How to: Installing a Deck


Contents:-
Safety First
Fixings
Top Deck Building Tips
Technical Advice
Building your Deck
Fixing Deck Joisits
Fitting Deck Newel Posts
Fitting Decking Boards


Safety First


When handling and processing treated timber always wear gloves and eye protection and work in a well ventilated area.

Wash hands thoroughly after handling treated timber and especially before eating or smoking.

Do not burn timber off-cuts. Dispose of them safely as refuse. Treated timber contains chemical preservatives.

When constructing pergolas keep the surrounding area clear of people until the structure is fully secure.

Wear goggles when pressure washing or scrubbing with chemical cleaners or restorers.

Keep children away from the work area until the job has been completed and tools have been stored safely.

A Treated Timber User Guide for TANALISED® E /TANALISED® EXTRA treated timber covering its general use is available from Lonza Wood Protection - www.lonzawood.com.

The grinding and cutting of Q-Grip® products may produce dust and loose flying particles and we strongly recommend that personnel carrying out these tasks wear suitable Personal Protective Equipment including gloves, eye protection, particulate dust mask and ear defenders.


Fixings


Q-Deck Plus Timber-Tite heavy duty landscaping screws
Q-Deck Tite Plus stainless steel decking screws
Q-Deck® Plus Timber-Tite heavy duty landscaping screws.
Q-Deck® Tite Plus stainless steel decking screws.

All Q-Deck® products should be fixed or secured using recognised quality products. We recommend the use of screws to fix deck boards and bolts or structural screws to secure newel posts or structural elements of the deck. The raw material and the type of coating used to protect these from corrosion is vital.
This is why Hoppings recommend stainless steel fixings for the best results.
If galvanised fixings are used they should be of the hot dipped variety to help avoid corrosion. We do not recommend the use of pneumatic nail guns to secure decking boards.
Q-Deck®-Tite Plus Stainless Steel Decking Screws are available for use with any Q-Deck® decking but especially Lyptus and our new Q-Deck® smooth Garapa decking.
Q-Deck® Lunawood decking features a special concealed fixing clips and stainless steel screws. 100 per box (includes driver bit).
On 500mm joist centres 17 clips are required to fit one square metre of 26 x 117mm Q-Deck® Lunawood hidden fix decking boards.
Always follow the manufacturer's instructions when working with deck fixings.


Deck Tite plus stainless steel Decking screws
Deck Tite Plus® Stainless Steel Decking Screws

Top Tips & Guidance

  • It is advisable to loosely lay components, ie. in particular deck boards, out on the finished sub frame prior to securing them. The longer they are left to become surface dry the less the effects of shrinkage will be apparent after fixing them. The timber can also be cut and sanded more easily when dry.
  • Fix boards with corrosion resistant screws, or for the very best results use stainless steel screws (2 screws 15-20% of its width in from each edge of the board). Structural fixtures and fittings should be specially coated or of hot dipped galvanised material.
  • It is advisable to pre-drill pilot holes near the end of boards to avoid splitting.
  • Deck board screw length should be 21/2 times the thickness of the deck board.

  • For maximising its life it is advisable to cover fabric weed membrane with pea shingle.
  • It is advisable to loosely lay components, ie. in particular deck boards, out on the finished sub frame prior to securing them. The longer they are left to become surface dry the less the effects of shrinkage will be apparent after fixing them. The timber can also be cut and sanded more easily when dry. Note: If the boards are allowed to fully dry out prior to fitting, the gap between boards should be increased to 9mm to allow subsequent expansion in the wetter seasons.
pre-drill pilot holes near the end of deck boards
Covering decking fabric weed membrane with pea shingle.
Pre-drill pilot holes near the end of deck boards
Covering decking fabric weed membrane with pea shingle.
  • All cut ends and notches made to the timber components must be protected with a suitable brush-on end grain preservative (eg. Ensele®/ Ronseal® end grain preserver/Hickson Decor® end grain preservative) to maintain the integrity of the preservative treatment. Where possible Use Class 4 components should not be cut, notched or bored if they are then to be used in ground contact. If Use Class 4 deck support posts are cut then the cut end should not be placed in the ground. If Use Class 4 deck joists for ground level or partially elevated decks are cut then they should be laid on a free draining area of compacted hardcore (or similar) not straight onto earth or areas of lawn. Subframes that are laid in direct contact with earth are at increased risk of fungal decay and subsistence.

Ensele decking end grain preservative
Ronseal Decking End Grain Preserver
Hickson Decor Decking End Grain Preservative
Ensele decking end grain preservative
Ronseal Decking End Grain Preserver
Hickson Decor Decking End Grain Preservative
  • Cut the top of the support post at an angle to aid water 'run off'.
  • If you need to attach a ledger board to the wall of a dwelling it is advisable to leave a gap between them - use 10mm thick spacer/ packer. This will maintain ventilation and enable the wall and ledger to dry.
Decking gap to allow for expansion
Bevelled concrete footing
Angle cut support post
Decking gap to allow for expansion
Bevelled concrete footing
Angle cut support post
  • Bevel the top of the concrete footing around the support posts to aid water 'run off'.
  • When using Q-Deck® Lyptus, Garapa or Twinson decking it is advisable to use Q-Deck® Use Class 4 subframe components.
  • For Q-Deck® Lunawood the use of these specific components are a condition of the Q-Deck® Lunawood warranty.

All the guidance above regarding protection and adequate drainage further minimise the risk of fungal decay and insect attack and thus simplify a warranty claim


Technical Advice

INCOMPATIBILITY ISSUES

Take care not to allow uncoated iron products or parts of originally coated iron products to come in contact with Q-Deck®/ Q-Grip® /Q-Deck® hardwood components. Ferrous substances may react with the preservative treatment within the timber and cause unsightly black staining of the surfaces, that may prove difficult to remove. So in particular, it is worth considering if the filing or grinding of metal products needs to be performed near to or over the deck. If possible avoid doing this near decks but if this is not practical then the deck surfaces should be carefully protected/covered to enable capture and disposal of the iron particles. In very hot weather pine resin can rise to the surface of Q-Deck® products and dark stains/coatings can exacerbate this. In the unlikely event this occurs, wait for the resin to form a crust and scrape away; repeat if necessary.


Building Your Deck

PREPARING THE OVERSITE

The oversite must be free draining or of a gradient of 1 in 40 to allow water "run off". If the area you have chosen is grass you can either remove the turf or cover it with a weed barrier, as long as its edges are tucked deep into the soil using an edging spade. If your deck is to be at ground level then the removal of 100mm of soil is recommended. Replace the topsoil with 100mm of compacted gravel or hardcore. This provides a very solid but free draining oversite on to which you can build the sub-frame. On any over site it is essential that you lay a weed barrier. It is advisable to cover the top of the weed barrier with a light stopping layer of pea shingle. You could use strategically positioned patio slabs instead of compacted gravel or hardcore, but we do not recommended this as they tend to settle/subside causing problems with your deck later.


SIZE ISSUES

Wood swells when it is pressure pre-treated with a waterbased preservative - as much as 4% of the finished size after machining - and shrinks as it dries which may vary from piece to piece. This can be evident when butting deck boards end to end. We therefore advise letting the deck boards, in particular, dry somewhat before fitting. This not only helps to achieve a more constant size but improves their workability. Although minimised by the water repellent additive used with Q-Deck® products, climatic changes cause the wood to continually shrink and swell in service and in turn this movement may vary from piece to piece.


SUBFRAME
Aims

  • Structurally sound for its intended end use
  • Only Use Class 4 treated wood should be used in ground contact.
  • Provide lateral rigidity.
  • That the deck will not settle/subside and has a gradient fall in one direction without any low points (sag).

Building Your Deck

1

PATIO STYLE DECK raft construction
Garden area that drains well.
Remove turf and 100mm minimum of topsoil where deck is to be positioned.
Position a minimum of 2 deck support posts in footings to act as frame anchors.
Replace topsoil with compacted down gravel or hardcore.
Lay weed barrier.
Lay Use Class 4 subframe allowing for 50mm drainage gap all round and attach to post anchors.
Backfill around frame with gravel or pea shingle.
Now fit newels or just deck boards if balustrading is not required.


Patio Style Decking Raft Construction
2

LOW LEVEL Deck post and beam construction
Limited final deck height
Deck support posts are either supported in 'standoff' proprietary bracket (on footing) or supported in a footing. Joists are attached to beams using mini joist hangers.
Now fit newels or just deck boards if balustrading is not required.

Low level decking post and beam construction
3

ELEVATED DECK post and beam construction
For sloping sites, multi-tier decks or simply where final deck height is not an issue.
Lateral bracing of the beams may be necessary.
Now fit newels or just deck boards if balustrading is not required.


Post and beam construction for an elevated deck
4

DECK OVER EXISTING PATIO
on existing structurally sound concrete slab
ie. 100mm slab on top of 100mm compact hardcore.

In this instance 72mm thick beams are supported off the slab using strong angle brackets and durable packing pieces. (45mm thick Use Class 4 joists could also be used for this purpose).
Now fit newels or just deck boards if balustrading is not required.


Decking sub frame over existing patio

Support Posts and Beams

PLEASE NOTE: For a free draining deck surface, you must incorporate a gradient in one direction of your deck. Most decks (other than ground level) utilise a post and beam construction. The support posts (normally placed at no more than 1800mm) centres sit in or on a concrete footing, the later utilising a metal connector / shoe.

Q-Deck® PLUS Multi-purpose deck posts material is ideal for use as support posts and is also available shaped (3m long classic post), should you want to incorporate a shaped newel above deck level.

Post and beam decking construction
Multi-purpose deck posts used as support posts
Post and beam decking construction
Multi-purpose deck posts used as support posts

Beams are the main horizontal support members of the deck and when connected as pairs (as recommended) can provide both great strength and an ideal place for housing Q-Deck® PLUS newel posts, should you require balustrades. A pair of timbers are either bolted (recommended) or screwed (with, for example, Q-Deck Plus timbertite heavy duty landscaping screws) to the support posts at a height to suit whilst also very easily incorporating a desired gradient for water run off (1:80).


Decking Subframe Beams In Situ
Fixing bracers
Decking Subframe Beams In Situ
Fixing bracers

BEAM SPAN GUIDANCE

We recommend beams are constructed from two 44 x 145mm Q-Deck® joists and are placed at maximum centres of 1.8m. In this instance a maximum span between deck posts of 2.0m is recommended.


FIXING THE JOISTS

PLEASE NOTE: For free draining deckboards it is highly recommended that you lay them down a gradient fall. This is especially important if the deckboards are grooved.

Depending on the type of deck you are building the joists can be fixed in a number of different ways.

For a ground level deck or partially elevated you can simply construct a raft which sits onto your free draining oversite.

Simple raft subframe
Fixing joists to beams
Simple raft subframe
Fixing joists to beams

When beams are used in deck construction there are two methods of fixing joists. Firstly if height is an issue you can fix joists to beams using metal connectors commonly known as mini joist hangers.

Alternatively the easiest and most structurally sound way (if height is not an issue) is to simply sit the joist on top of the beams.

It is advisable to nail each joist to each beam at an angle. The tail ends of the joists are secured using a rim joist that is double nailed to the ends of the joists.

With all these joist configurations it is essential that noggins are also fitted between the joists. (Short pieces of wood fitted perpendicular to adjacent joists) These add rigidity to the sub-frame.

Fitting joists to beams
Noggins fitted between joists
Fitting joists to beams
Noggins fitted between joists

If balustrading is required, newel posts must be fitted at this point, before any decking is laid.


Decking Beam Span

Fitting Newels

If balustrading is planned, fit your newel posts before laying decking.

Note: At this point the type of balustrade system chosen will govern the required newel height above the deck.

Double beam construction using Q-Deck® Plus Multi-purpose posts provides the ideal newel post housing.

Secure using suitable bolts or landscape screws in 2 or 3 directions for best results.


Securing newels with bolts or landscape screws
Securing newels with bolts or landscape screws

Fitting Q-Deck® Treated Deckboards

Laying in patterns or at a 45 angle efficiently utilises any length purchased. It is a good idea to overlap the subframe and cut to desired length in a straight line or curve, if required. If deck boards need to be joined, butt them end to end but take care to stagger the joints so they do not overlap from row to row.


Cutting deck boards to the desired length
Staggered deck board joints
Cutting deck boards to the desired length
Staggered deck board joints
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