Top tips for landscaping your garden with decking
When it comes to giving your garden a makeover, decking has become the landscaping material of choice. Whether you have a contemporary or traditional garden, sprawling acres or a small courtyard, a decked area can be everyone's perfect outdoor entertaining space.
Landscaping your garden with decking is something that you can do yourself by following our top tips.
Preparation is key
Like any landscaping DIY job, planning and preparation are extremely important. It is a good idea to make a drawing of your area or mark it out with tape. This way you can also decide whether to lay your deck boards, horizontally, vertically, or diagonally.
If your deck is going to be laid against your house, the planning stage will help to ensure that you don't cover airbricks, go above the damp proof course or infringe on any door openings.
Your plan will also act as a scale so that you can calculate the size of the supporting frame and the amount of deck boards you will need.
If you are in any doubt, speak to your local builders merchant about your landscaping project for advice before you begin.
Getting the landscaping area ready
Clear the area where your decking will be, ensuring it is as level as possible, then lay a deck fabric over the earth and spread some shingle over that to keep it in place. This will prevent weeds from growing up between the decking.
Your landscaping area is now ready for the timber frame.
Building the framework
Your timber frame is there to support the decking, so it needs to be the same size at the landscaping area. Form the outer frame first, using rustproof screws, making sure that it is level. Then fill the frame with long joists, spaced at around 50cm intervals.
To give your frame extra support, it is a good idea to fix short lengths of timber at right angles between the joints.
Fixing the deck boards to the frame
Once your timber frame is in place, you are ready to attach the deck boards.
Lay your boards in the opposite direction to your joists and screw in place with decking screws. Fix the ends of each board first, and then screw in the middle to the joists.
For ventilation purposes, and to allow boards to expand in wet weather, leave a 5mm gap between each board.
Finishing your deck
Your landscaping area is now decked. Decking boards are pre-treated, so you can leave them natural, but they will fade over a few months. Alternatively, decking stain comes in many colours to suit any garden design.
Maintaining your decked area
Once a year you will need to check for any loose boards and splintered wood. You may also need to restain it and clean it regularly to ensure that it lasts.
At Chandlers, we have everything you will need to complete your decking project, as well as many other landscaping options. Our experts are happy to offer advice. You can find your local branch by clicking here.