Tuesday, January 17, 2012

DIY Deck Part 5: 99.5% completed

As of this morning, the deck is pretty much complete now!

In the near corner there's one short board I'll take to the father-in-laws place to be ripped down to 60mm to fit. I could've done the deck with no ripping, but it would mean larger spaces between the boards, and I wasn't keen on 6-7mm gaps! 

On this side, I haven't put in the trim board yet (the vertical piece that hides the joist ends) because I've got a set of LED deck lights that I need to install in the last decking board first. Need a pretty big spade bit (about 35mm) or a small holesaw to get the cuts done.

So I have a newfound respect for all trades now after working on this deck for two weeks solid! Back, arms and hands a little sore. Getting everything square, level, and with consistent gaps is much harder than I'd thought.

We also went down to Laminated Timber Supplies in Croydon yesterday to check out a stain called Cutek CD50. Been reading up a bit on stains, and it seems there's either water or oil based stains, and oil based stains are "generally better" for my liking, as they're easily recoated and don't peel, unlike some water/acrylic based stains. Anyway, spoke to the sales manager David there who was extremely helpful, stained some of my decking offcuts to see what they'd look like and gave us a couple of sample pots. The price is more than the stains in Bunnings etc, but seeing as we've already spent plenty of time & money getting the deck done, it doesn't seem smart to try and save $50 on a stain that can make or break the deck! Will decide on a stain in the next few weeks, anyway. Definitely Cutek is high on the shortlist, mainly because of the service provided so far by David and the good feedback given amongst DIY forums.

And for those who're interested, just to recap on costs - we were quoted $7000 from a tradesman to build our deck (without stainless screws, without deck lights, without picture border!) and I think I've spent maybe $2300 on all materials (including a mitre saw, and a thousand leftover stainless screws). So if you have the inclination - and the time - doing your own deck can be quite satisfying and cost-effective!

Upcoming projects - make a small laundry step (using leftover decking), maybe a letterbox, and confirm the new supplier of our soft closing door dampers version 2.0!


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