You have to be very careful while building a deck. So, what is really needed to build a deck out of wood composite decking materials?
Steps for Building Composite decks
Here are discussed a few points about this.
Prepare a Solid Surface
Firstly you need to make sure that you make sure that the surface you’re building the deck on is level and has a solid foundation. This will help the joists lay flat and give you an optimal construction.
Selection of Joists for decking
Secondly, you will need the joists to construct the foundation. You can choose from either Impregnated wood, Aluminum, or joists out of the same Composite decking materials as the deck.
What you choose can greatly impact the quality of your deck since it won’t be easy to alter or change once installed.
Selection of Joist frame
Normally a joist frame is constructed with 30-60 cm c/c (c/c refers to the distance between the joists in centimeters). it varies from the thickness of the decking boards. Whether your decking is square or has unusual edges you need to make sure that it has ample amount of c/c distance everywhere. It’s generally always better to go lower than higher. This will mean that you will need more material but the deck will be more stable.
Buy Now: Composite Joist
Make sure that you’re using the proper c/c for the composite decking that you have selected. Another thing that can impact the amount of c/c distance you need is whether you’ll be placing heavy items on top of the decking. Such as cooking appliances, pools or Jacuzzis. These require a lower c/c to be used to properly support the weight of the items. Make sure to reference the installation guides for your composite decking and if you’re unsure then contact the manufacturers of the composite decking boards.
You also need to make a choice whether you are using pedestals or not. Well, what are pedestals and what are they used for? Pedestals are basically adjustable pillars to raise the frame of your deck. This in turn will cause the decking to be installed at a higher height. This is often used for when you want the deck to be level with the door or surrounding structures.
Install the Frame
After this it’s time to install the joist frame. Make sure that everything is snug and secure so that it can’t move later. It could be hard to move it back in place if it shifts. Start the deck construction in whatever direction you want, depending on if you want a horizontal deck or a vertical deck.
if you want a frame around the decking or boards going parallel to the boards as a decoration then you need to make sure that your joist frame supports this as well, as it can severely alter how you need to construct the joist frame.
Buy now: Accessories for composite installation
Composite boards are traditionally constructed with clips in between the boards that fit into grooves in the long sides of the boards. You can usually choose between plastic clips that screw in from the top or metal clips that you screw in underneath. They both have their pros and cons. Plastic clips will allow you to more easily remove boards that could potentially be damaged or access the ground underneath. Metal clips on the other hand are less visible and allow for a smaller distance between the boards. Since the boards are slotted into the clips, they are not accessible unless you undo the construction of the decking from the end.
Generally, metal clips last longer than plastic clips are they are usually powder coated stainless steel. Pure plastic can “dry out” and become more brittle causing them to possibly break.
Some newer composite decks are installed with tongues and grooves instead of being installed with clips. This causes them to be simply slotted into each other. This has many advantages such as not needing clips, Sharing the load causing more even weight distribution, and not allowing for any gaps between the boards.
Add other accessories to decking
Once you have constructed the main part of the deck you also need to consider if you’re adding stairs and other accessories, such as skirting with fascia boards and fences around the edge of the decking.
After all of this, you should hopefully be done with your decking. It’s easier than if you would be building a traditional wood deck since you won’t need to pre-drill holes or attach boards directly.
Note: This article is not to be taken as professional advice. Always trust a professional’s word more than ours since there might be discrepancies that occur from decking to decking.
Keep in mind that products from different manufacturers can also vary vilely in quality. Always do your own research about the decking material that you are planning to buy.
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