We wanted to redo our decking, starting with the front porch, which measured 2.64m x 2.46m.
The substructure of the existing deck was rotten and needed replacing.
I decided to go with the Ekodeck+ Designer Series in Riverbank Red. I used 90mm x 45mm H3 treated Pine beams for the substructure. I am quite happy with the end result.
There were a few challenges and lessons learned along the way. Houses aren't as square as they look – at least that's what I found with this front area.
I'd say this was almost a double build. I initially started at the wall and worked to the outside, but I didn't like having the ripped board at the edge, so I restarted from the edge and worked back to the wall.
It wasn't too much of a big deal as most of the boards were already cut to size, with only two having to be re-cut to accommodate the pillars.
The other issue I had was the two edge boards. Because the pillars were in the way it was difficult to slide the boards onto the C-clip fasteners.
What I ended up doing was cutting a piece out of the bottom of the boards, just off from where I measured the C-clip would go, and then it was just a matter of placing the boards down and sliding them across rather than back. It was a bit of a struggle but I did get them on.
One of the most important things I did was measure, measure, measure. I must have measured everything half a dozen times before cutting.
There were a few close calls where I measured and marked something, then went back and measured again and realised I'd misread the tape and would have taken more off than I should have.
All this measuring took a lot longer but I think it saved me a lot of unnecessary cuts and waste.
I also to used a board from the old timber deck as a template. I set up a jig-like table that had a stopper for that length at the end. That way I could easily just push the boards up against the stopper and cut, getting all the lengths the same.
I think it's also important to have a work belt or somewhere to keep your marking pencil, drill bits, screws and so on. I found I was just dumping them down on the edge of the pillars, on the saw bench, on the table in the garage or just on the ground and then having to look for them 10 minutes later. That got annoying sometimes but it all worked out in the end.
How to build a low-level deck
A low-level deck can pose a range of potential design and installation problems, with challenges around ventilation, drainage, termites and rot. But it doesn't have to be a difficult project once you take the time to understand the basics of how a low-level deck is put together.