About 15 years ago we had a 25 square metre hardwood deck installed. The decking was in good shape but the supports were rotten. The last time I did any woodwork was over 50 years ago, but I thought I'd give it a go.
When you rip everything up and get into the mind of the original builder problems emerge. I tried to replicate how they started off with battens bolted into brickwork and had problems with dodgy bricksand mortar, which date back to 1919.I whacked in some stirrups and away we went.
I used 90mm Merbau, laminated veneer lumber (LVL) beams and H3 Pine and put in damp coursing.I installed a false area under the tap so a plumber can get access to the inspection point.I oiled the deck with 50/50 boiled linseed oil and turps and painted all the bearers.
I tossed up nails but on the original deck they kept coming up proud and I was always having to knock them back in, so I used stainless steel screws. There were something like 1800 screws in it all up. I just finished before the rain and after three days of solid rain there has been no warping.
Materials and the removal of all the old decking came to $4,800 in total. I did it all on my own from demolition to moving materials, including 6m lengths of LVL in and out.
How to build a low-level deck
A low-level deck can pose a range of potential design and installation problems, with particular challenges around ventilation, drainage, termites and rotting. But it doesn't have to be a difficult project once you take the time to understand the basics of how they are put together.