So you’ve got some time on your hands and you’re looking out at your backyard and thinking it needs a little more “umph”. Have you considered building a deck or patio? If you’re wanting to add a bit of a focal point where people can come, sit down, have a laugh and share a drink… or two… I believe a backyard deck, if you don’t already have one, is the perfect medicine for your headache!
But, uhhhhhh, how do you build it over your existing concrete? Can you lay decking directly on concrete? I can tell you now that you absolutely can! Building a deck over concrete isn’t only doable, but it actually makes things quite easy! Here are the pieces of advice you are going to need to best equip yourself for your up-coming deck building project!
Advantages Of Installing Your Own Deck
There are a few advantages to installing your own deck. These advantages include:
- It can save you money
- It can increase the value of your property
- It can make you more comfortable in your own space
- It’s fun!
Analyse The Condition Of Your Concrete
First thing is first, assess the health of the concrete where you are wanting to build your deck. This is going to be the foundation for your new space. If it is riddled with cracks, imperfections and damage, your new deck will not survive.
Year after year, if the concrete base continues to sink and warp, your deck will break apart and splinter. Before you lay your deck, you should maintain and repair your concrete foundation. You can do this yourself, but when it comes to concrete work it’s best to hire a professional to do all of your cutting, drilling and scanning.
Things You Will Need To Install Your Deck Over Concrete
Before you start your project, there are a few things you need to prepare. These things include:
- Circular saw
- Screwdriver set
- Tape measure
- Miter saw
- PVC trim
- Concrete screws
- Wood screws
- Flashing tape
- Plastic shims
- Self-leveling compound
- Spare wood
The Process For Decking Over Concrete
Alright, it’s time to get into the nitty-gritty part of the project. The actual build! Here is the process for building a timber deck on concrete slab:
Preliminary Tip 1 | Measure Measure Measure!: Everything you do should be meticulously measured and measured again. Even if you think something doesn’t need to be measured, I can guarantee you that you will be thankful at the end of the project if you just do it anyway. There’s no such thing as too much measuring!
Step 1: Calculate Your Foundation
Measure out your space and work out exactly what you’re going to be decking. This will give you the specifications for cutting your sleeper panels that will make up your frame.
Step 2: Cut Your Sleeper Panels
The next step is to cut out your sleeper panels. Remember preliminary tip 1. You want to be 400% sure that you are cutting to the right specifications.
Step 3: Lay Out Your Sleeper Panels
Once you have cut your sleeper panels, it’s time to lay them out. Again, make sure you have clearly measured out where these panels need to go and mark the positions they are going to be in. If you are guessing you will get it wrong.
Step 4: Level Out The Sleeper Panels
Now that your sleeper panels are in place, you can use your PVC trim and spacing wedges, along with your leveller, to make sure the decking is level. This is a very important step in your deck building journey to take the extra time to do. A small error could mean a massive margin for error further down the path.
Step 5: Secure The Decking Together
Now, and only after you are absolutely certain the decking is in the right position and all levelled out, you can use your drill and bolts to put the frame/sleeper panels of your decking securely in place. At this stage you can drill into the concrete and use L brackets and concrete screws to secure the decking on your concrete base
Step 6: Begin Laying Out The Decking
At this stage your sleeper panels/foundation should be secure and in place. Now you can start laying out your decking. Your sleeper panels should run one way, and the decking the other. Horizontal and vertical beams of wood.
Step 7: Make Sure The Deck Is Level and Flush
Before you do the final screwing down, make sure the deck slats are level and flush with your sleeper panel frame. Use your leveller and inspect the entire deck.
Step 8: Secure Your Decking To Your Sleeper Panels
It is time to screw/bolt in the decking to the sleeper panels. Depending on how wide your deck panels are, the number of bolts/screws will change. Typically, it is two screws/bolts per deck slat per sleeper panel.
Step 9: Waterproof and Give That New Deck Some Shine! Oh Baby!
Oh yes, oh yes! Your deck should be all fastened and secured in place now. It’s basically done. Now it’s time to give it a coat of sealant or varnish to really make it look like that new space that you’ve been wanting. Go the extra distance with this one, have some fun with it! A lot of people use the higher-end products at this stage because it will really make it look sharp!
Renovation Regulations In Australia
Renovations in Australia do not need a registered builder if the work is going to have a value less than $20,000. As such, your DIY deck project can almost definitely be done by yourself!
Hiring A Professional
If you’re still wondering, how do you build a deck on a concrete slab, or you’re not comfortable with doing the decking work yourself, there is absolutely no pressure! There are plenty of professionals out there who you can hire.
When it comes to the preliminary concrete work, you will almost definitely want to hire a professional to maximise the health of your concrete. You want to make sure it is plenty water resistant and crack free before you start.
Diamond Cut Concrete provides some of the best solutions for concrete in Perth. This is because Diamond Cut Concrete offers a 24 hour customer service line and can provide you with a quote within a day. We have completed close to 1,000 successful projects and have a 100% clean safety record. For any concrete project solutions, contact us today!