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DIY Guide: How to build decking in your garden with the right tools

19-04-2018

Making more of your outdoor space

If you’ve decided to create a new outdoor space using decking, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve got all the tools you’ll need for the project. But before you start laying your deck, there are a few things to think about first.

What sort of decking?

You can have a ground-level deck or a raised deck. So, which one is right for you? Well, the area you’re putting the deck into might determine which one you go for. Have a look online at other people’s projects for inspiration and look for one you think will work for your space.

Here we give you a quick overview of what you’ll need for each job and how to go about creating your decking. Then we’ve given you links to the tools that we have to help you bring your project to life. 

GROUND LEVEL DECK

What you’ll need for your project

You may need more tools than those listed here, depending on what you already have. You’ll also need the timber and fittings – which you can pick up at any garden centre. And we’ve got all the tools for hire. So, you can do the job right.

Tools:

Tape measure, string, a hammer, edger, spade, spirit level, framing nailer, weed control fabric (or membrane), drill, socket set, saw (or saws).

Materials

Decking, sandpaper, screws (or bolts), protective gloves, safety goggles, dust mask and (perhaps) knee pads.

BASIC OVERVIEW

Prepare your garden

Mark out the footprint of your deck. Remove any weeds, rocks and debris from within your footprint. And lay a weed barrier membrane.

Build your deck frame

We’d advise watching a video of how it’s done. It’s a heck of a thing to try and explain without any visuals to aid things. You can find some great videos on how to do it on YouTube, like this one.

Fit the decking boards

Allow room for the deck boards to expand during wet weather. Place all the boards on your deck before you start securing them. Once you’ve laid them all out and are happy with their positioning, you can start securing them. Make sure you secure the boards along their length, where they pass over joists.

There’s a bit more detail on each of these sections below.

RAISED DECK

What you’ll need for your project

Tools:

Tape measure, string, a hammer, edger, spade, spirit level, weed control fabric (or membrane), drill, socket set, saw (or saws), trowel.

Materials

Decking, decking joists, sandpaper, screws (or bolts), quick-drying concrete, protective gloves, safety goggles, dust mask and (perhaps) knee pads.

BASIC OVERVIEW

Prepare your garden

Mark out the footprint of your deck. Remove any weeds, rocks and debris from within your footprint. Make sure all the weeds are dead with a course of weed killer and lay a weed barrier membrane.

Build your deck frame

This is a complicated stage of your build. We’d advise watching a video of how it’s done. It’s a heck of a thing to try and explain without any visuals to aid things. So, we thought it would be easier to point you towards one of our favourite videos on laying decking on YouTube.

Fixing your joists

The joists are pressure-treated timber boards which provide support for the rest of the deck boards. Make sure you attach them to the outer frame using joist hangers and galvanised nails. (A nail gun from us will be a huge help here.)

Fit the decking boards

Start by laying the board nearest the edge of your decking that’s closest to your building. As you lay each board, leave a gap of around 5-7mm between them. This allows room for the deck boards to expand during wet weather. Place all the boards on your deck before you start securing them. Once you’ve laid them all out and are happy with their positioning, you can start securing them. Make sure you secure the boards along their length, where they pass over joists.

The finishing touches

We’re just going to mention edging. The edging is also known as the facing, and it involves covering the end of exposed boards with a wooden cover to help protect the structure. But you could add steps, a balustrade and even a pergola, depending on what takes your fancy.

TOOLS FOR THE JOB

We’ve got everything you need to build a great deck. Click through to learn more about what our tools do and how little you can hire them for.

9” circular saw

A powerful hand-held saw for ripping and cross-cutting timber.

http://hire.martinplanthire.co.uk/product/9-circular-saw

Table saw

A sturdy table saw, ideal for all general work.

http://hire.martinplanthire.co.uk/product/table-saw

Cordless combi / drill drivers

Professional-quality cordless drills and drivers, ideal for use away from a power source.

http://hire.martinplanthire.co.uk/product/cordless-combi-drill-drivers

Screwdrivers

An electric screwdriver makes a decking job much easier.

http://hire.martinplanthire.co.uk/product/screwdrivers-and-autofeed-screwdrivers

Workbench

Give yourself the perfect platform to build your decking.

http://hire.martinplanthire.co.uk/product/workbench

Orbital sander

Produces a fine finish with minimum effort.

http://hire.martinplanthire.co.uk/product/orbital-sander

Sash cramps and G-clamps

Hold your deck exactly where you need it to be as you work.

http://hire.martinplanthire.co.uk/product/sash-cramps-g-clamps

Jigsaws

Let you get the finish exactly right.

http://hire.martinplanthire.co.uk/product/jigsaws

Framing Nailer

An easy-to-use tool that makes securing your deck easy.

http://hire.martinplanthire.co.uk/product/framing-nailer

Extension cable

Lets you use your tools wherever you need them.

http://hire.martinplanthire.co.uk/product/extension-cable

Extension cable reel

Cable reels in 50-metre lengths.

http://hire.martinplanthire.co.uk/product/extension-cable-reel

Concrete mixers

Electric, petrol and diesel-powered units are available.

http://hire.martinplanthire.co.uk/product/concrete-mixers

Hand tools

A range of tools to suit your needs. Take your pick.

http://hire.martinplanthire.co.uk/product/hand-tools

Post-hole borer

Take the strain out of sinking your support posts.

http://hire.martinplanthire.co.uk/product/post-hole-borer

Post driver

Avoid damaging your frame posts when you’re driving them into the ground.

http://hire.martinplanthire.co.uk/product/post-driver

There are many, many different ways to build and configure your deck. Spend a bit of time on YouTube and see how other people have done it. Pick the one you think looks best and then recreate it for your project.

For an expert job, call the experts

Building decking is a serious undertaking. So, make sure you’re prepared for the job. Whatever type of decking you’re doing, we have equipment that can help and make the whole job a lot easier. Get in touch if you have any questions – we’ll be happy to help.

Want to know more about decking?

Building a deck is a great way to create an outdoor space to socialise and relax in. So, spend a little bit of time planning how you’re going to do yours. There are some great pages on wikiHow that can help. There’s one on designing your deck, how to build a simple square deck and one that looks at every aspect of decking.





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