Add a backyard deck to your home

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Gather your supplies

  • Wall panel 190 x 45 x 5210 mm treated pine
  • Beam 190 x 45 x 5300 mm treated pine
  • End beam (2) 190 x 45 x 2955 mm treated pine
  • Normal beams (8) 190 x 45 x 2910 mm treated pine
  • Post (4) 90 x 90 x 750 mm treated pine
  • Blocking (9) 140 x 45 x 539 mm treated jaws
  • Decking (21) 140 x 22 x 5400 mm Merbau
  • Short edge (4) 90 x 19 x 3000 mm Merbau
  • Long edge (2) 90 x 19 x 5338 mm Merbau

You will need it too

12 or 16 mm diameter x 8 m clear plastic tube; Food coloring (optional); galvanized beam hanger FB45180 (16); Concrete mix (1-2 bags per post); 14 mm coarse aggregate (1-2 bags); 10mm masonry; 120mm Galvanized Cuphead Bolts and Nuts (8); 100 x 10 mm galvanized Dynabolts (10); 125 mm batten screws (8); Stainless steel terrace screws; Cabot’s natural terrace oil.

Here’s how …

Step 1

Decide on the deck size. Here it is 5.3 m long and 3 m wide, ideal for using standard timber lengths of 3 m and 5.4 m with little waste. Mark the length of the deck (5.3 m) on the house wall. Decide on the height of the deck (here it corresponds to the height of the door sill). Measure 22 mm (thickness of the covering) and mark at each end of the door opening.

step 2

Set a water level to transfer marks to the ends of the deck. Fill the plastic pipe with clear or colored water up to a distance of 200-300 mm from the top. Swipe to remove air bubbles. Since the water finds its own level, the water is the same level at each end of the pipe. With a helper, hold the pipe by the door and the other end of the deck. Move the pipe up and down under the door until the water sets, then mark that height on the wall at the other end. Repeat on the other end.

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step 3

Place the wall plate and carrier on the saw stool and cut to length. Measure 45mm from each end of the beam and align the ends of the panel with these marks. Measure the position on the beam where the beams meet the beam, here 45 mm, then 539 mm, then 45 mm, etc. to the center. Do the same thing back the other way. Adjust these to account for any wall ventilation openings. Square over plate and carrier. Nail 1 side of the joist hanger to each of the 8 inner joist positions on the panel and beam so that the bottom of the hanger supports joists at the same level as the beam and panel. Do not attach joist hangers to the ends of the wall panel or beam.

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Step 4

Measure 45mm from the end markings on the wall for the length of the wall panel. Measure the distance to the vents that the wall panel can cover and cut the panel to leave the vents free. Prop the wall plate against the wall on scrap wood or bricks. When the wall plate runs into the floor at the top, remove a little from the floor so that it is clear of the floor. Drill 10mm holes through the wall panel with a wood drill bit about every 600mm, then use masonry in masonry. Secure the wall plate with 10mm Dynabolts.

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Step 5

On each side of the vents, secure the wall panel with Dynabolts, making sure that each panel section contains at least 2 Dynabolts.

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Step 6

Work on the deck board sizes for the width of the deck. These boards are 140 mm wide and are laid with a spacing of 4.5 mm, so that 21 decking boards and gaps result in a total covering width of 3035 mm. Taking into account a 35mm overhang at each end of the deck, measure 3000mm square from the house. Use the 345 rule to make sure you are square to the house wall. Stretch a string parallel to the wall. Measure 345mm and 1885mm from each end of the string. Mark these 4 points on the floor as post hole centers.

Step 7

At each mark, dig a 250mm x 600mm diameter hole centered in the middle of the line 45mm. Use blocks or bricks to secure the bracket over the holes. Adjust the height with the water level so that the top of the beam and the wall plate are at the same height.

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Step 8

Check the distance to the wall again with a tape measure. If the beam is too deep at one end, like here, remove a bottom of the beam (here 30mm) so that the top of the beam sits level at the correct height.

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Step 9

Pour 100mm 14mm coarse aggregate into each hole. Use a level to mark the post positions on the beam so that they are centered in holes. Measure the difference between the top of the unit and the top of the beam to get the post lengths. Cut to length and mark where each post goes.

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Step 10

Cut a 190mm by 45mm notch in the top of each post, then clamp them to the beam and check that they are plumb. Drill 2 cuphead bolts through, insert the bolts, add a washer, and wrap the nuts up. Tighten with a ratchet.

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Step 11

Screw 2 end joists to the ends of the wall panel and the bracket to the joists using 125mm batten screws. This makes a basic rectangle of the deck. At this point, measure the diagonals of the deck with your helper, which should be 6090 mm. If they are the same and the length of the opposite sides are the same, then the deck is square.

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Step 12

Insert joists into joist hangers and close the hangers. Then nail the nail brackets to the beam and to the wall plate and beam.

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Step 13

Install the blocker in the center of the bezel to prevent the joists from twisting. Stagger every other block so you can easily peg it in place. The top of each block is 25mm from the top of the joists.

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Step 14

Double check that the cover frame, which is still supported by props, is square and level in all directions. Adjust the props as needed. Mix and pour concrete into holes with posts and press firmly so that there are no air pockets in the concrete. Let the concrete harden overnight.

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Step 15

If you can, purchase a full 5 feet of decking. Select the straight decking board that will be used for the outside edge of the deck. Align it with the edge of the deck so that there is at least 35mm overhang at the ends and exactly 35mm overhang at the leading edge. Tighten with deck screws up to the end of the beams. Using 2 fixed ends, check that the deck board’s edge is absolutely straight. To do this, drive a nail partially into each end of the board and stretch the string taut around the edge. Place suitable pens or something similar between the cord and the board. This tensioned string is straight as long as it does not touch the board. Maintain the same distance between the line and the board, and the first piece of decking will be straight.

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Step 16

Slide the covering into the middle and drive in a screw. A second pair of hands can be useful. It’s easier to drive screws when you pre-drill.

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Step 17

Continue to lay the covering with nails with a diameter of 4.5 mm or something similar like spacers. Type them in to keep them simple as they need to come out easily. At this stage just screw the decks on at each end and center to make sure the screws line up with each other. If the decking boards are bent, use a wide chisel to straighten them out. Either use the adjacent board to pry the deck out as you lift it, or tap the chisel blade into the beam and use the chisel as a lever to pull the board into a line as it curves away from the adjacent board. It’s also worth checking all 7 decking boards to make sure the combined width is the same at each end and in the middle. Since there is 1 gap less than with boards, the total width of 7 boards should be 1007 mm.

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Step 18

For all of the decking boards, draw faint straight lines down across the decking boards to determine the screw locations, then drive the rest of the screws in with a chisel to adjust the gaps between the boards as needed. Once all of the boards are finally set, cut the ends of the deck by measuring 35mm from the joist, drawing a line across the boards, and then cutting with a circular saw. Finish the end of the cut near the wall with a handsaw.

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Step 19

Cut and secure the edge to cover the wearer’s face and joists. Leave a gap of 5mm between the boards. Allow the deck to weatherproof for a few days or weeks. Then apply 2 or more coats of cover oil to emphasize the color and protect the wood. Repeat this process every 6 to 12 months to keep the wood color. However, this is as easy as sweeping the deck when you use a deck oil applicator.

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