Installing Deck Boards – How to Build a Deck Part 5
This is part 5 in our how to build a deck series.
Installing deck boards is the first aesthetic part in our how to build a deck series. While the deck boards still have to be functional and able to support the proper amount of weight, it should also be an incredibly stylistic element of your outdoor space.
Wood decking is still very common and can help give a deck a classic feeling, but it does require regular ongoing heavy maintenance to keep it looking good and free of cracks, splinters and rot. Our alternative for those who are not keen on the back breaking maintenance is NexGEN capped composite decking. Like the oils ain’t oils campaign, not all composite decking is created equal. There are a few drawbacks with certain composite materials on the market today such as staining, fading, mildew and thermal expansion. However there are new generation composites on the market that provide long warranties against these defects. Best to read this article on the differences between the decking materials available and check the warranty before deciding on a type of decking. Look for a stain and fade warranty and 20 years as a minimum requirement.
Installing deck boards: Install the first board next to the edge of the house and fill in the deck moving outwards. Standard practice for timber is to run two screws into the board at each joist. NexGEN capped composite decking features a hidden fastening system designed to provide a secure surface without the usual time and hassle of nailing down the decking boards. NexGEN specialists don’t recommend nailing, as they will move, pop up, rust and generally create more maintenance and can cause serious injury.
When installing deck boards, the decking should overhang the frame a bit at the edges. If you have interior mounted posts, then use a jigsaw or similar tool to notch around them for a tight fit and seamless look. Structural bridging should be installed at this stage of the build. Putting a bridge every 400mm on centre will help to support any inlay blocking your design may have and is also a good way to strengthen the general existing structure.
If you’ve designed a deck with an inlay, then you’ll want to mark out the space taken up by the inlay. A pencil will work but a chalk line will likely be more accurate and is much faster. From there, fill in the inlay space with your decking boards, being careful to overhang the chalk like you’ve marked by at least 25mm. Then you can mark your actual boards and trim off the excess so that the inlay fits properly. Trim the outer edges of the boards to the proper overhang off the edge of the deck.
Different kinds of decking will come with different specifications when it comes to installing it, so it’s important to be sure of the proper way to install the exact kind of decking you’re using. Ground level decks will often require there to be space between the boards for the sake of ventilation.
Installing deck boards, is a DIY deck your next project? Contact us. NexGEN Decking offers a wide range of high-quality and maintenance free materials to help make you deck the best it can be and give you the perfect space to enjoy the outdoors with friends and family.