For my wife's birthday, I decided to get the back area around the pool finished. It's only been three years. It's my first time building a deck.
I built the deck over a concrete slab that I originally planned to just tile over. Due to the poor levelling of the concrete it's dramatically uneven. The top right corner is about 20cm lower than the tiles around the pool. I was using patterned tiles to hide the imperfections, but this drop was way too dramatic to be able to hide with tiles. I could fill it in and build it up but that would also be susceptible to movement, so I decided to hide it all with a deck.
The first step was try to and hide the fact that I gave up on the tiles and just left the concrete bare. The concrete was very white and had a lot of glare so I decided to pick up a Ozito power spray gun and some dark grey paint. It did the job perfectly, and it was finished in about 15 minutes. Next step, the framework.
I started by laying the timber out to see if I had enough for what I had planned. You can see how the beams are a few centimetres out by just laying them on the concrete. It was really out of whack. I also decided to have an overhang to lead into the pool.
A thousand nails and a bunch of blisters later, the frame was all in one piece. You can see that the back left side is so uneven that it drops away. I need to lift it up a smidge to make it all nice and flat.
I levelled it up by creating legs at every place the wood intersected. The legs are glued to the frame with liquid nails and I put a rubber layer between the treated Pine legs and the painted concrete. I also added two bolts into the metal fence posts to stop any movement over time. When I was done, the frame was solid with no creaks or movement. Perfectly flat and square.
Building a deck for the first time wasn't hard enough so I decided to try my hand at plumbing and added a very fancy waterfall. I bought the fountain piece and had to plumb it all in. To my surprise it worked. Doing ample research pays off.
I added stack stone on the front edge to add a little class. I had to cut through the stone with an angle grinder. Luckily the stack stone was 100mm high and broken into four layers of 25mm stone. The spout of the waterfall just happened to sit between 50mm and 75mm tall so all I had to do was remove the second of the four rows.
I also treated the Pine deck with stain to match the colours of the house. I used the CAMO Hidden Deck Fastening System so there's about 800 screws and not one sticks out or can be seen. I recommend the extra cost to make it look nice and clean.
I added eight deck lights, an LED set underneath behind the waterfall and a flood light for when we may need light on the deck. All these and the internal pool lights are plugged into the Arlec Grid Connect Smart 4 Outlet Powerboard. We can control all the lights from our smart phones. All the cabling has been secured with staples so that none of the cables hang down, become loose or interfere with the pool cleaning equipment.
I added shade cloth to our fence, layered bamboo fencing over the top and secured it with cable ties, making it almost impossible to see through. I will continue this right to the end and install a fence with a hidden gate to access the service area of our property and close off that area.
Having a deck here adds much needed space in our small backyard area and also hides the shoddy concreting job. All in all I'm happy with the result but, most importantly, my wife loves it.
Before and after
More inspiration for your deck
Whether you are building a new deck or rejuvenating an existing one, get inspired by the clever and creative Bunnings Workshop community in our Top 10 most popular deck projects.