Decking can be many things; a place to entertain friends and family, a walkway from your home to the outdoors, the platform around the pool and more. For some who like to be highly involved, however, a deck can be an intriguing challenge to undertake.

But isn’t deck installation easy?

It’s easy to build a deck when it comes naturally, so if you have carpentry, building, or DIY experience it’ll be easier than if you’ve never built anything before. Let’s switch places for the next 3 minutes to get into the mind of a deck installer and learn what goes into planning a deck.

 

How to Plan a Deck: A Step-by-Step Guide

architectural blueprints and home plans on wooden background

To plan the perfect deck that will last for years, there are 6 solid steps to follow.

Step 1: Answer Important Questions

Before you start the planning process, you’ll need to answer some crucial questions to solidify your plans.

At this stage, you will decide how you’d like to use the deck – is it somewhere you would spend a lot of time on during the day or in the evening? How much sun will the deck receive? Will the deck be getting wet?

How much do you want to have to maintain the deck? Do you want to use timber decking or a composite decking? Considering how sunny WA is, it would also be the ideal time to consider if you’d like to build a pergola or a roof for some shade.

 

Step 2: Decide How High Your Deck Will Be

Will the deck be an extension of the current structure or a new area? Decks have the versatility to be low lying, elevated or split-level.

If you are opting for a raised deck, there are few ways to go about this: we recommend using an adjustable bearer, post stirrups, or post support to increase the height. Choose an adjustable bearer support that comes with the option to be bolted onto concrete slabs.

Ideal for building decks that are 300mm to 600mm above ground, Klevaklip offers an exceptional product that supports raised decks. The Klevaklip adjustable bearer support is a sturdy post stirrup that allows you to lower or raise the height as desired.

Low decks also require a foundation to be laid, but it’ll be easier since decks generally utilise existing paving or concrete slabs. For a solid foundation and easy levelling choose adjustable joist supports that are made for low heights. Like the Kelvaklip Adjustable joist support or the Ryno Adjustable Joist Support Cradle.

 

Step 3: Set Some Ground Rules

Before you build, you’ll have to do a few checks. Ensure that the ground under the surface where the deck will be doesn’t have existing gas pipes, water pipes or underground power cables – ignoring this detail can cost a fortune later on.

During the building stage there are steps that require holes to be dug in the ground for stump or post footings and bearers to support the joists- this will become the structure for your deck’s foundation. It is very common practice to run services like pipes and cables under the deck – just make allowances in case access is needed at a later date.

 

Step 4: Choose the Deck’s Materials

Trex-backyard-scene

What can go wrong when choosing the right deck? Quite a bit, actually.

There are a number of criteria to consider when choosing the right deck. Decks can be made of timber, or these days the lower maintenance composite.

Ask yourself these questions:

  • Will it complement the existing outdoor elements?
  • Will the deck need to be anti-slip if located near a pool?
  • Are the decking boards fire and termite resistant?
  • Is it rot, stain, and fade resistant?
  • How much time do I have for maintenance?

 

Step 5: Draw Up a Deck Plan

During this stage, ensure that you include the height, width, and length. This will assist when selecting the building tools and materials such as:

  • bearers
  • posts
  • decking
  • joists
  • joist connector
  • joist hanger
  • concrete footings
  • bearer supports
  • nails, bolts, and screws

Confirm the metal accessories and products you buy are of high quality, corrosion-resistant material. You should be using galvanised or epoxy coated fixings if you want to avoid issues later on. Consider upgrading to stainless steel if you’re deck will be located near the coast or near a pool– this will make your deck corrosion-proof for years to come.

 

Step 6: Cross the Red Tape

Once you’ve determined the location, materials, and layout of your deck, you’ll need to get approval from your council. Depending on your location, seek out approval from your local council to check that building a deck in your premises is allowed. This is to ensure that the new construction will be safe and structurally sound.

When applying for council approval, you must submit plans with specific information including the location of the deck, height of deck, sub frame materials, distance from boundary, etc.

Planning a deck can be really rewarding – just think: you’ll be one step closer to a summer Sunday barbeque with your friends! All you need to do is follow the steps above and you’ll have a beautiful deck in no time.

men-building-deck

What’s Next?

Now that you’ve laid out all the groundwork, it’s time to build your very own deck. Not a DIYer? No worries! We can refer you to a trusted decking professional who can supply and install your deck, so you can sit back, relax, and enjoy entertaining friends and family!

WCT are wholesalers of decking supplies and can shine a light on procuring decking supplies. If you are planning your first deck and looking for a hand, WCT can contact and connect you to some experts in the industry to build it for you. Contact us today to get started!