How to install a deck
 
 
 
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How to install a deck
 
  Feature – Selfbuilder and Homemaker – May 2011  
 

6th May 2011

 
     
 

Q&A – Installing decking

 
     
 

Cyril Williams of Woodlink UK – main UK importer and distributor of the sustainable Lyptus® hardwood decking range, hosts a question and answer session on the key considerations when installing decking products.

Decking continues to be a popular addition to any exterior environment, offering a visually striking and cost effective method of extending living space, creating a focal point for a garden or simply surrounding a pool or hot tub. When working with sloped sites, decking also offers an ideal solution for making the most of the space and importantly from an installation perspective, can easily accommodate applications where the door sill to ground level is at too steep a height.


While the flexibility of decking is widely documented, the key to ensuring a quality installation lies in detailed planning, as decking design will ultimately dictate the necessary sub-frame and associated structures.


However, when it comes to the detail of the installation, the following are all key points of which to be aware:

What should I consider as part of the planning application?
With a retrospective installation, or if the decking was not included as part of the original plans, one of the main considerations is the size of the deck in proportion to the house and garden. This is because new planning rules now apply (in England) to the size of decks in relation to the property or garden, which legislate that the decking cannot cover more than 50% of the garden.
Planning permission is also specifically required where a deck platform is more than 300mm (1ft) off the ground. However, best practice is to prepare the design and then cross check against planning regulations to confirm whether it requires consent.

 

How do I know what type of sub-frame to use?
The type of sub-frame will be determined by where the deck will be installed. A patio style deck, which is a raft construction, is most common and installed on a garden area that drains well. For sloping sites or multi-tier applications an elevated deck (post and beam) would be used.

Which direction should I lay the joists?
The direction you wish to lay the deck boards will establish joist direction, whether parallel, chevron, herringbone, checkaboard or quadrant. An important point to note is that laying deck boards in checkaboard and quadrant can hinder drainage and will require more regular maintenance.

How do I create a free draining structure?
As part of planning the deck should be designed with a free draining structure. For adequate ‘run off’, decks should be laid on a slight gradient (at least 1 in 100). Grooved decking should be laid down the fall to enable water ‘run off’ and ensure the groove ends can drain freely, i.e. pack out fascia if required.

What gap should I leave between deck boards?
Deck boards should be surface dry and laid with no less than a 6mm gap between boards to allow for seasonal shrinkage or swelling. When installing hardwood such as Lyptus® decking, you should allow 8mm gaps as the product is kiln dried hardwood and requires room for expansion in the wetter seasons.

Why is it advisable to loose-lay components before securing them?
The longer the components, particularly deck boards, are left to become surface dry the less the effects of shrinkage will be apparent after fixing them. The timber can also be cut and sanded more easily when dry. If the boards are allowed to fully dry out prior to fitting, the gap between boards should be increased by 2-3mm to allow subsequent expansion in the wetter seasons.

 

What type of fixings should I use?
For the very best results stainless steel screws should be used at 2 ½ times the thickness of the deck board. To avoid splitting it is advisable to pre-drill pilot holes near the end of the boards.

Where can I obtain more detailed guidance?
The Timber Decking Association is an excellent source of information – www.tda.org.uk


There are also a lot of installation guides available on social networking sites such as You Tube, or on decking suppliers’ websites including www.qualitydecking.co.uk

 

 
  Hardwood decking - the benefits  
 
Installing decking
 
 

"Decking continues to be a popular addition to any exterior environment"

 

How to install a deck - the key to ensuring a quality installation lies in detailed planning

 
hardwood decking
 

When installing hardwood such as Lyptus® decking, you should allow 8mm gaps as the product is kiln dried hardwood and requires room for expansion in the wetter seasons.

 
 
 
 
 
     
 
How to install a deck | Installing decking | Lyptus decking | decking | Woodlink UK
 
 
 
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