Advise on building a deck

andrew24

Active Member
Looking at building a deck over my existing patio what would be the minimum size of wood I could get away with on the deck joists, because the slabs are level I don't really want to be pulling them up as I don't no what is under them as it was down when we moved in. I want to try and keep the height from the new decking when laid to a minimum as kids falling off of it. Here are some picture of what is their now.
ImageUploadedByTapatalk1397418050.396829.jpg
ImageUploadedByTapatalk1397418070.765284.jpg
 

Sandman

Distinguished Member
My advice is keep the patio as it is. Decking requires yearly maintenance and if not kept clean becomes like an ice rink when wet. The patio you have looks nice, is maintenance free and best of all it is already installed.
 

Wahreo

Distinguished Member
I must admit, after spending a lot of money on high quality decking in my old house and the never ending maintenance, I'd not go for decking again.
 

rousetafarian

Moderator
I'd be interested to hear your findings, was it just down to the maintenance?
 

jonna

Distinguished Member
4 x 2 should do it.
Mines been down a year now and I'm really happy with it but unlike yours mine isn't off a doorway. As said above, when it's wet it's lethal, so if your patio doors are used as a main doorway I wouldn't recommend decking.
 

Wahreo

Distinguished Member
Yes, I found I was having to jet wash every year to get the slime off and always treating it.

I prefer a proper stone patio.
 

blue max

Distinguished Member
I'd also agree that a deck is not toddler friendly.

But to answer your question, I think you are going to be very limited in how low you can make it. There is not much room between the slabs and the base of the patio doors threshold.

It doesn't appear there is much of a base to those slabs, so my inclination would be to choose some attractive stone and go full width as you seem to have a little cutout of lawn which is doing little. Then lay they on a good footing and put weed suppressant under to control the vegetation growing through.
 

andrew24

Active Member
Thanks for the advise guys we have decided against the deck and are going for a gray/black slab to replace them all hopefully I can find some nice one will be stopping at jewsons after work and maybe wickes
 

Dony

Distinguished Member
I must admit, after spending a lot of money on high quality decking in my old house and the never ending maintenance, I'd not go for decking again.
I was speaking with 2 different people over the weekend who have decking and both of them regret putting it down. It's on our to-do list but I'm having serious doubts now.

One of them has it leading from their patio doors and their reason was that it's dangerous, the other has his to the back of his garden and said for the amount of yearly maintenance, it's hardly ever used.
 

Herbiefish

Well-known Member
You could try composite decking. There is a local restaurant that has it on their deck and it looks really nice. Wasn't a hazard when wet but I think the decent stuff is pricey
 
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I think decking is a personal choice, like so many things when it comes to your home.

We had decking put down last year, however I have no regrets even if I have to clean it and oil it once a year, every year. The reason was our garden before we did what we did was hideous (check out DIY thread in sig) and the decking has made a massive difference to our gardens look and feel. Also compared with the amount of DIY work I have to do on the house, cleaning a deck and oiling it is not that much work for me.

However decking can be slippy during the winter and/or when it is wet. It can also be a little uncomfortable under foot depending on the type of grooves you use when walking in bare feet.

However, the sort of clearance you have between the current slabs and the bottom of the door lintel is not a massive amount so you may struggle to fit any everything into that small area.
 

kav

Distinguished Member
I agree with Wahreo. Decking can look good - I used it to bring our back door, patio doors and rest of garden all onto one level leading to the grass, and it worked really well in making an uneven and awkward space into a single, open and easy to navigate space. However the maintenance is soul-destroying, and no matter how well you look after it it can become lethally slippy in wintertime. It's on my to do list to rip all of ours out and lay new slabs. Once I do, we won't ever be going back to decking.

Also - and this is purely anecdotal - it seems to be a bloody magnet for slugs. They live under it during the day and come out at night when it's damp. I feckin hate slugs.
 

Lancia34

Distinguished Member
This is going to make the wife sad. She wanted decking in our small garden and we have a baby on the way but it sounds like it's not a good idea. I don;t fancy high maintenance, I hate gardening as it is.

Patio would be good though she's not keen for the whole thing to be patio, anyone have experience of artificial grass?
 

kav

Distinguished Member
Alongside our decking, we changed our back garden grass to artificial, primarily because the drainage is terrible in our area, and for 9 months of the year our garden was an unusable mudpit. Now not only is there no maintenance in terms of cutting grass, the kids also get to use the garden.

I still prefer real grass, but in our situation I'd go for the artificial stuff every time.
 

Lancia34

Distinguished Member
Cool - how it is when it gets wet and covered in leaves etc...?
 

kav

Distinguished Member
It's very easy to maintain - I use a yard brush on it to clear leaves etc. It doesn't get slippy like decking so can walk on it with minimal risk any time.

Apart from sweeping, it hasn't needed anything done to it, and it's great to see the kids able to get proper use of the garden.
 

Lancia34

Distinguished Member
Well, missus loves the idea so that's sorted them :)
Any recommendations of makes of grass etc... are welcome
 

SteveCritten

Distinguished Member
You don't have enough room to get joists and decking under your step anyway. You would have to take the patio up first. If you still end up level or above your damp proof level you won't be able to butt straight to the wall either you will need rawl bolts with spacers (I think 15mm off the top of my head but check with local building regs). This is due to the risk of damp.
 
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SteveCritten

Distinguished Member
PS I agree also that given the choice I wouldn't get decking again due to the slipperiness when wet and ice. My decking is raised 3'6"-4' and 10m x 4m so composite would be out of the question despite me looking when B&Q first got the composite boards in a few years back and realising they had priced it wrong. I can't remember if it should have been £14-99 a board or sq m but it was priced at £3-99 by mistake.

I went straight round to my mates borrowed a flat bed and went back and bought the lot and stupidly I went for the quick buck option and sold it all on ebay for double my money instead of doing my own with it. I was skint at the time as I had just bought a couple of properties to do up for rentals so needs must.
 

DarenD

Well-known Member
Just had to rip my m8ts decking up to find the cause of the stench he has been suffering from and found a nest of dead and decaying hedgehogs. Get the Indian stone on there its a dam site better to look at.
 
I am curious.

Those that have decking and said it is very slippery when wet or icy or even worse, both.

What are you doing in your garden on your decking when it is like that? Just a curious question, not sarcasm.

I only have to go into my back garden during these times for wood from my wood store and that is not for a long and only like once every 1 or 2 weeks. But, like I said it was very rare I was on it so as for it being slippery it is not something I really noticed.
 

Wahreo

Distinguished Member
If the decking is joined to the back of someone's house then I'm sure there would be lots of occasions when people would step on a wet deck.

It rains an awful lot on this island and decking stays wet for a long time.

I had mine at the back of my garden and it followed round my shed too and that was annoying enough when wet. I dread to think what it would be like for those people that have it leading out from a back door.

I'm sure people get on perfectly well with their decking but there is a most definite trend on here where people are stating they wouldn't fit decking again.
 

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