We recommend you take a look at our decking inspiration section first to get some great ideas. We have galleries which will inspire you on decking styles – possibly modern, contemporary or traditional. Where to install your composite decking, ideas for patterns, texture and colour.
TOP TIPS – READ THIS FIRST:
- Think about what you want to use your deck for long term. Have you got kids? Do you want your deck raised (in most countries there are clear guidelines on this)? More about planning considerations here.
- Make a basic sketch of your deck. Try and add some measurements and calculate expansion gaps and joist spacing.
- Have you got a specific colour or texture in mind? Prices vary dramatically for different textures. We have a handy guide to different types of composite decking.
- Plan out your area carefully. Measure the width and length so you know how many boards should be installed. Always take into consideration the expansion spacing between each board and expansion distance from your walls.
- Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions when installing composite decking. They have a lot of knowledge about their products.
- Temperatures fluctuate during the seasons: you should be aware of thermal expansion. Use T-Clips or the supplied clips to help with this – they provide built in spacing. 7mm is the recommended gap between board widths. Any less and you could have problems. Never butt joint boards.
- Where board lengths join (say a 2.4m board to another 2.4m board) you should use a minimum gap of 8mm.
- Always space your deck correctly and build a proper substructure.
- Use stainless steel screws – they last for decades and don’t cost the earth.
- Think carefully about how you want to finish your deck. Skirting trims and end caps keep out the weather and moisture and also look great. You can even mix decking colours and trim colours for amazing impact.
- Get the right tools. You can install a deck with basic tools but power tools and measuring tools make your project an awful lot easier!
- Always have some basic safety gear.
- Above all, enjoy your deck for many years to come!
More about decking installation below
Make a plan! Always have some basic measurements to refer to and a sketch of your deck layout. Okay so the illustration here is basic but it gives you an idea. What is very important is to calculate how many boards you will require and take into consideration the T-clips which add extra space for expansion and contraction between the boards. Doing this will avoid the nasty surprise of a very slim board at the end of your deck.
Work out your area. It’s advisable to first work out your square meterage, you can do this by simply measuring the area in metres and multiply the width by the depth. If the area you are decking is not a simple rectangle, then you will need to divide it into ‘rectangles’ and calculate each area individually. More on this here.
Fine toothed hand saw. Get a good one. You will use this in many aspects of your deck build (not all of us want to use power saws). Choose a finer toothed saw and it will be easy to cut with. It does take a little longer but the cut is easier to control and has a better finish. Sand after cutting for a cleaner edge.