Completed this decking and patio project over the summer. We were looking to maximise our usage of the backyard by creating a covered area, and replacing the old brick pavers with a low-level deck. This project was tackled in two parts – constructing the patio in one weekend and then building the deck over a couple of weekends after that.
The patio is a Softwoods kit, but due to the shape of the space and the tie in points with the roof I had to order a custom kit. The benefit of using Softwoods is that they provide all of the materials and fixings that are required, with most timber pre-cut and marked, and rood sheets that are the correct length, which saves a heap of labour during construction.
Construction itself was fairly straightforward with two to three people, however installing the rafter stiffeners and rafter brackets into the existing roof was fiddly work, made harder by the fact that my roofing timber is all Jarrah. I had to abandon the instructions for nails in favour of drilling and screwing.
Once the brackets were in, the construction was relatively speedy, with wall-side beams bolted to brackets, and outside beams bolted to the rest of the frame and propped in place by temporary timbers. The rafter sections were placed into joist hangers and secured, then posts were cut to size, attached to the frame and hung into holes before being cemented in.
Once the frame was secure, the gutters and roof sheets were straightforward to install (provided you are comfortable at heights).
The deck was much simpler, with the biggest job being the removal of the old paving and a few inches of soil to create some separation between ground and deck. I used treated Pine for the frame, with 500mm joist centres and then I used Merbau decking boards to top it off.
My big tip for the decking is to pay attention to the joist spacing recommended for the length of decking board you plan on using as I didn't and ended up having to trim every board which wasn't ideal. Turns out the decking boards I used are perfect for 450mm joist centres and if I had read the label better, I would have saved myself dozens of cuts.
Since completion, we have spent many a meal sitting out under the patio, and it is easily my favourite "room" of our house. All up I think it cost us about $4500 in materials and we have ended up with an 18sqm patio and slightly larger deck space.