Thursday, January 5, 2012

DIY Deck Part 2: Bearers all in

So I finished installing all the bearers yesterday - mixing concrete is hard work!

So these are the 4 bearers that will support the deck. 3 are long, with 5 stirrups supporting each, and one is shorter with 4 stirrups.

8 of the supports are concreted in place. The black strip is an idea picked up from some DIY forums - basically it's dampcourse material, same used to stop damp moving up your walls. When it rains, it'll stop the water pooling on top of the bearers and joists, hopefully prolonging the lifespan of the deck. There's a proprietary product called Protect-A-Deck which costs a fortune, or by using dampcourse, it's $13 to do the whole deck and then some leftover.

This is one of the things I like about DIY - you can take as much time as you want to research how things are done - and you realise just how likely it is for a contractor to skip things because you (the customer) don't know any better. Would a contractor use this kind of protective strip? Probably not. Will your contractor use sealer/preservative over the cut ends of treated pine bearers/joists? Maybe, if you're lucky. Will your contractor calculate the exact spacing of your joists so they're even, or will they simply slap joists down at 450mm centres and have an uneven one leftover? Will they even use the correct nails, joist hangers, unities/triplegrips? Unfortunately if you don't know what questions to ask and what specifications to check on, you'll probably get something less than the bare minimum. I certainly don't pretend to know everything about decking, but it does take time to read up on best practices, if you can find the time.

I'ev been getting ready for the next stage of the project by making sure all some of the hand-me-down tools I've scrounged are clean, sharp and ready to go - new blades for the circular saw, removing rust from the set square, various OCD things like that!

Tomorrow - I'll be putting on some crossbracing across the bearers, placing weedmat and rock, and installing the joists.


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