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Our Top Tips For Deck Building

By Author: Unknown Member
Total Articles: 13

A deck is a major investment into the value of your property and your lifestyle. The information we have included below will help you avoid some of the most common and costly mistakes we have encountered over the last 21 years of supplying recycled timber decking timbers.

We believe in good design and building to last, It’s worth spending a little extra now to do it properly the first time. If it’s worth doing it’s worth doing right!

Rustic Decking: wire brush the old rough sawn face. This makes a dark, old looking board with heaps of character.

Lightly Dressed Decking: We lightly dress the face and edges to make an 85x20mm board. The lightly dressed face means you can see some of the grain and colour of the timber but it still has that more industrial look.

Clean Dressed Decking: We fully dress the timber clean, and pencil round the edges to make an 85x18mm board.

Timber is a living thing, it moves with moisture coming in and out of it from rain, sun, cold and heat. The forces created by moisture are intense and incorrectly laid timber planks can easily destroy themselves. Sounds dramatic but it is true! With that in mind lets talk about building your deck.

1. Use an experienced deck builder who has a proven track record and a reputation to uphold. There are plenty of dodgy deck builders out there, it is an easy job to do but a hard job to do well. We recommend the guys from ACT Decks.


If you are doing it yourself, do the research to make sure you get the design and choice of materials and method right. We have a few good tips below for DIY below.

If you go with a cheap option or get the design wrong, the result could easily be that your deck will look fantastic when it is installed, but within a few years it will look like the deck in the photos below.

There has been no mechanical damage in these photos just bad design, construction methods and a lack of maintenance!

2. Think about building a covered deck. Canberra has very high UV and hot, dry summers and wet cold winters. This is extremely hard on exposed timbers. Covering your deck could save a lot of maintenance and create an outdoor area that is usable for more of the year. There are also various insulation options available to keep your deck and house cooler in summer.

Space the timbers correctly. New timber are sometimes laid close together in the expectation they will season and shrink, however these days kiln dried timbers or recycled timbers usually expand because they allready have a very low moisture content.

Screw Choice. Galvanized screws can be a better option than stainless. We have seen a lot of decks screwed down with stainless where the heads of the screws start to come off after a year or two. Although it doesn’t rust, stainless just doesn’t have the same strength as normal steel.

Finishes. Stay away from water based finishes. We have seen them trap moisture in the decking boards and cause accelerated decay and a loss of structural strength in the timber. An oil based finish will help the timber repel moisture but still allow the timber to breathe. We recommend the plant oil based Osmo Decking Oils.

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