Decking

#1
Quick question, when installing decking, nothing fancy, just cheap and cheerful, should I leave a gap or not. Anyone care to comment?
 
#3
You need a gap to allow the wood to expand.
 
#4
Use one bit of decking board as a template spacer between all of those boards that you screw down.
Air needs to circulate, the ground below needs to dry out when wet and the boards will expand and contract.
Make sure that you prepare the ground below properly with landscape fabric etc or you will be strimming the weeds that will be growing through the decking!
 
#5
You’ve all said what I always believed, but when I was checking out the optimum decking spacing, lots of people say you should butt them up tight. This being due to the fact that they will shrink as they dry out, swell when wet, but not enough to buckle.
I now find myself wondering which way to go.
Will follow my initial thoughts, and see how it develops, can always redo if needed.

Ta.
 

MrBane

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#6
Not going down the decking route would be my advice.

The stuff's a ******* deathtrap when wet. Can't go wrong with 40 slabs of mono block sourced from your local gypos every time.
 
#7
When it is all done, do not foget to take good care of "it".
 
#8
You’ve all said what I always believed, but when I was checking out the optimum decking spacing, lots of people say you should butt them up tight. This being due to the fact that they will shrink as they dry out, swell when wet, but not enough to buckle.
I now find myself wondering which way to go.
Will follow my initial thoughts, and see how it develops, can always redo if needed.

Ta.
I said that, but I went too close and should have left at least 6mm gaps between the boards to drain off surface water - giving gaps for airflow around and under the boards. It depends on the local average temperature but 6-8mm would have done me. I did however manage to leave a decent abutting gap between the decking and the house.
 
#11
Don't forget the inflatable hottub.
 
#12
As I went into B&Q the other week some bloke asked if I wanted decking. Luckily I was on the ball and got a good couple of punches in first before I was away on my toes. Could’ve turned out nasty though.
 
#13
Quick question, when installing decking, nothing fancy, just cheap and cheerful, should I leave a gap or not. Anyone care to comment?
Yes! About 3mm - 5mm. It allows for wood expansion and air circulation.

You can make simple spacers to get a constant gap: Three pieces of wood about 10cm x 10cm x 18mm'ish - drill a 3mm or 4mm hole in the middle - push and glue a 50mm 3mm - 5mm (as suitable) nail through the hole - let them dry. Then when you position one plank against the next put one spacer at each end and one in the middle so that the nail is hanging down between the planks.

The area underneath the deck pour down loadsa plant killer THEN put down, and peg down, some of that black landscape fabric, a double layer is best - one way then the other, make sure there is loadsa overlap. Stops weeds poking up between the boards in the future.

Advice: Put the wood finish on the back of the planks before you lay and fasten them - stops them rotting from the back and adds life to the deck. Also apply wood finish to all parts of wood which may be hidden when finished. At the end of the day it is yours, not some punters, so the more effort you put in front end the longer it will last. Use quality screws not cheap ones as you do not want rust either.
 
#15
I treated my deck with canola oil (rapeseedoil) the penetration is excellent and the cost is minimal, I used an old mop as my deck is 1,200 square feet after leaving it to soak in over night I cleaned off the excess with rags and after 5 years it may need recoating next year.
 
#17
What is replacing decking as the go to garden seating area? Wife wants me to build another when the new house is built, will have a retaining wall area with fire pit so just an area under the balcony.
 
#19
I was in B and Q Friday. Some scrote in an Orange apron asked me if I wanted decking, so I got a quick headbut in before he got chance.
 
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