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(30 Posts)
tassis Fri 25-Mar-05 19:07:54

We need to re-do our patio and I'm thinking of having decking. Anyone got it? What do you think? Easy to keep nice? Anyone laid it themselves? Any tips?


hunkermunker Fri 25-Mar-05 19:09:33

No tips, but will watch this thread with interest - we have a ratty old patio we inherited with our less ratty than it was house and cannot wait to do something with it!

Tommy Fri 25-Mar-05 19:16:22

We got it last summer - my DH and FIL laid it. FIL a bit of an expert in such matters though. I love it - it's not to everyone's taste but it's nice for the DSs to play on - softer than patio and the fact that it's raised means I can see them from the kitchen window!

pabla Fri 25-Mar-05 19:33:58

We've had decking for nearly five years now (garden was almost the first thing we sorted when we moved.) It still looks good but dh generally revarnishes it every year. It doesn't take long if you use one of the rollers/pads specially sold for doing this. I think it is slightly softer than paving stones for little ones to play on, plus it is less slippery if you use the grooved boards. We had ours laid on the same level as the lawn (like you would for a traditional patio) so that there is less liklihood of trips and falls. We had someone lay it for us -FAR beyond our diy capabilities!

Anteater Fri 25-Mar-05 20:07:17

Top Tips:

The joists that the deck is nailed to should be no more than 16" apart.

The deck should have a fall of around 1/2" per yard so rain water runs off. The run off should be AWAY from the building.

If finished deck level is to be the same as ground level, ie earth has to be removed, lay the joists on a plastic membrane. Joist should be pressure treated

hub2dee Sun 27-Mar-05 09:26:25

Top tips (2):

Consider putting the boards on the diagonal to increase perception of length and add textural interest to the deck.

Consider some of the many designs that can be done in deck board - google / buy a deck book - some are way OTT but a couple of ideas might appeal.

Integrate interest - plan it around a tree / or plant a tree and leave a 'grow through' hole. Depending on material underneath, integrated hatches in the deck for sandpit / storage etc..... 'free space' !!! A 'framed and panelled' deck seat can integrate storage too.

'Picture Frame' the edge with a run of 'flat top' board (the reverse side of grooved is generally flat). This hides all end grain, looks great. Can be screwed in place and 'plugged' for seamless finish.

Consider facing the deck (if it is slightly raised) with a painted fascia panel instead of wood - sets it off nicely. If you do raise it a little, conisder the step-up / ramp needed.

Hardwood isn't soooo much more than softwood. Lasts longer, looks prettier IMO.

Be careful positioning the deck under large existing trees which produce berries. (Yep. personal experience )

Can post a couple of piccies in For Sale if you like.

tassis Mon 28-Mar-05 20:50:59

Thanks everyone. We really want decking!! I think we've decided that it's beyond our capabilites though. Hoping to find a gardener to do it for us.

Hub2dee I'd LOVE to see some pics please. I saw your groovy grass pics and they inspired me to get designing in the first place!

Storage within the deck is a great idea.

Anyone else??

morningpaper Mon 28-Mar-05 20:54:33


I built my own last year - cost me £600. I got a book called Decking in a Weekend. Planned it on graph paper and bought in the timber from Wickes. It's massive. I put an integral sandpit in so you lift up a cover and there's the sandpit. It's GREAT. It's also EASY, much easier than you would imagine.

CAT me and I'll send you pictures and generally show off about it.

morningpaper Mon 28-Mar-05 20:57:38

This is the book:

Decks and Decking: 15 Step-by-step Projects - Quick and Easy Ideas to Enhance Your Garden

Alan Bridgewater, Gill Bridgewater

I did it ALL by myself.

No help from BOYS at all.

(Well DH looked after the baby...)

tassis Mon 28-Mar-05 21:02:49

morningpaper I'm SO impressed - well done. slightly depressed that it still cost you £600 though. we really can't afford this, but I want to do it anyway!! I'd love to see pics and will try to CAT you (not done that before!)

morningpaper Mon 28-Mar-05 21:04:44

It was quite BIG - nearly 5m by 3m. Size makes all the difference! I reckon you could get it a bit cheaper if you looked for good deals on decking planks etc.

tassis Mon 28-Mar-05 21:06:41

I've CATed you!

morningpaper Mon 28-Mar-05 21:08:35

I've CATed you too because I'm desperate to show off.

hub2dee Mon 28-Mar-05 22:31:00

tassis, I've uploaded three photos into For Sale for you.

They say 'photo for tassis (please ignore)'


hub2dee Mon 28-Mar-05 22:34:24

Link for lazy buggers (incase they drop down v. quickly):

Shot 1 - general

Shot 2 - detail of deck boards

Shot 3 - deck near Summerhouse

I would suggest this kind of project, with boards on angle, angled cuts, plugged screws, change of level etc. would be best handled by a chippy. Plain shapes can be DIY for the detemined like mp !!!

tassis Tue 29-Mar-05 09:25:41

hub2dee, thanks. they're great. i'm in awe. really really want decking now...

morningpaper Tue 29-Mar-05 09:34:57

The hardwood looks GREAT but is VERY expensive in comparison to the McCheapo softwood you can buy in Wickes etc.

I made the deck in two semi-circles to give it a more 'feminine' look - don't like hard edges. I used the deckboards STRAIGHT because you get a lot of wastage with angles and frankly they are a bugger to keep cutting over and over, even with a mitre saw. I used two levels with a half semi-circle for the bottom level and put the boards on this perpendicular to the main deck to give it a bit of variety.

We had quotes to have it done professionally - they came in at between 3.5-4.5k. So DIY was a good plan!

tassis Tue 29-Mar-05 09:38:04

2 semi circles sounds lovley morningpaper. did you get my email address? I'm just out to toddlers, but will check in this afternoon. Looking forward to seeing pics. Can't believe your quotes!!! At this rate we'll be putting this off until next year.

hub2dee Tue 29-Mar-05 10:20:41

mp, your deck sounds delicious, I'll CAT you for some photies if I may. It's very interesting how our two designs / styles / approaches sound so very different, but I bet both decks look great.

I disagree, though, on the price issue. Yes, hardwood is more expensive - but it's not that much if you shop around and have a haggle.

For example, Merton Timber have regular 20 X 95mm softwood, pre-treated boards for £99 / 100 m here

Similar in hardwood balau costs £155 for 100 linear metres here

Yes, that's a 50% loading, but on a project of, say a 4m X 4m deck, that only shifts the deck-board cost from approx £176 to £264 - I think the extra cost is repaid in improved 'look when wet', screw / nail grip, durability and lack of movement. Of course, joist / post costs remain the same. Either way, if you get involved in the design / work yourself, you will save an absolute fortune.

(calculated at 11 linear metres of board to make 1sqm of deck).

OK, here is my magic link of the day: Hardwood decking at WHOLESALE prices for your project from Timber Connection . I have never used them myself, but their balau is just £85 per 100 m !!!

<<you should confirm for yourself this supplier and their wood quality is acceptable.>>

Interestingly, if you try and get a 'pre-pack' kit, you pay more:

B&Q do a 2 X 2m kit - £258 . That's £45 / msq excluding any deck treatment products.

Like you, mp, we also had quotes and they were insane. If individuals don't have the tools / skills / time / confidence to do this, I wouldn't hesitate in recommending a professional chippy - or carpenter, tassis to do the job for you.

PS - ref wastage - if you're very clever and calculate well, you needn't lose much more wood with cuts 'on the angle' as once you've chopped to create an angle, the resulting off-cut can be used as the next piece along with the same cut angle already done !!!

I concede they do take longer and are a bugger to cut. But I wasn't the one cutting it !

hub2dee Tue 29-Mar-05 10:24:09

PS - mp - didn't want to sound condescending with 'Plain shapes can be DIY for the detemined like mp !!! '. That was rude. Please accept my apologies.

What I meant was that anyone contemplating this who doesn't particularly have good carpentry / building skills should try and generally stick to simpler shapes.

Of course, now mp has described her overlapping circular scheme, I wll just have to disappear with my tale between my legs.

Newbarnsleygirlsinsaneknickers Tue 29-Mar-05 10:27:38

We have it and the only thing I would say is that it is quite slippy in the winter when it's rained alot but apart from that I really like it.

hub2dee Tue 29-Mar-05 10:46:45

Newbarnsleyandherknickers: Can I ask if your deck is groove-faced up or flat-faced up, what material you've used, and when it was last treated with deck preservative / decking oil ?

Much to my dismay, the pros suggested I lay my deck boards groove up (I would have liked to see the face of the wood) for extra grip.

I think softwood is also more slippery than hard, and if the deck needs oiling, then it will absorb more water, and hold onto it, and hence be more slippy than if it has been recently treated.


morningpaper Tue 29-Mar-05 11:14:40

Mine's only a year old but I've not had any slipping problems - I wonder whether the integral sandpit means that there is always a few grains of saind kicking around which gives extra grip?

H2D: My shapes ARE simple and the deck was v. simple! My carpentry skills are at best experimental... And the finished result does not look 'professional' - the boards are not all flat etc. I have strategically placed plant pots on the dodgy bits. But it IS possible to have a nice functional deck on a bargain budget.

I paid £150 for 100 linear metres so the prices you've quotes for hardwood are v. reasonable! The £600 included all posts, concrete, decking joists (needed more than I thought), coachbolts, fittings, screws (bloody THOUSANDS it felt like!) and a mitre saw that I had to buy to add to my tool shed ...

suedonim Tue 29-Mar-05 14:17:55

The latest Easy Gardening magazine has a 'weekend' project for laying decking! Personally, it would take me and dh a month of Sundays to get it done but it looks relatively simple for those with the ability.

tassis Tue 29-Mar-05 19:23:33

suedonim, thanks for that magazine suggestion - i'll look out for that

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