4 simple considerations to plan the perfect deck

fun summertime accessories for your decking feature image

Relaxing in your garden may seem like a long way off now that we’re heading into winter. Though before you know it spring and summer will be back around and you’ll want to have a beautiful deck to enjoy your garden!

When building a deck (or any DIY project for that matter), any amount of time you invest at the planning stage will save you dividends later on. Here, we’ll give you advice and support to help you build the perfect deck for your garden.

Consider several locations

Before you actually start building your deck, it’s helpful to know exactly where it will go and what size you’ll want it to be once completed. It’s a good idea to consider several locations when choosing to build your deck, as you may find one of them won’t be suitable.

You’ll also need to have a quick think about water, and how it’ll affect your deck. Are there any areas where your lawn pools? You’ll want to make not of those areas and avoid placing your deck there as the additional water could lead to rot and other problems with your deck.

Next you’ll want to consider placing your deck in an area with plenty of sunlight and privacy.

Any shaded areas (including those covered by large trees) can lead to additional maintenance costs associated with deck care. You may find you need to more regularly oil, stain, and clean your deck to keep it in good working order. For example if your deck sits under a tree you may need to remove sap from your decking boards, regularly clear leaves, and keep your tree trimmed.

Take measurements

Once you know where you want your deck to be, it’s time to grab a tape measure and start plotting your deck. If you’re trying to reduce waste and the number of cuts you’ll want to choose a deck size that closely matches to a decking board length. Most decking boards come in lengths ranging from 1.8 metres to 6 metres.

Choose the decking boards that fit closest to the measurements of the deck you’re looking to build. If you’re trying to save money or have a strict budget you may want to scale down the size of your deck to the next smallest decking board.

If you don’t mind doing a bit of extra cutting though, you could buy boards that are slightly longer and trim them to size. Be sure to include a small gap between each of the boards to ensure proper drainage.

practical projects for your leftover decking boards feature image

Mark your working area

Once you know how long your decking boards will be (and therefore the size of your deck), it’s time to mark your working area! You can mark it with stakes and strings, or by using marking spray or chalk.

Be sure to mark off the complete area that will be occupied by your deck. You’ll want to be sure you know exactly how much space will need to be cleared of grass before you begin work.

During this stage you may want to review the building plans for your house. You’ll want to make sure you won’t run into any electrical pipes or sewer lines when you start digging the holes for your deck posts. Generally, this isn’t a problem, because most sewer pipes don’t run through gardens, but it’s better to know before you begin digging!

Draw a quick plan to scale

Last but not least, it’s always a great idea to draw a quick plan of your project. Drawing a quick plan roughly to scale allows you to see any potential issues, make adjustments and to write down the exact drainage gap you’ve calculated for your build. Plus, you’ll be able to mark down which direction your deck will slightly slope for proper water drainage.

No matter what you decide, building a deck doesn’t have to be a complicated or drawn-out process. It can be quick, simple, and fun!

And if you’re looking for a quick, easy, and cost effective way to build a deck in your garden, take a look at our decking kits! Each kit comes with a full set of clear step-by-step instructions and all the fixings you’ll need to do the job.

Don’t forget that you can always use our decking calculator to help you make sure you’ve got the right kit! If you’re still not sure or need additional advice, give us a call or pop into any of our DIY stores in Preston, Blackpool, and Wigan.