An easy transition between house and garden is a key feature of an attractive outdoor room. If you have an old tiled or concrete porch, freshen it up with timber decking laid over it on treated pine battens.
Gather your supplies
• Deck battens, 70 x 45mm treated pine
• Decking, 90 x 19mm merbau
You’ll also need
Spirit level; power saw; packing (for sloped porches); power drill; 25mm spade bit; 9mm bit; 8mm masonry bit; 8 x 100mm galvanised Ankascrews; ratchet and socket; 5mm packers; nailgun and nails; stringline; 50mm stainless-steel decking screws; natural decking oil
A drop of over a metre from the porch will need a balustrade. Consider your safety requirements on distances less than this.
Step 1 Demolish any existing structures if required. Cut battens to width of porch plus 200mm for overhang. Place first batten on the flat at one end of porch. If porch is sloped, make level by packing under batten. Place further packing at fixing points so it is supported there.
Step 2 So Ankascrew fixings for battens won’t interfere with decking screws, offset them from centre of batten. Use 25mm spade bit to bore a hole at least 10mm deep to countersink head of Ankascrews. Follow with 9mm bit through timber. Switch to 8mm masonry bit and drill into concrete. Make sure hole is deep enough for fixing plus a little extra. Insert Ankascrew. Use ratchet and socket to tighten.
Step 3 Repeat for following battens, spacing them so centres are 450mm apart. Pack under battens as required, making sure all are level. You will need a batten along nose of step, and anywhere else where ends of decking boards will need to be supported.
Step 4 Fix timber along bottom of short wall under porch. Cut vertical framing to fit between underside of battens and ground below. At one end of porch, line up vertical framing with batten, nail into timber secured to wall then make plumb and nail through batten intovertical framing to secure. Repeat for other end. Run stringline between ends as a guide to align rest of vertical framing. Cut off overhang of battens in line with face of vertical framing.
Step 5 At steps, adjust height of battens if needed (using packing) on each step to ensure a constant step height. At bottom step, you may have to omit batten, sit decking on packers and fix directly to step itself. Fix a batten along nose of step then equally space short battens across it, not exceeding 450mm from centre to centre. Place framing on step risers lining up with battens. Make step battens and riser framing flush with outside of vertical framing on side of porch.
Step 6 Lay first decking board on porch so it is flush with vertical framing on the side and the riser framing on steps. Countersink, predrill and screw in place. Cut and lay another 4 boards using 5mm packers to maintain an even gap. Draw a line along boards to keep screws straight and fix in place. Continue laying decking in batches of 5, measuring back to starting board to ensure they are parallel.
Step 7 Lay decking boards on vertical framing at sides of porch. Make top decking board flush with top of deck. Cut boards so they are flush with step battens and riser framing.
STEP 8 Cut and lay decking on riser framing and step battens so they overlap decking on sides of porch. Start at the top and work your way down. Lay full boards at nose of steps, trimming final board to make it flush with the adjacent step decking.
STEP 9 Finish deck in selected decking oil. We used a natural oil to highlight the grain and colour of timber.