What to Consider When Installing an Outdoor Deck
Installing an outdoor deck can seem like a fairly simple and straightforward building project. A deck close to ground level may not even require rails and balusters. However, before you take out your hammer and saw and embark on a DIY decking project, there are some things you need to think about.
Council Approval for Decking
The first thing you'll need to think about is if you need council approval. Go to www.licensedtrades.com.au and scroll down until you find your state, so you can see what the licensing regulations are in place.
If you live in NSW, for example, and the cost of materials is greater than $1000, you will need to hire a licensed builder.
Odds are, if a builder is required for your decking project, you'll also need to get council approval. To be sure, give your local council a call. Aside from the cost of the project, your deck's location, height and other factors may require you to get council approval and a licensed tradie.
Your Deck Design
The simplest type of deck to build is a flat deck, but this might not be the best design for your property- you might want to install a multi-level deck or other unusual design.
Do some research on the internet and in magazines for inspiration - to find the type of deck you like that is suitable for your space.
Your choice of timber is an important one. Again, do some research on some of the most popular decking timbers and how they are graded for durability.
If you want a low-maintenance deck that looks great, look into composite decking, which is made from a mixture of waste timber and plastic (sometimes recycled). Today's composite decking is UV resistant and only requires occasion washing down with water to look its best.
What's Under Your Deck?
If you build a low deck without considering the soil conditions under it, you might end up having weeds sprouting between your decking boards before you know it.
Check to see if you need to kill weeds and take other steps to prevent weeds from growing before you lay your deck.
Also, be sure there are no pipes or underground cables under the ground where you plan on laying your deck. Cutting into a water or gas pipe, or an electrical cable is dangerous and getting them repaired is expensive.
Draw a Plan
Draw a plan before you buy your materials, then make a list of all the materials you'll need.
You'll need to buy posts, beams, joists and decking. Your decking supplier will be able to help you choose the right materials for every part of your deck. For example, any timber that comes into contact with the ground should have a Class 1 or 2 rating for durability.
If you're handy with tools, DIY decking is doable but don't take it lightly. Follow the steps above and ask your decking supplier for complete instructions and you can build a deck that will last for years.
If you're not confident in your abilities, get quotes from decking builders - it's an investment well worth making.
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This article courtesy of hipages.com.au, Australia's #1 site to hire tradespeople. To get 3 FREE no obligation quotes for tradesmen in your area, fill out the form below.
Images courtesy of Evergreen Carpentry & Joinery, Anthony Clark Carpentry.
Published: 23 November, 2015