Essential Preparation Tips For New Timber Decking
What Do You Need To Know When Building A Deck?
When you’re piecing together your home-improvement plans, timber decking and a carport might seem like they hail from different worlds. But if you squint a little, you’ll see they can be quite the dynamic duo.
Think of timber decking as the cool, laid-back cousin at the family BBQ. It’s all about those chill vibes, outdoor entertaining, and sizzling summer barbecues. Then along comes the carport, the practical sibling who’s all about protection and function, keeping your car safe from the elements.
So, how do these two relate? They’re like the rhythm of a good song. Decking starts it off slow and easy, setting the tone. Then the carport comes in with a beat drop, turning the practicality up to eleven. Both enhance your home in their own unique ways, and when done right, they can complement each other beautifully, making your home not just a place to live, but a place to thrive.
Building a New Timber Deck
After making the decision to build a timber deck, the next step is to address the specifics of the project. The specifics of a decking project are not only determined by the owner’s preferences, but by must also adhere to proper decking standards. Below are some of the preparation tips for a timber deck. They are divided into two categories which are:-
- Deck construction standards
- Custom decking considerations
All decks in Brisbane must follow a set standard of guidelines. These guidelines help to address the following aspects of deck construction
1. City Council Approval
Australian city council building codes refer to a dwelling as a single house and any out-buildings attached to the dwelling. Other than carports, a deck is also an out-building. In low density and medium density residential zones, a deck construction project falls under self-assessable developments. Self-assessable developments do not require city council approval. This is mainly because in low and medium density zones, most houses have adequately sized backyards/courtyards which do not limit the size of the deck.
City council approval is necessary if the house is part of a neighborhood plan or overlay. If this is the case the deck has to be approved as part of an existing building plan. This approval can be secured by hiring a building certifier to certify the detailed and scaled plans. The building plan incorporating the deck must be made by a council certified draftsman or architect.
2. Deck Gaps
The inclusion of gaps between the timber boards making up the deck allows for the expansion that occurs as the wood absorbs moisture. Board with a width of 90mm have a recommended gap of 4-6mm. Boards with a width of 130mm and above have a recommended gap of 7-9mm. The space is vital because wood tends to expand by 0.5mm when its moisture increases by 1%. The expansion is greatest during winter when the moisture content increases by 4-6%. During winter the timber boards will have expanded by 2-3mm.
3. Sub-Deck Ventilation
Enough space must be left below the deck to allow for sub-deck ventilation. Allowances must also be made to allow for cross flow ventilation. Cross flow ventilation prevents the accumulation of moisture below the deck. This is why the deck should be enclosed within solid perimeter walls, which prevents air circulation in the sub-deck. The moisture that would then accumulate can cause the wood to cup. Where solid perimeter walls cannot be avoided then specially designed fan-powered vents should be installed in the sub-deck.
4. Moisture control
To prevent the timber deck boards from absorbing too much moisture, the use of oil-based paints is recommended. Individual board should be thoroughly coated prior to installation. The trimmed ends should also be painted. A second coat should be applied once the construction of the deck is completed.
Countersunk holes should be drilled for each decking nail or screw used. This is then followed by drill holes with a diameter slightly larger than the diameters of decking nails or screws. This allowance helps to reduce the stress that arises as the timber boards expand lengthwise and widthwise. This will prevent the boards from splitting or cracking.
Properly designed decking nails and screws should be used. The fixings should be made of galvanizes steel or stainless steel to prevent rusting. Decking nails should have a diameter of 19mm and a length of 65mm. 10-gauge decking screws should be used with timber boards 90mm wide and lower. 14-gauge decking screws should be used with board with a width of 130mm and over.
Custom Decking Considerations
Some of the considerations that are subject to the owners preferences include:-
- The deck size-determined by the intended number of users at any one time
- The deck height-the deck should be high enough to offer an adequate view
- Privacy-a privacy screen can be installed to deter prying eyes
- Young children and pets-a rail should be installed to keep young children on the deck and pets off the deck.
- Time of use-if the deck will be used during the night, then deck lights should be installed.
The above tips should make it possible to prepare for and carry out a successful deck construction project. The guidelines are comprehensive and adequate not only for the construction of a wooden deck but also for decks made with other materials. If you have questions regarding your build please contact NO1 Carports Brisbane and our friendly team will be happy to answer your questions.