There’s nothing quite like having your own deck. Particularly in the summer months, it’s great to be able to sit out on your deck on the weekends and cook up a barbeque or just enjoy time with the family. It has become a popular project for a lot of Aussies out there to build their own deck, and while it’s certainly something you can get done right if you put your mind to it, there is a lot to think about.
We’ve compiled a few of the considerations you need to make in the lead up to the work that can put you in the best position to get the results.
Find Out if You Need to Get A Permit
Building and rules regulations will vary from council to council, so it really depends on your specific council. Your best bet is to simply give them a call and find out what’s required for you to build a deck. Often the question of whether a permit is required for extensions of this nature can depend on the size, what sort of roof it has and where on your property it will be built.
Normally we’d expect that you’d need two permits; a planning permit and a building permit. You may find that you’ll need to contact a surveyor to get one or both of these permits rather than going through the council directly.
Decide on A Budget
Building a deck can be a pricey little endeavour, so make sure you’ve put away enough money to account for it. We’d probably recommended planning out what kind of deck you’re going to build and what size it will be before thinking about money, rather than having a budget in mind and trying to get as much as you can out of it. Generally, DIY decks will cost you around $200 per square meter but expect to pay up to $350 if you’re using hardwood timber. Also, remember to factor into the budget what you’ll be paying for tools and equipment.
Select Your Building Materials
That leads us nicely into the discussion of what decking materials you’re going to be using. Hardwood timber decking is probably the most traditional and arguably the most ascetically pleasing option, but it’s also the most expensive as we saw above. Treated pine is a less expensive option and we’d probably recommend it if you’re on a strict budget – it looks really nice when painted or stained.
Composite decking is another cost effective option, made up of a combination of timber fibre and plastic. It is made to resemble genuine hardwood and if used effectively can look just like the real thing. Plus there’s less maintenance and upkeep as there’s no need to stain and seal it. Here are some tips you should consider while choosing the materials for your deck.
Get the Right Equipment
A handyman is only as good as the tools he has on hand, so make sure your tool up as best you can. There are a few essential pieces you’ll need include a framing hammer, a drill (cordless is your best option), 4-foot level and water level, chop saw, framing hammer, plumb bob, trowel, shovel and various other items. Don’t count out basic items like gloves, a wheelbarrow, safety goggles, a pencil and measuring tape.
Obviously, if you’re planning on building the deck you’ll need to educate yourself on how it’s done. There are plenty of tutorials online that you can follow to get a really nice result, but at the end of the day general building experience is an absolute must. Don’t expect that you’ll be able to pull this off unless you’ve got some DIY chops!