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How to build a deck

Here's how to make your own deck. My new deck took approximately two weeks from start to finish and came in at well under R10,000 for a complete entertainment area that is covered and decorated. With the exception of a few components, everything needed was bought at  Builders Warehouse.

 

Once you have completed the deck you can take the next step to create a complete entertainment deck, complete with roof and sides for shady weekends relaxing in the garden!

Here’s how you can build a deck in a day:

For the deck you will need:
Timber support beams
Split pole uprights
Decking planks
Beam hanging brackets
Easy-Clip decking system
6 x 60mm smooth shank cut screws
Spirit level
Drill and drill/driver with bit selection
fischer N8x100Z wall plugs and screws
Concrete mix - bagged and ready to add water
Builder’s line
Spade
Woodoc Deck Sealer
Woodoc Steelwool
Paintbrushes

Here’s how:

Constructing the frame

1. Start off by measuring out and preparing the site for your deck. You will need to clean out and level the area. Use a builder’s line to mark out the area.

2. This deck is going to be attached to the existing property on certain sides. Where there is no support, holes were dug to accept the split pole supports. The supports need to be above the level of the soil to the desired height of your deck.

3. Open the bagged concrete mix and make a pile with a hollowed out hole in the centre. Use a hosepipe to slowly add water and mix with a spade until the concrete is the consistency of cake mix. Pour this around the support, ensuring that the pole stays fairly straight and in line. Leave this to cure overnight.

4. Lay out all the support beams, as they will be installed to ensure that everything lines up and fits. It will never be one hundred percent perfect, so make any adjustments before you attach everything.

5. For this project we started by attaching the beams for the support frame to the existing structure. Use a spirit level as you attach the beams to stay in line. The next step will be to attach the beams to any pole uprights.

DIY Tip:
A word of advice when fastening beams to the existing structure you want a secure support system for the deck, so use plenty of plugs and screws suitable for the size of the deck.


6. The internal support beams are attached to the support frame using metal hanging brackets.

NOTE: Before adding the decking, apply three coats of Woodoc 35 to the frame.

Assembling the decking

7. Having previously tackled deck projects, this one was by far the easiest thanks to the Easy Clip system. The decking planks are routed with a groove to accept the clips, which are inserted between the planks above a support beam and then screwed into the beam. The deck planks themselves do not need to be drilled or screwed into.

8. Start at the back and work towards the front, laying one plank, adding the easy clips, and then putting down the next plank and slotting onto the other side of the clips. Proceed to lay the rest of the planks in this manner. Once all the planks have been laid you can start at the back and proceed to screw the easy clips to the beams.

Finishing and sealing the deck
Before sealing the deck, make a final inspection and fill in any knots or rough strips with Alcolin Wood Filler in a shade to match the deck finish. Leave this to dry and then lightly sand smooth.

Make sure the deck is absolutely free from dust before applying the first coat of Woodoc Deck Sealer. Work on one plank at a time, running with the grain from one end to the other with a paintbrush. This will ensure that there are no overlap marks for an even finish. Leave to dry overnight. Before applying the second coat use Woodoc Steelwool over the entire surface of the deck to remove any residue allow proper absorption of the second coat. Repeat this process for the third coat.

DIY Tip:
Where possible, apply the first coat before assembling to deck so that both sides of individual planks are protected.

For the roof and sides you will need:
Timber support beams
Beam hanging brackets
Spirit level
Drill and drill/driver with bit selection
fischer N8x100Z wall plugs and screws
Modek polycarbonate IBR sheeting (Builders Warehouse)
Roofing screws and roofing washers
Woodoc 35 Exterior Sealer
Paintbrushes

Here’s how:

9. The framework for the roofing was constructed in the same way as the support structure – see Constructing the frame above.

10. The one upright beam required was attached to the surface of the deck.

Finishing:
Apply three coats of Woodoc 35 to all exposed wood. Follow the instructions above for finishing and sealing the deck.

11. Over the frame we laid Modek (buy at your local Builders Warehouse) sheets, which were overlapped to create a waterproof roof over the entire structure. Fasten these securely to the frame with roofing screws and washers. Trimming was done with a Dremel Multitool and cutting wheel accessory. To complete the weatherproofing, tin flashing was fastened onto the walls to sit on top of the roofing and this was finished off with an application of a membrane-system waterproofing paint.

Styling your new entertainment area

Décor Lattice supplied trellis and bamboo blinds to transform the structure into a stylish entertainment deck (all items can be purchased at your local Builders Warehouse). The trellis was mounted on blocks to fit into the opening at one end, and bamboo blinds were attached to the beam above this to provide additional shade when needed, and a bit of warmth if you plan to use the deck during the winter months. Bamboo blinds were also used to cover up the roof sheeting and provide a more attractive look and feel to the inside of the structure. These were easily fitted by using thin timber battens across the beams to hold up the blinds, which were then stapled at each end.

Print out this project and take along to the local Builders Warehouse