The different types and varieties of timber available can make for great looking garden decking. Better still, there is no need to call in the professionals as you can have a go at installing it yourself.

The process is straightforward so with a bit of tuition and guidance, you too could be the envy of all your neighbours with some new decking to complement that conservatory.

Health and Safety

Before we dive in, there are a number of safety precautions you should be aware of when working with timber and power tools:

  • Always wear goggles to avoid debris from entering your eyes.
  • Always wear a facemask when using a saw to cut timber. You don’t want to inhale any sawdust in the air.
  • Don’t burn any timber off-cuts as they are usually treated with toxic chemicals. Instead, dispose at your local recycling centre.
  • Always make sure that you apply any staining or varnish in a well ventilated area.

Step One – Prepare Your Garden

Your decking should be erected over a free draining oversite with a fall of 1 in 40. This avoids the need for costly under decking drainage.

Once you’ve identified your site, complete the following steps;

  • Fix marker pegs into the ground to outline your installation area. Use string to join each peg together, forming a template as you go.
  • Clear all rocks, weeds and vegetation within this area. Make use of a weed barrier membrane to cover your oversite to prevent any weed growth.

Step Two – Build the Frame

You can either lay your decking directly onto the ground, onto concrete slabs or by fixing to a raised foundation. Direct to ground is only recommended for small, basic builds. A raised deck frame onto a footing is the most popular option as it creates a strong and durable platform.

If making use of a footing, the steps are as follows:

  • Construct your outer frame with timber joists fixed together and laid along the perimeter of your oversite.
  • Next, fix your vertical posts to your frame at 1m spacing intervals. Posts should be fixed with the use of screws or nails.
  • Remove the frame and use a trowel to dig holes 30x30cm along the perimeter. These holes should be filled with concrete and allowed to set for a week.

Step Three – Install Joists and Lay Decking

Your next step is to span the frame internally with the use of joists. These should be spaced appropriately and fixed to the perimeter joists with galvanised nails and hangers.

Once the load bearing frame is in place, you’re now free to lay the decking surface of your choice. Complete a trial fitting before nailing any boards into place.

Timber Retailers

Timber joists and other associated fixings can be purchased from any DIY outlet. You can also order from a builder’s merchant for local delivery. Essex has a variety of local timber merchants so you’re sure to find timber specialists in Basildon and the surrounding areas. Consider mixing and matching colours and grains for a unique finish.

Home DIY doesn’t have to be difficult with the availability of common materials and the information online on how to use them.