Even if your deck is more health hazard than haven, you don’t have to chuck out the lot and start from scratch.
Provided the structure is in good nick, you can bring it back to life. Here’s how…
Gather your supplies
- Joists out of 150 x 50mm H4 sawn treated pine
- Decking boards 140 x 25mm treated pine
- Step frames out of 200 x 50mm H4 sawn treated pine sleepers
You’ll also need
Power saw; angle grinder fitted with metal cutting blade; measuring tape; nail gun and nails; stringline; chalkline; 5mm plastic packers; 125mm galvanised batten screws (for step frames); spirit level; Cabot’s Deck and Exterior Stain in Hunter Grey (deck stain); deck stain applicator
Note - Ensure you take necessary precautions and
wear all safety gear required, including appropriate eye
and ear protection, when working with power tools.
STEP 1 To remove rotten decking, use power saw to cut across decking on 1 side of each joist. Lift small decking pieces and remove.
STEP 2 On joists still in good condition that can be retained, like hardwood joists here, cut off nails remaining in joists using an angle grinder fitted with a metal cutting blade.
STEP 3 If joists are rotten, install new joists, making sure they are on same level as existing deck joists and are spaced no more than 450mm apart. If joists will be sitting on the ground, as here, ensure you use H4 treated pine.
STEP 4 Fix first decking board flush with ends of joists at end of deck. Cut and loose lay another 4 rows of decking adjacent to this board, joining over joists where required. Overhang decking at sides of deck.
STEP 5 On joists at each side of deck, measure 720mm (the width of 5 boards and four 5mm gaps between them) from outside edge of first board fixed and mark. Fix the last board on these joists so the edge meets this mark. To ensure this board is straight along whole deck, stretch a stringline between nails, partially driven into end joists, at edge of the board. Nail this board into remaining joists so edge meets stringline.
STEP 6 To make sure nails in joists are in a straight line, use a chalkline to create a nail guide across the decking from nails in board fixed in Step 4 and the nails on board fixed in Step 5. Insert 5mm plastic packers into gaps between boards then nail boards to joist along chalkline. Repeat for all remaining joists along deck.
STEP 7 Repeat Steps 4–6 to fix boards to the rest of the deck. Cut down final decking board along its length so it fits between the last full board laid and the shed. Allow for a 5mm gap to the wall of shed. Cut off overhanging decking at sides of deck.
STEP 8 To determine number of steps needed at front of deck and their height, divide distance from deck to the ground by a number between 130 and 190mm (which is a comfortable step height) until you achieve a whole number, here 486mm from deck to ground divided by 162mm equals 3 step risers (the vertical rise of the step), so 2 steps are needed.
STEP 9 Make steps out of rectangular frames of varying widths placed on top of each other. The step frame height should match the height determined in Step 8. Their width should be multiples of 285mm so treads can be covered by 2 full decking boards (plus 5mm gap between them). Place the largest frame on the ground so its top is the correct distance from the deck. Don’t forget to allow for the thickness of the boards going on top. Make level then place smaller frame on top. Screw frames together with 125mm galvanised screws then nail boards to treads of steps.
STEP 10 Nail boards along side of deck framing so edge is flush with boards on top. Repeat for all sides of step frames and step risers.
STEP 11 Stain decking in your selected colour. Try matching the colour of the deck to the trim on shed by using a bluish grey stain (Hunter Grey was used here).