How to build a deck

How to build a deck


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  • Some timbers like Merbau, should be weathered a few weeks before coating.
  • Always follow the manufacturers’ instructions on all products that you use to complete your task. .

Get ready for summer and build your home a deck. Watch our video to see how its done.

What you’ll need:

  • Selleys Liquid Nails Heavy Duty
  • Cabots Deck Cleaner
  • Cabots decking applicator
  • Cabots Aquadeck or your choice of stain or oil
  • Timber for posts, bearers, joists and the decking slats
  • Bearer stirrups (galvanised steel) to support deck in its centre
  • String
  • Tape measure
  • Bolts/nuts to secure bearers
  • Coach screws for joists and decking slats
  • Nails
  • Caulking gun
  • Shovel
  • Concrete
  • Spirit level
  • Hammer
  • Circular saw or hand saw
  • Stiff brush
  • Pressure cleaner
  • Pencil and Carpenters square

1. Decide on where your deck will be and confirm its dimensions and apply for and receive any applicable local government approvals for construction.
2. Lay out the shape of your deck by planting the corner posts and marking the edges of the deck with string. Make yourself aware of drainage on the site and if there is a risk of water pooling under the deck, dig a drain..
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3. Rake the area clear of weeds and debris.
4. Map out the plan for your joists and bearer structures and ensure you have sufficient timber supplies.
5. Mark where your posts and bearer stirrups will be, then dig holes in the marked areas. Lay down a base of 100mm of concrete in each corner hole, and then place your posts in them. Ensure the posts are standing level by bracing them, and then fill the remainder of the hole with concrete.
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6. Now set your bearer stirrups in concrete in their holes, ensuring that all are at the correct height, so that bearers will be level. Allow at least 24 hours for concrete to dry.
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7. Set bearers to the posts and in their bearer stirrups with bolts, using the spirit level to ensure they are squared up and level as these will take the load of the deck. Also keep in mind the final height of the deck while measuring.
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8. Measure out your joists, and then screw them to the bearers.
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9. Lay your decking timber over the joists, ensuring each piece is equally spaced from pieces either side. The width of a nail is desirable, so handy spacers can be made putting a nail through small pieces of timber off cuts.
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10. Apply an “S” shape of Selleys Liquid Nails Heavy Duty to the underside of your decking timber and place where the deck and joists will meet. Ensure that it is level and flush with your bearers and then fix the deck down with one screw per joist.
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11. Repeat the previous process for each piece of decking timber, ensuring you use your spacers throughout to keep spaces even.
12. Trim any excess timber that may be overhanging the deck with the circular saw or hand saw.
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13. Once the decking structure is completed you’ll need to coat the timber to protect it from the weather. Some timbers like Merbau, should be weathered a few weeks before coating.
14. Clean the deck of any dust, dirt or stains using a stiff brush and Cabot’s Deck Cleaner. You can also use a pressure cleaner to do this. Any stubborn stains can be removed by rubbing down the affected area with a turpentine soaked cloth.
15. Once the deck is dry you can begin applying Cabot’s Aquadeck (or your choice of decking stains or oil). Stir the can and apply to border areas by cutting in with a paint brush, then use a roller or decking applicator to apply to 3 or 4 boards at a time along the length of your deck. This will ensure an even looking finish.
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16. Allow around 2 hours to dry before applying a second coat.

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