Timber Decking – A Brief Guide to Timber Garden Decking

Timber Decking

Timber Decking has experienced a revival in recent years, chiefly because it is a relatively low cost and easy-to-install feature which can add elegance and practicality to tired-looking or under-utilised garden space.

Building a timber deck is a surprisingly simple process to almost any practical homeowner or DIY-er. With the help of a few simple instructions, almost anyone can create a cheap, practical, elegant and timeless decking area for the whole family.

Start by preparing the ground area where the deck is to be built by removing any weeds or large stones found lying on the ground. Next, lay a weed control fabric (sometimes called a weed membrane) over the ground area to prevent weeds growing up and through the deck in the future – this is the last thing you want! Such weed membrane can be pegged down with ease.

Of course, it’s important to ensure that your garden decking kit is made from ethically sourced, sustainable timber which has been harvested from sustainable forests, ethically-managed forests. Treated pine deck boards are the most common here in the UK – with the more common size board widths being 90mm, 120mm, and 145mm across the width of the deckboard. Grooved timber decking boards provide extra grip in wet weather – so try to go for timber decking which has perhaps four or seven grooves. These days, reversible decking boards are available which give you the option of either four or seven deck board grooves.

Most decking projects begin with constructing the timber joist frame. Most are made of C16 graded softwood, in combination with steel post anchors should the homeowner wish to include a handrail system in their design.

Once you’ve laid all the joists in place, and the completed decking framework is completely rigid, you can begin to lay the deckboards. Be sure to leave around 5-6mm between each deckboard (about the width of a screw head) so that the timber can breathe and expand in the wet winter months.

Handrail systems are supported through either steel fence post spikes or through the use bolt-down steel fence braces – depending upon the surface the deck is to be fixed to. Timber Decking need not be expensive. Cheap decking kits are widely available for delivery in the UK – and just about all of us have in us the basic DIY skills needed to complete an elegant ground deck. Ultimately, timber decking is ideal for both level and uneven / sloping gardens, and can be used to cover unsightly concrete or as an alternative to costly paving slabs.

All of the timbers – both the joist and the deck boards – should be protected with a high quality deck stain such as sadolin 2 in 1 deck stain and preserver, or the ronseal / cuprinol equivalent. Decking oil should also be used – particularly on the timber’s sawn end sections.