by PHU Bortnowski

Building wooden decking in the garden

Johannes van Graan Johannes van Graan
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Spring (and, ultimately, summer) is fast approaching, which will definitely see a resurgence in exterior socialising and entertaining. And what better way to enjoy some outdoor fun than by treating yourself to a fabulous new terrace?

There is no denying the visual appeal that a wooden terrace brings to a house, not to mention how it can enhance its selling value. 

And when it comes to the installation of that terrace, we also have choices: we can either rely on the professionals, or flex our DIY muscles and do it ourselves.

Let’s take a look at (semi) detailed guide on how to install a wooden deck/terrace should you be inclined to opt for the latter.

1. Forming the foundation

Every great home improvement project has to start somewhere, and this one kicked off by clearing out the garden and making it as level as possible for the concrete foundation to be poured. This is obviously a very important step to avoid any future breakage or collapsing of the deck. 

Once the concrete foundation base has been set, a screed level is added to act as a smooth flat levelling surface.

2. Mounting the brackets

After the screed has been laid, the next stage would be to place the support beams, which are really only long pieces of timber to further help support the decking/terrace. 

The idea is also to help gain some height for a slightly elevated look.

3. The support points

Landscape architects know very well the importance of ensuring that a terrace or deck’s support points are kept straight and in contact with the ground, otherwise there’s a risk of twisting the timber slats. 

A certain distance must also be included between concrete and wood in order to create a more durable structure.

4. Laying the flooring

The next step sees the adding of the top-level planks, which form the flooring surface of the new deck. Of course this is also a phase where precise measurement is vital, seeing as the planks need to be cut to the correct size. 

Fortunately, we are spoiled for choice when it comes to choosing wood for an exterior floor: From Southern Yellow Pine and Tigerwood to Mahogany and Redwood, there’s a wood flooring option to fit any budget or design.

5. Protecting the wood

This deck is shaping up quite nicely, although there is one more important step to remember – protecting your wooden deck. 

Regular cleaning and sealing (completed by professionals) at least every 2 to 3 years is quite crucial to protect it against the rain and sun. If you opt to do it yourself, you’ll probably need to clean and seal the deck at least once a year, so in the long run, professional work pays for itself. 

However, we advise that you avoid painting or staining your deck with a solid stain, as these finishes eventually peel and require a significant amount of maintenance. Oil-based stains are usually the best, for they protect your deck and fade gradually and naturally.

6. The finished result

And there we have it: a brand new wooden deck to help us enjoy the outdoors. 

Some minor details still need to be finalised here and there, but we think it’s safe to say that the hardest parts are over, and that it’s now time for the most fun phase – decorating! 

And for that, we you to take a look at these Gorgeous garden furniture.

Are you considering building a wooden deck / terrace?
Whitton Drive:  Terrace house by GK Architects Ltd

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