Building your own deck is not as difficult as many people imaging - providing that you have good DIY skills; enthusiasm; time and the help of a friend - or two.
There are many choices to be made before you start and it is a good idea to study all the options available to you before you go as far as your first sketch plan! You will then at least have a good idea how to do decking.
Building a deck is not to be taken lightly. Get it right from the start and you have something of value for many years - maybe your lifetime. Get it wrong, and you are lumbered with a relatively expensive timber platform that at best is in the wrong place or it is the wrong size or shape. Worse still, you dream deck my be unsafe to use!
There are three basic processes before you pick up a screwdriver - being; The Deck Plan; Choice of Materials; Obtaining the Decking Materials. Each of these basic processes are further broken down into sections. For instance, before you put a pencil on your scrap of paper, you need to discuss with everyone who is going to be affected by the new deck. Also think forward a decade, and think how your own use might change, and in particular, how your young kids (now), will want to use the deck once they are teenagers. It happens!
Before you decide where you want to put your deck, make yourself aware of what planning permissions or building control regulations you will be subject to! As well as the restrictions that might be imposed from your local authority, place yourself in the homes of your neighbours. They will almost certainly be affected by your decking project.
Even if not affected in legal terms, the last thing you want is hassle from the neigbours. I have known of two large decking projects that had to be stopped and taken down, after complaints from neigbouring properties - and not just next door!
So, if you are committed to building your deck - or even having your deck built for you - read this section thoroughly. But once you have entrusted your deck to a contractor, discuss by all means, but do not interfere. Different contractors have different methods of working. If you choose the right contractor, they will be happy to explain all as work progresses. Hopefully, they will have several hundred decks under their belt, and be able to cope with all the unseen little snags that appear - and believe me, they do!
The basic stages in building a deck are - or should be..