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So that your deck consists of full-width boards, which looks better and is less work, make the joist length suit your boards. Take the width of each board and add the 4mm gap between them. Multiply to find how many boards will fit across your deck. Deduct 35mm from this to allow for a board along the face of the deck and for the last board to slightly overhang this. This will give you the length of your deck joists. fitted with a metal cutting blade to cut them off flush with the timber. STEP 4 Where you want to extend the deck, determine position of footings and the piers that sit on top to support the bearers, which in turn support the joists. If possible, use the same timber as the existing so you can easily work out how far the bearers and joists will span and the positioning of supports. Different timber types and sizes require different levels of support. If using different timbers, consult a builder or search for span tables to determine what is required. STEP 5 Dig 300 x 300 x 200mm deep holes for footings to support bearers where required. Mix concrete, fill holes and let dry. Build 230 x 230mm brick piers on top of footings. Make top of pier below existing joists by combined height of bearers and joists. Leave mortar to set.
STEP 6 Sit ant caps on piers then place bearers on top.
STEP 7 Install joists at each side of deck first. If existing joist is water damaged or screws won’t bite into the timber, install a new joist adjacent to it and nail the two together. On deck extension, nail through joists into bearer. Run a stringline between these joists along their ends. Install remaining joists so their ends meet stringline and nail. Space joists in the extended area of the deck at 450mm centres.
STEP 8 If incorporating a step into your deck, as here, cut back the joists where the step will be. Use treated pine sleepers as a frame for the step as they can sit directly on the ground. Cut down the sleepers to suit the height of your step. Use offcuts of joists for blocks between deck joists and step frame and as fixing points for the face board around the step.
STEP 9 Lay first row of decking boards, leaving a 4mm gap to the house. Where required, join decking over a joist, cutting with a drop saw fitted with a fine-toothed blade. Leave a 2mm gap between ends of boards to allow for expansion. At each end of row, use a countersinking bit to predrill decking then fix to joists using 50mm decking screws. To ensure the row is straight, run a stringline along edge of decking from each end. Align rest of row to the stringline and then work along it fixing to joists.
STEP 10 At each end of first row, measure 564mm (the width of 4 boards and a 4mm gap between each) from edge of boards and mark joists. Stretch a chalkline to join these points and flick to create a chalked line along top of joists. Cut and lay another 4 rows of boards. Stagger joins to avoid creating a seam of joins along 1 joist. Fix fifth row to joists so its outside edge meets chalked line. Space remaining boards using a plastic spacer between each row to maintain an even gap. So your screws are in a straight line, chalk a line along top of boards between screws on first and fifth rows. Fix remaining rows of boards with decking screws along chalked lines. Repeat to install all decking boards up to end of deck.
STEP 11 Cut and fit face decking along ends of joists for a neat finish. Also cut and install decking to fit along tread and risers of step.
4 Mix up the foliage colours and shapes of your potted plants for a more natural display.