Knowledge is Power!
A deck installation can transform a dull piece of land into an entertainment area for your friends and family. And if you have some experience in working with wood and possess the tools for the job, you can do the deck installation job yourself without having to hire an expensive contractor.
This article meant for hobby gardeners and handy persons will help with your deck installation plan for a durable, weather resistant and a strong deck for your house in Australia. This part of our article on deck installation deals specifically with prerequisites and selecting the right material for your Deck installation.
Start with a design
You need to begin your deck installation by designing your deck on a paper – do it as detailed and accurately as possible. If you can draw it to scale that would be ideal. You will need at least three views; top (plain view), front (elevation) and side. Drawings are important because impracticalities and imperfections in the timber deck plans come to surface. Also, you could show the design to your family and friends. Their suggestions could further strengthen your plan and also bring to light any oddities in your deck installation plan. Also ensure your plan includes the joist and bearer structure that will be below the decking boards. It will help you determine the amount and sizes of timber you will need for your deck installation and help you estimate the price. Having a detailed plan at hand also helps you obtain all the relevant local authority approvals and permits. Take your time and plan each step minutely; enjoy doing something for yourself.
Once you have your deck installation plans approved by the local authority, you should go ahead and prepare a list of all the decking suppliers and tools you will need for the job.
When you arrive at your favorite decking supply store or hardware store, don’t be afraid to ask questions – the sales staff are trained to expect the DIY people and are usually armed with answers to various questions that might crop up. It is better to ask your questions and be clear of your deck installation needs than to end up buying the wrong (and expensive) material and later discard it.
Framework – Treated Pine
Most folks use treated pine framework for their decks. Treated pine is a dense softwood timber with a chemical preservative forced into its wood fibers; it is also a less expensive alternative to the types of decking wood. Treated pine is available in various chemical grades. The one you select would depend on whether you need to use it in the ground or above it. As for sizes, you should be able to procure any and all sizes that meet Australian Standards required for spans.
We recommend you use treated pine for the framework and hardwood for the boards and visible parts. Outdoor decking is naturally rot resistant and when polished, will shine and suitably impress your family and friends. Because it is expensive, we recommend it only for visible surfaces, such as deck boards, railings and stairs.