When the wood deck boards start to split, curl and come loose, it is time to rebuild your deck. Staining and painting are popular deck renovations, but why stop here? Replace wooden boards with weather-resistant, eco-friendly and low-maintenance Green Plank® decking boards. It may only be necessary to remove the old deck boards, and replace with Green Plank® low-maintenance composite decking boards. 

When renovating your deck, the most important things to consider initially are: working with what you have ?

Do it yourself or use a contractor?

If you’re handy with a hammer and you’re considering installing your own deck, DIY deck building can be a rewarding and challenging experience. It can also quickly turn into your worst nightmare. Even if you have the skills to build a deck, there are many reasons why building a deck is a job best left up to the professionals. There are a few questions to ask yourself: 

» Do you have the Time?

A major game changer, time constraints can easily ruin your dream of building a deck. If you’re a weekend warrior with a 9-5 job, it can be difficult at best to find the time to build a deck on the weekend. A decking contractor will not only get the job done quickly, they will also set a time table so you know exactly when your new deck is going to be completed.

» Do you have the Tools?

Just because you have a hammer and saw, doesn’t make you a carpenter. Posthole diggers, nail guns, screw guns, laser levels and wheelbarrows are all basic tools that are a must-have when building a deck. If you plan on buying tools to build your deck, you may want to hire a professional that already has what they need to get the job done. Saving the money on buying tools can go a long way when you’re under a tight budget.

» Do you have the Insurance?

A professional deck installer has the insurance they need in case a problem happens. If materials are damaged or stolen during construction, a professional builders risk insurance policy is the only way you’re going to recoup the losses. What’s more, if someone gets hurt on your job (including yourself) a professional builder will have the workers compensation to cover any accidents or injuries that are sustained on your property, freeing you from any financial obligations. 

Decking Materials

Probably the most difficult decision to make when building a deck is what type of decking material to use. Decking materials are very different, there’s a huge variety to choose from and they vary in price and quality dramatically. If you want a family friendly deck material which is safe for kid’s bare feet, Green Plank® low-maintenance wood-composites should be your choice. 

Decking Check List

  • Use hidden fasters instead of face screws
  • All screws, nails and bolts must be galvanized or stainless steel
  • Make sure your deck is strong enough to be full of people, i.e. average weight 70 – 100 kgs each
  • Make sure your hand rail (balustrade) is made to current building standards
  • Leave a 3mm – 5mm gap between the decking boards
  • Leave a 3mm – 6mm head-to-head gap between boards depending upon the both boards’ length

Tip: Pilot drill each screw hole, as old joists are dry and hard. If you do not use a pilot hole, deck screws can shear off in the hardened wood.

Tip: Clean the ground underneath the deck, undercut the dirt below the joists about 20mm, so weed control fabric could be placed, and covered with sand. Adjust the distance between joists depending on the requirement. After adjusting the joists, install the Green Plank® low-maintenance decking boards.