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Building a Deck
Click hear for Handy hints
Contractors your dream deck needn't be as difficult as you might
think. This guide provides the right steps to see you through
the project and the team at Carters can help with extra advice
along the way.
Step 1: Site Layout
the position of your deck against the house and the floor
level of the finished deck. The step down from the doors to
the deck should not be less than 50mm in order to prevent rain
Drive a 75mm nail where each corner of the deck will be at
floor level. Make sure the nails sit straight out from the
Measure square, as near as you can off the nails for the width
of the deck plus 600mm for peg clearance.
Using a line level, position all string lines as indicated in
the diagram (see Fig 1 - front cover) to determine the deck
Make sure your string lines are square with the house. To do
this, measure 900mm from the house (Point A to Point B) and
1200mm from the house (Point A to Point C). Adjust string
until distance between B and C is 1500mm. This process
provides a right angled triangle. Repeat at each corner.
Step 2: Positioning Posts
the post holes, one at each corner and one in the centre, all
450mm deep and 350mm diameter (see step 4 diagram for post
Pour 100mm of concrete in holes and set posts - brace as
necessary. Continue to pour concrete around posts to 150mm
from ground level. Let harden overnight.
Note: Bracing may be required depending on height and size
of deck. 100x100mm posts are adequate in most situations.
Alternatively 125x125mm house piles provide superior support.
Step 3: Trimming Posts
Measure the thickness of decking, and the bearer depth. Add
10mm per meter of deck width for fall. This falls the deck
slightly away from the house to allow rainwater to be shed
From the string line, measure down the total distance arrived
at above, and saw off posts at this height.
Ensure the posts are level.
Step 4: Positioning Bearers
Use galvanized coach screws to connect bearer to existing
joists/bearer, of timber weatherboard clad house, or deadbolts
to masonry clad wall. For weatherboards, temporarily nail
bearer below string line, by the thickness of decking, then
drill holes and fasten to existing wall of house.
Step 5: Positioning Joists
Measure length between house bearer and double bearer. Check
measurements of all joists. Square cut ends of all joists.
Mark both bearers at 450mm centers, or as span table.
Nail joist hangers so that joists are flush with bearers and
Place joists in hangers and fix with galvanized clouts in all
Step 6: Fix Decking
Measure and mark the outside joists every 90mm (if using 88mm
wide decking and spacing 2mm apart).
If decking is in random lengths, alternate with long/short
lengths. All joints must be over joists. Start laying from
house, fix last length flush with outside of double bearer or
complete hand rail before fixing all decking. Also allow for
fitting kitset stairs to suit deck height, ask your Branch for
Step 7: Hand Rails
prevent accidents, hand railing should be provided for decks
more than one meter from the ground.
The height of the railing above the decking should be a
minimum of 1000mm for domestic use.
Hand railings can be bolted to posts using one or two 10mm
diameter galvanized bolts or coach screws depending on the
width and design of the rail. If the deck support posts do not
extend through the deck, additional posts should be bolted,
using two 12mm diameter galvanized bolts, to bearers or joists
as appropriate. These should be adequately braced.
Infill between the handrail and decking can be achieved in
numerous ways - plywood or glass panels, vertical balusters
(as shown) or horizontal rails. The gap between these should
not exceed 100mm. A word of warning - horizontal rails make an
excellent ladder for children to climb.