Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year! DIY Deck Part 1!

Happy New Year! My New Year's resolution was decided weeks ago - to finally get the deck built in the outdoor room. Did some rough sketches in Visio first to get an idea of the rough dimensions, plus a few more detailed drawings.

This is what our backyard currently looks like - the brick pier is joined to the main house slab by some massive concrete channels, which is useful for attaching some of the bearers. Theres a forest of weeds elsewhere in the backyard!

Anyway, before xmas I cleared up the outdoor room area, removed the temporary step made up of bricks & sand, pulled out all the weeds and used weedkiller before spreading out the sand to level things up. Dug 8 postholes for footing - there will be 11 brackets on existing concrete. No point actually using posts since there's only about 300mm from the ground to the finished floor level.

And today (New Years Day) it decided to be about 35 degrees - a little warm to be doing decking, but I was pretty keen to get cracking on it all, since I had some timber delivered last week for the substructure. Treated pine bearers and joists, with Merbau decking to be ordered and delivered once the framework is done. Here are 4 brackets bolted in for the outermost bearer.

These are pretty nifty things - drill a 10mm diameter hole in the concrete with a good hammer drill, blow out all the concrete dust, install one 10mm diameter self-tapping concrete bolt in the big washer and loosely tighten. This way, you can still rotate the bracket and fine tune positioning, rather than hoping to get it 100% aligned during the bracket installation! Of course make sure all the metalwork is galvanised (or stainless steel).

 First bearer installed. 10mm galvanised coachbolts retaining the bearer. Once everything is nice and level, tighen the bolts holding the brackets in. I've got it setup so after using 2/90x45 bearers, 90x45 joists and approx 20mm decking, it'll be 10mm below the rear door sill - sweet! (I hope!)

 And the next bearer installed exactly the same way. However this one has a little cantilever off the end so the deck will "project" out over the ground.

 And of course, rechecking to make sure everything is still nice and level.

There's two more bearers to install closer to the house, however they will have one bracket on concrete, and 4 stirrups cemented into postholes. Probably won't get these done until Wednesday, as it's going to be 40 tomorrow and about 38 the day after, and after sweating it out today I'm not going to do that again!

This is definitely the biggest DIY job around the house, but so far, so good. I was quoted $7000 for this deck to be done by a tradesperson, and so far I'm estimating the materials to cost about $2000. Fair bit of labour involved, but I have another 3 weeks off work which should see it completed by then!



  1. Hi Mate,

    First of all you have a really nice looking deck! Well done. I just want to ask a few questions if you don't mind.
    1. Did you put any ledgers to attach the deck to the house?
    2. How deep is your concrete?
    3. How did you level the bearers to the brackets?
    4. how far apart are bearers and brackets?


  2. Wow, sorry Phil I didn't realise you'd left this comment - been a bit busy with other projects!
    You've probably done your deck by now, but to answer your questions
    1) No ledgers, no attachment to the house.
    2) Concrete is 600mm deep (hard work!)
    3) I attached stirrups to the bearers first, then levelled them prior to pouring concrete. Much easier than using string lines to align stirrups first!
    4) erm... i think the bearers are about 1m apart, but can't remember exactly. There are framing guidelines published that tell you maximum span distances depending on your bearer & joist dimensions.



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