re­vamp YOUR DECK

Better Homes and Gardens (Australia) - - Outdoor Living -

Over time the weather and reg­u­lar use take their toll on your deck, but there are things you can do to im­prove it. Here are four ways to make your deck a more at­trac­tive, prac­ti­cal and safe place.

1. LOOSE BOARDS

With ex­pan­sion and con­trac­tion, fix­ings can loosen. Boards lift and move out of line. Use a chisel to lever any bent boards back into line, drill a pi­lot hole us­ing a coun­ter­sink­ing drill bit, then screw the boards back down.

3. HANDRAIL FIX

A wide handrail caps off your balustrade, and is more com­fort­able to lean against and rest a drink. Pry off the old handrail and cut a new one out of 140 x 45mm dressed treated pine. Spread high-strength ad­he­sive, such as Sikaflex, on the balustrade, then screw down the handrail us­ing 100mm bat­ten screws.

2. STAIN TIM­BER

First use a deck clean­ing prod­uct and a stiff broom to re­move any dirt and grime from the boards. Leave to dry, then fol­low with a deck­ing stain. A nat­u­ral stain en­hances the tim­ber or go for a com­plete change by us­ing a coloured stain.

4. ADD SHADE

A shade sail (or two!) keeps off the harsh sun and also adds a sculp­tural el­e­ment to your deck. Make sure the sail is well sup­ported with steel posts con­creted in the ground. Any fix­ing points on the house need to be well con­nected, as the sails can gen­er­ate con­sid­er­able force when the wind gets un­der them.

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