How to Get Started with a Timber Decking Kit

Decking kits are a relatively practical option for people looking forward to bringing new elements to their outdoor space, especially the garden area. Decking provides an extension of your living space to bring your friends and family together for relaxation and entertainment. Decking is the way to go if you want to create a space for BBQing or add a surround to a pool or hot tub.

Timber decking kits are for DIY enthusiasts who don’t mind getting their hands dirty. They contain all the fixtures and fittings you need to build a deck, saving you the stress of shopping for supplies. From the pre-cut deck boards to joists, bearers, and handrails, as well as brackets, bolts, and screw

So how do you install this stunning element in your garden space? Read on to understand the process of building your deck.

  1. Work out the size of decking you need

Measuring the size of your deck framework is the first step to building your deck. This will give you the right idea of the number of materials you will need. Doing this in advance will help you save a lot in terms of money and time.

Also, take planning permission into account as well. Generally, you won’t need planning permission, provided your decking is not more than 30cm above the ground and doesn’t cover more than 50% of your garden area.

  1. Choose the position for your decking

When choosing the spot for your decking, there are a few factors to be considered:

  • The topography of the area; is the ground level or sloppy? It is more challenging to lay decking on a sloppy area. Is the ground dry? A wet area isn’t suitable for decking. 
  • The level of the sun the decking will get; think about the sun’s position throughout the day when setting out your decking. Look for a spot that offers the level of sun or shade you prefer.
  • Your level of privacy; a raised decking can give you extra height, so you’re not overlooked by neighbors.
  • Existing features such as tress and posts; you don’t necessarily need to remove trees, but you can work around them instead. However, do your research first, as you do not want your decking to be destroyed by roots.
  1. Get the right set of tools

Having the right set of tools during the initial stage of your project will make your work significantly more straightforward. As well as the deck boards and other materials, you will need a range of tools:

  • Protective equipment (Hand gloves and eye goggles)
  • Pencil, tape measure, spirit level, and try square.
  • Spade to clear the area.
  • Drill and drill bits and screwdriver.
  • Nail gun or hammer.
  1. Prepare the ground surface for the deck

Next comes preparing the area for work once you’ve decided where to lay your decking. Begin by outlining the size and shape of your decking on the ground using pegs hammered at each corner with a builder’s line running between each peg. 

Then, use a spade to clear the site of turf, plants, or rocks. Check that the ground is level using a spirit level, and even it out if necessary with extra soil or compact the soil to flatten it. Now, you can lay your deck straight onto the ground or use concrete paving slabs below to sit on top of the deck. Either way, you’ll need to lay weed control fabric followed by a layer of gravel 40 to 50mm deep to prevent weeds from appearing through the boards.

  1. Assemble the frame and lay the deck boards

The decking frame consists of inner and outer joists. First, fix the outer frame using two countersunk screws at each corner. Then fit the inner joists at a 400mm center interval on the outer frame, using two countersunk screws through the outer frame into each end. 

Start laying the deck boards in one corner of the sub-frame, positioned across the inner joists at right angles. You must secure the board to the joist using two decking screws at every point the board meets a joist. Mark the locations for the screws first, and then drill pilot holes to help guide the screws. Repeat the process with the second row, leaving expansion gaps between the boards so rainwater can run between the boards.

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