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How Do I Prepare The Ground For Decking

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  • 06-12-2022
How Do I Prepare The Ground For Decking

How to Prepare your Ground for Decking

First, use pegs and twine to mark the decking. This will provide you with a precise starting point for your digging. Before installing your decking, make sure there is nothing there - no grass, flowers, bushes, or weeds - so be sure to pull everything away. To make sure your new composite decking is flat, use a spirit level to repeatedly ensure that the ground remains level as you dig. After preparing the ground, you must choose the surface on which the composite decking's frame will rest. Concreted-in posts and concrete pads are the two most common choices.

The structure is fastened to poles that have been concreted into the ground and made of wood or composite material. The framework is placed on top of a pedestal system and a concrete pad that has been put out on the ground.

It is advised to first cover the cleared area with weed-control fabric and then add a layer of gravel for added protection if you are connecting your composite decking structure to concrete supports. 

You are now prepared to install your new composite decking. If you decide to utilise a concrete pad, which will give a more secure basis, please get expert assistance before you start to lay them.

Where Should I Build My Decking?

The size and position of your deck will be determined by how it will be used; examine the size of the decking before deciding on a location. When in doubt, use caution; you can always add on later. Expansion gaps are critical when developing a deck.

The spaces between each deck board allow for both rainwater runoff and the natural expansion and contraction of wood during the life of the deck. Arrange your deck to accommodate only complete boards to prevent uncomfortably cutting a board in half to cover a space. If you want to build it adjacent to a house, make sure the decking is 150mm below the damp-proof course and that no air bricks are covered. 

Do You Need Planning Permission For Decking?

Do you Need Planning Permission for Decking?

In general, installing decking does not require planning approval.

However, there are some circumstances in which you should get in touch with your local councils, such as if the decking will be higher than 30 cm from the ground or if it will occupy more than 50% of the yard space when combined with other structures and additions.

How Far Apart Should Decking Boards Be?

Expansion gaps are essential in deck design because they allow for both rainfall drainage and the wood's normal expansion and contraction over the course of the deck's lifespan.

If you want to build a sundeck next to a house, make sure it is 150 mm below the damp-proof course and that no air bricks are covered. You also need a gap of 5-8 mm between the boards to allow for growth, so try to build your deck so that it only takes whole boards.

How To Build Decking

If your planning and preparation are careful, building a simple single-layer deck is not too difficult, it's simpler and safer if you can get someone to help you because of the size and weight of the timbers and the frame. Always use structurally treated wood, screws made specifically for the job, and two coats of preservative on all cut surfaces and drill holes. This will guarantee a durable, long-lasting deck.

Use a set square or your saw's 90-degree guide marker to create precise cuts when you're sawing, and sand the cut ends to get rid of splinters; to ensure your fixes are as exact as possible while drilling, mark out all pilot holes. In the event that you must cut a decking board lengthwise, use a handsaw or circular saw, start placing your deck boards at the other end of the board and place it where there is least through traffic.  Wear the proper safety gear, such as gloves, a face mask, or safety goggles, when you are sawing or cutting wood, or when you are applying preservatives or other treatments to wood.

Create A Solid Foundation

For your decking, you must provide a strong base, paving stones or concrete can assist prevent your decking from sinking into spongy ground. If your foundations aren't level, you run the danger of needing to increase your frame; like other construction structures, decking requires appropriate installation.

A sturdy base is necessary for composite decking, the decking will endure longer if it has a firm base, making the building safe to use for outdoor activities; the type of foundation you provide for your composite decking depends on how you install it.

Your composite decking can be built above ground level in addition to being installed directly on the surface. You must put your composite decking directly on the ground in order to construct one.

How To Build Decking?

You need to use the post to raise raised decking. Decking may extend your house and provide you with more outside gathering areas. When choosing a location for your decking, there are a few factors to keep in mind. Decking is significantly simpler to install when the ground is level. If the surface isn't level, you can still install decking, but it can be more challenging; elevated decking might offer you greater height, which might prevent neighbours from seeing you. Consider how height may affect your privacy if you're utilising the deck as a surround for anything like a hot tub.

How To Lay Decking On Soil Or Grass


Mark out the dimensions and design of your decking; hammer a peg into each corner and connect each peg with a builder's line, be sure to remove all vegetation, boulders, and weeds before digging down around 50 mm so that you may work with bare soil, remove the lawn. Verify that the ground is level - to check that the ground is level, place a spirit level on top of a flat surface (a decking board or tamper works great for this). If the ground is uneven according to the spirit level, level it out by adding more soil or compacting the existing soil.


Here are your two choices on how to install your decking: either square the site and create a floating deck by building it on top of risers, or you may build it directly on the ground. If you set it down directly on the ground, it can be more prone to absorbing wet and require more upkeep. Put a layer of weed control fabric over the area if you're placing your deck directly on the ground; after that, sprinkle 40 to 50 mm of gravel on top. 


The other strategy is to construct concrete pads for the deck to rest on. This will lessen the possibility of moisture damage leaking into the frame. The lengths of your deck boards can then be precisely measured with a combination square to ascertain whether you have enough decking to complete the project. Lay the decking out on the ground in the manner of your choice, leaving space between the boards for expansion.

How To Lay Decking On Soil Or Grass?
How To Lay Garden Decking?


Cut the decking structure to size after measuring it. The number of inner joists will depend on how your deck is designed, but you should have four outer joists. A maximum of 450 mm should be between the centres of each supporting joist and the next one for horizontal deck boards. Joists must be 300 mm apart for boards arranged diagonally and chevron-style boards. The two outside joists of the frame, which are at a right angle to the inner joist, should have two pencil markings on each end. There should be eight markers overall, each of which should line up with the centre of the joist next to it. Two are placed in the outer joist frame's corners.


To tighten the coach screws into position, either uses a socket and ratchet or a drill driver with a socket attachment. Instead of completing all corners step-by-step, you might find it simpler to complete steps 11 to 13 on one corner at a time. Now your square frame ought to be safe, the inner joists, which will equally split the square frame, are to be added next - repeat step six for the inner joists and insert two coach screws into each end of all the inner joists through the outer frame.

Are you looking for garden decking or composite decking near you? If you require garden decking in Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire contact us today.  Our garden design experts can supply and install beautiful garden decking for you and your family to enjoy for years to come.