? If you love getting stuck into DIY projects, then you’ll really enjoy this one. Set aside a weekend, and let’s dive in.
1. Sketch and design – Step one is all about getting the design right. Before you start buying wood and drilling holes into the ground, think about the size, shape, and placement. You can start with a simple hand-sketch. But, it’s worth consulting a garden designer before you proceed with the complete building process. Try to create a perfect scale model, so your figures are correct.
2. Measure and prepare the site – With your scaled designs in hand, you can begin to measure out the site. It’s best to use pegs and string to mark out the area. That immediately gives you a sense of shape and size. The next job is preparing the site. Strip the turf back to the underlying soil, and remove any roots and debris on the area. Finally, level off any sections that aren’t already flat. You don’t want a wonky decking!
3. Drill stump holes – Although it’s a low structure, you need strong foundations. That will keep it sturdy, and ensure the decking stays elevated. You can dig the stump holes yourself, but it’s not recommended. Instead, use a post hole digger hire to do this mechanically. It’s affordable, quicker, and much more professional. With these in place, you can enjoy a strong, sturdy decking area.
4. Foundation and base – Once the stump holes are dug, you can begin to create the elevated base and foundations. Using good quality timber, create a structure that rises at least eight inches off the ground. You’re looking for plenty of lift here to ensure there’s room for drainage. Otherwise, water will soak into the decking. If that decking is attached to the house, the wet wood will eventually cause damp inside the home.
5. Lay the panels – At this stage, you’ll finally start to see the decking come together. Again, choose high-quality timber to ensure a long life and strong structure. Start laying the boards at the outer part of the decking, and work your way in. Use a spirit level at every stage, so you make sure it’s accurate. Remember to leave a 3mm gap between boards, so rainwater can drain away.
6. Protection – Congratulations, your decking is complete! But, we all know that wood can quickly deteriorate over time. That’s why your final job is to coat it with protective varnish and paint. Now your decking can enjoy a long life.
All that’s left to do is invite your friends and family round, and enjoy an evening on your new decking. Perfect! Have you got any questions about the process? Let us know in the comments.