Fitting decking in your garden

If you’d like a nice, clean space to sit in the garden in the summer, but don’t fancy the backache of building a patio, here’s a DIY project that should suit.

Putting decking in your garden space is probably somewhere between painting, decorating and plastering as far as skill-level is concerned, but you won’t need architects or master builders. It’s not exactly property development, but it will transform your garden.

Start by marking out the area for your decking with pegs and string, remove grass and weeds and level the surface using a spade. Then lay a weed-proof membrane and shovel gravel over it.

Next, mark the positions of the floor joists on the frame (400 mm apart) and saw them to the required size. Assemble the deck bearer from the frame and joists, using the countersunk screws in pre-drilled holes (there should be three screws at each joist end).

Now you can lay the deck boards at right angles to the joists, beginning at the front of the deck and making sure the first one is level with the outside edge of the frame.

Fix the deck board to the deck bearer at each joist using two of the supplied countersunk screws (there’ll be pre-drilled holes again). Repeat with the remaining boards, leaving a gap of 3-5 mm between them.

Don’t forget to seal the cut ends of boards and joists with wood preservative, or you’ll be inviting dry rot to set in.

Finally, face the exposed end cuts with spare deck boards, get a few nice plotted plants, put your feet up beside the table, and chill.

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