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How to Design and Build a Fantastic Deck Yourself


One of the best additions to a home is a deck. Creating this usable space is an excellent spot for relaxing, entertaining, barbecuing, and more.

Designing and building a deck yourself takes some work, but it isn’t impossible. If you have a plan, the materials, and the tools for this job, you can take it from beginning to end.


Planning for Your New Deck

Before starting a new deck, you’ll need to check with your local council regarding permitting. Some neighbourhoods even have specific design requirements you’ll need to have approved before proceeding with the project.

The best deck designs provide enough size for your preferred outdoor furniture, space to move around, and enjoy some fun activities. You can do everything from installing a container garden to creating an outdoor art studio with this home addition.

When designing the size and shape of your deck, it helps to think about the board size you’ll use. You don’t want to leave narrow pieces at the ends or in the middle.

After you have an approved design, the next step is to have your underground utility lines, pipes, and cables marked. When that task is complete, you’ll be ready to start working with your decking materials.

Decking Materials to Use When Building

Most people think about using wood for their new deck design. It’s easy to manage, allowing for clean cuts and consistent measurements. You’ll need to remember to use pressure-treated lumber for your posts and support beams to maximise the lifespan of your design.

If you purchase pressure-treated lumber, it usually arrives wet. You’ll need to allow it to dry before staining it after building the deck. That process usually takes at least six months to complete.

Another option to consider is composite decking. Fiberon is an excellent choice because it requires minimal maintenance, requires zero nails, and has no visible repetitions or easily discernible patterns.

Since it’s made from recycled materials, you don’t need to worry about your environmental footprint when using Fiberon. It offers double-sided, reversible boards that feature multichromatic hardwood colours without needing chemical preservatives to extend its life.

Fiberon delivers the industry’s first 50-year fade and stain warranty. You’ll also receive a lifetime performance guarantee.

Depending on the height of your deck, it might be necessary to install railings. Vinyl is an excellent alternative to natural materials, providing a solution that’s easy to cut and place on your design.

Basic Deck Construction Principles to Follow

The basic design includes the following elements when you start building your deck.

  1. A foundation with 100 x 100mm posts that support an elevated platform.
  2. 250 x 50mm beams for length support.
  3. 100 x 50mm beams for diagonal bracing.
  4. 200 x 50mm beams for joists and framing needs.
  5. 140mm decking boards.
  6. Materials for your stairs and railings.

If you’ve decided to build a more oversized deck, you can install parting (pattern) boards in the middle of the deck. This design element creates a design element that some people enjoy. There’s a practical benefit when including it because you remove the need to butt the boards together to span the deck’s width.

You can also eliminate some of the necessary deck posts by attaching a ledger board to your home. It might be worth having a professional builder handle that step since it can cause problems when it isn’t done correctly.

Freestanding or floating decks don’t attach to the house, but they should be less than one inch away for a proper installation.

Mark the Layout of the Deck

Instead of free-building a deck, it helps to place batter boards beyond the corners of your planned installation area. Tie strings to them to mark your outer edges, then drive stakes as close to your home as possible.

You’ll need to level the layout strings before adjusting them to achieve your layout pattern.

If you have sod in the area, it should get removed before building the deck. This issue might be required by local code. When a deck is low to the ground, the trapped moisture from the root base can cause premature water damage.

You’ll need to set out the post locations, mark them appropriately, and determine the height of your deck.

Once you reach this point, you’re ready to do the building. That means you’ll need to set the posts, build the frame, and then use the deck boards to cover. Most small- to medium-sized decks can be made during a weekend or two when you’ve gathered the materials, created a design to follow, and have the tools available.

Contact Us

At NexGEN Decking, we are proud to create beautiful outdoor living spaces that our clients love. If you’re ready to add a new deck to your landscape but aren’t quite sure how to do it without breaking the bank, our friendly and knowledgeable representatives will work with you to design the deck of your dreams that fits your budget. Our beautiful, sturdy decking is made from recycled materials and comes with a 50-year stain and fade warranty. Contact us today to receive a free sample pack of our affordable decking that showcases our unique material in our most popular colours or to start planning your dream deck!

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