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Low-profile deck with screening and steps

MGusto
Junior Contributor
MGusto
MGusto
Junior Contributor

A low-level deck with screening and steps that uses a screw pedestal system as bearers.

 

 

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The project

 

I built a deck ay my daughter's unit after finding inspiration on Workshop. My take on building a low-level deck was a little different from other posts because I decided to use a screw pedestal system as the bearers for the joists.

 

There were a number of reasons, the main being that the concrete paths and brick paving had moved over time and there was a lot of variation in the base height. It would have been a real pain using brackets bolted in the concrete path and achieving a constant level for the joists.

 

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Another is that the pedestal system is very easy to work with and can be screwed up or down to achieve the desired height. I ended up using Buzon DPH-2 along with DPH-KIT5 joist holders. The cost was very reasonable at $5.18 for each pedestal and $1.65 for the joist holders. This pedestal has a height range of 35–53mm, but there are also other sizes to choose from. They are incredibly strong, each having a breaking load of 1460kg.

 

My deck is 2.1m wide and 2.7m wide so there are three pedestals on the 2.1m joists and four pedestals on the 2.7m joists. Joists are 450mm apart and the decking is Merbau 90mm x 19mm.

 

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I miscalculated the variations in path level and in some cases I needed to raise the pedestals by using a brick paver underneath or Villaboard sandwiched between two layers of damp course. 

 

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I created two sets of steps at each end to hide the pedestals and installed Merbau screening to frame the deck. The outer top section is secured to the wall via a 100 x 150 galvanised bracket with a Dynabolt in the wall.

 

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I applied three coats of Intergrain Ultradeck in the colour Natural. This is not a clear finish but has a brown tint to it. Before I applied the water-based oil, I prepared the deck with Diggers Rust and Stain Cleaner, which is oxalic acid and mild bleach. This is a much cheaper option than using a proprietary deck cleaner such as Intergrain Deck Prep – it's basically the same thing. Because Merbau has a high tannin content it is important to scrub the deck with the cleaner to remove excessive tannins which then result in a good finish.

 

I then installed a second screening panel – sunk a pole in the middle of the panel rather than the fence end so it is nice and secure.

 

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I bought three brown-coloured treated sleepers 200mm x 50mm x 3m from Bunnings and sourced river pebbles from a local landscape supply store to create a series of steps from the front gate to the steps of the deck.

 

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I used a long sleeper embedded in the soil on its end to create a border between the garden bed and the pebbles. Both because it is visually pleasing and will keep the pebbles in and the mulch away from the pebbles.

 

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Before and after

 

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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.

 

Experienced Bunnings Workshop member Adam Woodhams has created a comprehensive guide to building your own low-level deck which should provide an excellent reference for getting started. 

 

More decking projects

 

MGusto also shared this low profile deck built at their house to inspire those who don't have much room to work with between the base and the doorstep.

 

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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.

Comments
Laurens
Junior Contributor

Very very impressed... I would imagine that your daughter is happy with having such a capable father and is probably already planning your next project

thushar
New Contributor

Amazing effort and outcome. I'm inspired to do this myself. Very similar situation in my backyard - old uneven pavers

EricL
Bunnings Team Member
Bunnings Team Member

Hello @Laurens

 

Let me tag @MGusto to make them aware of your kind words. If you're planning on making your own low-level deck, please don't hesitate to post any questions you might have. Our members would be more than happy to provide you with advice and information.

 

Eric

 

EricL
Bunnings Team Member
Bunnings Team Member

Hello @thushar

 

Let me tag @MGusto to make them aware of your kind words. I'm glad this project has inspired you to give this project a go. Should you have any questions about the project, please let us know. My number one tip is to plan it either on paper or computer before you buy any materials. By having it planned out, you will be able to see all the details that go into building a low-level deck. I also recommend reading this fantastic guide - How to build a low-level deck by @Adam_W.

 

Here is a link for ideas and inspiration: Inspiring low-level deck builds  

 

We look forward to the start of your decking project.

 

Eric

 

tonyhoang
New Contributor

Hi @EricL @MGusto,

 

Really love all these helpful posts with so much detail.  I'm looking at a similar project for my property and I'm struggling to find where to buy the Buzon pedestals and joist holders.  Are you guys able to point me in the right direction?

 

Also with the decking itself, one concern I have is on wet days how slippery can it get?  Is there a way to prevent this or I am over worrying?

 

Thanks!

 

 

MitchellMc
Bunnings Team Member
Bunnings Team Member

Welcome to the Bunnings Workshop community @tonyhoang. It's amazing to have you join us, and many thanks for your question about constructing a deck.

 

Hopefully, @MGusto can assist with your question on the Buzon pedestals and joist hangers. We carry Builder's Edge pedestals and Pryda joist hangers.

 

Typically decks aren't slippery in the wet. However, if the deck is constantly in the shade and not scrubbed down a couple of times a year, it can develop a slick coating of organic matter. A simple cleaning removes this matter. I wouldn't be overly concerned about this.

 

We are looking forward to hearing all about your decking project and would encourage you to let us know if you have further questions or would like to share your project with us.

 

Mitchell

 

MGusto
Junior Contributor

Hi @tonyhoang.

If you go to the website for Pascoe Constructions pasco.net.au you can find contact details for their NSW and VIC locations. I am from Adelaide so they were able to give me a local contact but the pedestals had to be freighted to me from interstate. Hope this helps. Mike

tonyhoang
New Contributor

Thanks @MitchellMc and @MGusto for the extremely quick response!  Much appreciated.

 

Hopefully I can post my finished results on here soon.

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