Lay out the deck perimeter using batter boards and mason’s line. Sixteen-penny nails are about the right size for spacing between deck boards. Mark a cutting line for the end of the first board and cut it to fit making sure … Watch a video on how to install decking. This will show you if you have enough decking to complete the job. To lay a deck this way, joist have to be set no wider than 300mm apart, so you may need one or two more joists extra. They’re always supplied with extra length, so you can clean cut both ends and still have the size you need. Adjust the spacing between deck boards gradually over the next 10 rows of decking until the distance to the house is equal. Cutting the ends of deck boards as you go not only takes longer, but it’s harder to get a crisp, straight line. It's a fairly simple project and the cost is reasonable ($3 to $6 per sq. Explore the six simple steps below to understand the basics. All deck board should end on a joist, making sure to stagger deck board ends. This Deck-a-Floor system is so neat; it is like putting a puzzle together. Having attached all the joists, finish up the deck by installing the decking material. wood chisel into the joist and tight to the edge of the deck board with the bevel facing you. Blunt the tip of a nail with your hammer to help avoid splits. Consequently, if you install perpendicular 2×4 Douglas fir decking, the span should be 24”. A better approach is to let the deck boards run wild as shown in the photo. While laying deck boards might seem easy and quick, you’ll want to take your time and do it right. Learn how to lay and install your brand new deck boards along … Homebuilding & Renovating Newsletter. Run the saw’s base against the straightedge to cut the deck boards perfectly straight. Square the corners using the 3,4,5 method. Drive a 3/4-in. Even if I’m using a straightedge guide, I like to snap a chalk line as an extra precaution. Should you use screws or nails for deck? Mitre and lay the decking planks for the steps and fix in place with two screws at every joist. We recommend our users to update the browser. By the DIY experts of The Family Handyman Magazine. The Universal Fasteners connect two boards together if you drill downwards, directly into the joists. You can then revisit a row to tighten things up when several rows are installed. At outer end of deck, notch the decking, as necessary, to fit around the railing posts. Lay and nail the next deck board as before. Mark that distance from the line and screw down a straight board. Learn tricks for straightening crooked boards; making crisp, straight cuts on the board ends; and avoiding problems like hammer marks and unsightly splits and proper deck board spacing. Even boards that look good initially can get little “cat’s-eye” splits later as the wood dries. Choices of deck board fastener types and methods include nails, screws, clips, and a wide variety of hidden deck board fastener systems that we describe here as well. plywood cushion to protect the deck boards in case you miss with a hammer. Use a 1/4-in. Every Trex board is unique. And if laying Grassedeck boards, opt for green-coated decking screws to … Photos © 2020 Scripps Networks, LLC. Line up the seams over double joists. Then measure from the edge of your saw blade to the edge of your saw’s base. Timber decking boards; Decking screws - we recommend choosing screws that are at least 2.5 times longer than the surface they'll be secured to (the deck boards). Start on one end of bent boards and straighten them as you nail or screw them to each consecutive joist. Measure an equal distance in from each end of the deck, allowing for an overhang (if desired), and snap a chalk line as a guide for the first row of decking. Look for screws with self-drilling points. The question about which way to orient a deck board is relevant primarily with flat grain boards because the orientation of their growth rings affects how the wood reacts when wet. Allow the extra wood to dangle over the rim joist. Our sponsors. Orient the deck boards so the growth rings in the end grain have the arc facing up. Trex can be installed over timber, steel or aluminum substructures with joist centers at a maximum of 400mm apart. Cover the patio with a thin layer of sand, lay pavers over it, and the results look like a standard paver patio. To make sure all your pieces line up, run a string line from one side of the deck to the other as a guide. Avoid last-minute shopping trips by having all your materials ready ahead of time. To install composite decking with a hidden fastening system, start at the house by face-screwing the first board. Even nails can cause splitting, especially near the ends of boards. Here’s a list. Dig down to around 50mm - making sure the ground level is even all around. Drive a toenail into the edge of the board for an extra boost. This type of screw does a pretty good job of drilling through rather than splitting the wood. Next, learn how to choose the best deck finish here. Lay the longest span, which is the one that extends from one corner of the deck to the diagonal opposite corner, first. Then sight down the boards occasionally to make sure they’re staying straight. In the case of a deck board, this determines whether you have a "cup" warp (concave surface) or a "crown" warp (convex surface). Then, slide the groove of the next board into the clips and tighten with a rubber mallet. It allows you to concentrate on nailing without worrying about denting the deck boards. Cons : Ground level decking can be susceptible to rotting. Finally, screw decking panels to the front face of the step to create a neat finish. HGTV, HGTV Smart Home, HGTV Smart Home Giveaway and their associated logos are trademarks of Scripps Networks, LLC. Jobsite Etiquette Tips for Subcontractors, How to Build a Deck That will Last as Long as Your House, Why Composite Decking Makes Sense for Deck Rebuilds, How to Build a Solid, Frost-Proof Deck Footing, Attaching a New Deck to a House: The Correct Method, 7 Things You Should Do When Building Your Deck, We are no longer supporting IE (Internet Explorer). Snap chalk line across deck boards. The slight changes in deck board spacing won’t be noticeable in the finished deck. Building a deck? Make sure that the deck board is in the opposite direction to the inner joists and flush to the frame. Lay your deck boards. But sight down your boards occasionally as well. To install last plank, used end nippers to remove the spikes from one side of hidden fasteners. If necessary, bend the guide board until the measurement is the same and screw down the center. Whether we’re talking about decking balustrades or our high performance composite, convenience is the cornerstone of every Trex product. Then use spacers at each joist to keep the gap between boards consistent and to keep the boards running straight. Snap the cutting line on the deck. You can easily spot when a board is off. Have the necessary tools for this DIY project lined up before you start—you’ll save time and frustration. Lay the decking on the grass in your decided design and leave the right expansion gaps between boards (5 to 8 mm along the length of timber boards, and 3 mm along the ends). To lay timber deck boards. Start nails into the deck board. Explore the six simple steps below to understand the basics. Install Decking Material. They tend to push the wood fibers apart rather than tear through them like nails. If they’re not, vary the size of the gap between boards gradually over a few rows as needed to straighten them. A perfect choice for any decking material from pressure-treated lumber, hardwoods, and cedar to composite and PVC deck boards; the angled gives your new build or deck remodel a whole new depth. A few extra whacks will nudge the board into position. Replace the house's siding to within ½ to 1 inch of the decking. The article explains the key step in placing the first deck board - the line from which the rest of the decking follows. First, you lay the grid pieces down. Tip: Sight down and straighten outside joists before nailing deck boards to them. Run your saw along the straightedge to cut off the boards. Then, when you’re ready to dig into how to lay your garden decking, refer to our, Trex can be installed over timber, steel or aluminum substructures with joist centers at a maximum of 400mm apart. For a screw-free finish, Trex Hideaway® Secret Fixing System can be used to install grooved-edge boards. TIP: Decking laid at right angles to … Laying a decking can help bring alive your old, bleak and drab outdoor space by providing a lively and exciting area for family and friends, so it's only understandable that the design trend only continues to grow. Start by running a mason’s line parallel to the house first. Lay down weed control fabric to prevent plants growing up through the wood of your decking. Use pegs and string to set out the deck perimeter. This is because the wood will be sitting directly on the ground, which means that it is in constant contact with the water in the soil. Then screw a straight board to the deck as a saw guide and cut all the boards at once. We are no longer supporting IE (Internet Explorer) as we strive to provide site experiences for browsers that support new web standards and security practices. Start the nail. We describe how to lay out and fasten deck boards to the deck floor joist structure and how to decide on the appropriate deck board gap. (Add more nails only if a board does not lie straight or flat.) But the downside is that if you miss the nailhead, you’ll leave a deep “elephant track” in the decking. Learn about the advantages and disadvantages of wood decking vs. composite and vinyl manufactured decking materials. ft.), but expect a weekend or two of hard labor. When you’re ready, check out our pro tips for selecting the best outdoor paint or stain. Even with drill-point screws, I’d recommend predrilling the ends of boards, which are prone to splitting. Then, when you’re ready to dig into how to lay your garden decking, refer to our Installation Guide. Since you can’t saw right up to a wall or other obstruction, make sure to precut these boards to the right length first. And if you’re still feeling overwhelmed, consider hiring a TrexPro® to build a deck for you. “Splitless” ring-shank nails work well but can bend and break, especially near knots. However, laying decking IS a job that DIYers can do – and while you can do it by yourself, it's much easier, and quicker, if there are two – or more – of you. Decking Installation How to Properly Space Deck Boards. Use a builder’s line or string to attach the pegs and mark out the square dimensions of your structure. Continue gluing and nailing until the deck is complete. Whether we’re talking about decking balustrades or our high performance composite, convenience is the cornerstone of every Trex product. Screw down both ends of your straightedge after marking the decking. Ground level decking is also often the cheapest type of decking to install due to its popularity. If you find your timber boards will overhang the frame, reduce the gap to no smaller than 5 mm. Install last plank with composite decking screws. Laying decking boards in a diagonal direction gives the deck a very noticeable look. Another trick is to blunt the tip of the nail with your hammer before pounding it in. Then slip a small square of 1/4-in. Tips for Installing the Sleeper System. As the wood dries, it will shrink, leaving a small gap between each board. Pull back on the chisel until the deck board is tight to your spacer and drive the nails. Lay a deck fabric over the earth to prevent weeds growing up through the deck. Learn the basics of measuring, scoping and installing your decking and railing, and go from dream to do. Next, learn how to choose the best deck finish here. Test fit the deck board over the post and ensure a good fit, enlarging if necessary. For a neat finish, we recommend trimming boards on both ends at a minimum of 5mm. Copyright © 2021 Trex Company, Inc. All rights reserved. Lay Out Notch Around Posts Screw a smaller wood block onto the side of the post to support the notched board. Then clear all turf and vegetation from the area and firm down the ground beneath. Avoid this problem by predrilling a hole the size of the nail shank. The nail will punch through the wood rather than wedging it apart. The photos here show three of our favorite tricks for straightening these stubborn boards. Align the first row with the chalk line and nail or screw the boards to the joists. Used with permission; all rights reserved. Measure to the house at both ends and in the center when you get within about 5 ft. of the wall. Nails are easier to drive if you take a full swing. Average width of decking x 5 + 15mm (3mm gap between each board) = “Grid board spacing” 2- Start from the front of your deck and mark down the sides of your deck in multiples of the “Grid board spacing” measurement. Occasionally you’ll run into boards that are too crooked to bend easily by hand. A concrete slab provides a firm, stable base for pavers. Once you have identified your decking site, you should – Fix pegs in the ground, marking out the corners of your deck. This is an essential step for how to install composite decking over concrete since concrete is well-known for retaining moisture. This only works if you’re letting the ends of the boards run long and cutting them off later. Explore the six simple steps below to understand the basics. You can peg the fabric or weigh it down with concrete or paving slabs. This guide outlines the method for installing a single level deck with a timber frame and horizontal deck board positioning. Measure an equal distance in from each end of the deck, allowing for an overhang (if desired), and snap a chalk line as a guide for the first row of decking. If you’re willing to devote the time, you’ll find that predrilling decking for all of the screws will result in a top-notch job with zero splitting. If you plan to use screws, try these solutions. The sleeper system’s joists need to be at least 1-1/2 inches in both height and width to allow for effective ventilation. Each board should have a ⅛” gap. This finishing touch is now available to match every Trex decking option—so whatever you choose, we’ve got you covered. Then, when you’re ready to dig into how to lay your garden decking, refer to our Installation Guide. In most cases, it’s best to start with a full board on the outside edge of the deck and work toward the house so the odd board is less visible. By choosing your country, you acknowledge that you have read Trex's Privacy's Policy, Whether we’re talking about decking balustrades or our high performance composite, convenience is the cornerstone of every Trex product. Then pull or push the bent end against the spacers as you work down the length of the board. Continue laying planks in this manner across the deck. Set the first board along a chalk line to start straight. When nailing into the end of deck boards, If you’re less DIY and more R&R, reach out to one of our pre-approved deck installers for a space consultation. If building over a timber substructure, you should consider using Trex®Protect™ self-adhesive butyl tape to prevent moisture damage. Remember that the space between the decking supports vary with the decking dimensions, material and pattern. Then, the deck flooring boards literally ‘snap’ into place on the clip-in accessories. Then run perpendicular lines to complete the perimeter, crossing the mason’s line at the corners. Parts of Your Home Prone to the Most Winter Weather Damage, 13 Steps on How to Use a Fireplace Safely, Do Not Sell My Personal Information – CA Residents. To begin installation, start by squaring up the first piece of composite to the deck and attaching it to the underlying joists with composite decking screws (Image 1). Get the latest news, expert advice and product inspiration straight to your inbox. Garden decking is a common feature in many outdoor living spaces. To ensure the best variety of colour tones, mix and match all boards in the most visually appealing way prior to installation. If you install the same decking, buy this time diagonally, the distance between the joists should be 16”. Screws are notorious for splitting deck boards. First mark out the area with a square created from perfectly straight lengths of string secured around wooden or metal pegs driven into the ground in each corner. Use your straightest deck board and lay it first across the deck’s front edge, opposite your house. Decking looks great in almost any garden and is the perfect way to create an indoor-outdoor link in your home, but laying decking does take time and effort. Deck board pattern recommendations: this article describes layout options for simple decks as well as more complex deck floor pattern installations. What does it take to install a deck? On top of the grids, you place the clip-in accessories according to the instructions. Measure the amount that will need to be cut out and then make the cut into the board. Align the first row with the chalk line and nail or screw the boards to the joists. Deck Installation Guide. Our latest shed is also a pavilion—and you can build it, too! Start by laying the first piece of decking hard up against the wall. Then using the Camo fastener as a spacer, get your decking … plywood over the nail and swing away. Next, screw a hidden fastener clip into the groove on top of each joist. They should be no more than 25mm from the end of the board. Position the board so it bends away from installing decking. Remove the plywood for the last blow. The extra wood to dangle over the next 10 rows of decking to install due its. 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