How to lay a decking base

If building a log-cabin or summer house you can easily use this method to create a beautiful verandah area.

1. Work out where you want to build the deck for the she and compress any loose soil with a thumper or a heavy roller.

2. Lay weed-control fabric over the whole site to stop unwanted greenery from poking through and ruining the finished appearance of your decking.

3. Lay concrete slabs at the corner and centre points of the space you want to deck. The slabs provide a solid, load-spreading foundation for the deck and keep the wooden frame clear of the damp ground. Put a straight piece of wood on top of the slabs and check for level. Get the level as close as you can now by adding more slabs, if necessary. Other options for this foundation part of the job include concreting pressure-treated wooden posts in the ground at regular intervals to support the frame this is particularly useful for creating a level deck on a sloping site. Dedicated deck blocks that are slotted to take the joists of the frame are also available.

4. Make up a simple box frame that will allow the decking to overhang by the thickness of a board at each edge (around 32mm but check the thickness of the boards you are using).
Lay the joists inside the frame so that they have 400mm gaps between them.(joist hangers should be used not just nails)

6. Nail the joists in place. A nail gun comes in very handy for this part of the job. Most tool hire outlets stock them.

7.Make up some 600mm pointed stakes from 25mm x 50mm timber. Treat these with a couple of coats of wood preserver and hammer them in at eight inside corners around the frame. Screw through the stakes into the frame to prevent the structure moving around.

8. Measure, cut and fit noggins staggered along the centre line of the frame. These provide extra strength.

10 Board the area using your decking boards and screw down using decking screws a 4mm gap should be left between each board

11. Fix a decking plank to the front, back and sides (if seen) of the frame. The face of this plank should fit flush with top of your other deck boars

12. If there's a big drop off the deck onto the garden, you can easily add a step. Make up a framework wide enough to take two decking planks. If you want to face the vertical part of the step with decking, reduce the width of the frame by the thickness of the deck plank you are using.



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