Laying your own decking is a great way of adding your own personality to your garden. When done correctly they add both function and style. The first step in the process is to decide where the decking is going to go. Most people position them in natural sunlight, or by a structure for a little shade if the weather gets hot in the summer. The area needs to be marked out first with a length of string. Obviously the larger the area the more work will be needed.
Clear the area of any soil, or if you are adding the decking on any existing paving stones, then treat them with weed killer, and cover with a plastic sheet. The last thing you need is for weeds to creep through the bottom of the deck once you have built it. If the decking is next to your house then you need to make it slope away from the building to let rain water flow off it. Also make sure you do not cover the damp proof course if it is right next to your house. Once this is done you can start to build the support frame. Try to make this as solid as possible by adding support joists every 18 inches or so. Wood can become springy if not correctly supported, so take some time to get this bit right. Screw the joists together, do not hammer in nails as they will twist and become loose over time. Use a good quality screwdriver, you can pick one up from argos, or go for an electric one to make things easier for yourself. Once the support frame has been built you can then add the decking panels on top.
These panels need to run at right angles to the support joists, and the longer the wood panels are, the better the finished product will be. Use pre-drilled, counter suck holes, and screw the panels together. This will give much better support than using nails or tacks, and will look better when finished. The wood panels can be in all shapes and designs, so shop around for the best deals, and try to match the colour of the decking to other structures in the garden. The more panels you buy, the cheaper they will be, and you can pick them up from online stores such as argos online, or from garden improvement stores.
Once the panels have been screwed down you can treat the edges with wood preservative to stop them rotting. You can also add fascias to any exposed ends to give a more professional look. After this is done you should now be standing on your very own garden deck area.