What are my major concerns post lockdown? Well, I am not too worried about my straggly hair or the fact that loungewear is my wardrobe staple. But I am concerned by fact that in the same time-frame that I became a happy recluse, the rest of the world has learnt a wealth of new skills and can now run 5k without stopping. What I can offer up is our guide on an easy-peasy decking installation.

1.What material did we choose?

First off, did we opt for composite or wood? Well, composite is certainly the preferable option; it works well in damp Irish weather, it lasts longer, its easy to install and it requires little maintenance. But it is that bit more expensive, so we opted with what our bank account said…wood.

The Before.jpg
The Before.

2. What did we need?

We bought:

  • Decking timbers
  • Joists (don’t worry if you don’t know how many, just ask for enough for the project)
  • Decking screws
  • Breathable weed fabric
  • Decking oil
  • Paving sand

We ordered from Mc Mahons Building Supplies and in total it cost us €550. For a 18sq metres deck that works out at €30 per square metre. We asked for the quote on a Tuesday, ordered it on the Wednesday and on Friday morning all the materials were delivered.

3. So how did we do it? 

Our decking design was a very simple rectangle, this means no off cuts, no waste and no quarrels about where we went wrong. We chose the longest deck boards we could get, 4800mm, to fit in to a space 3800mm wide. We scraped off the top layer of stones, before levelling off the area. Once that was done we measured out for the joists. **TOP TIP** You can never be too cautious when measuring, do it a couple of times before you commit to cutting any wood!

Scraped off and levelled

Once we had our joists cut we put down the breathable weedfabric and then constructed the frame. This was all the hardest part, because the area was tight and surrounded on two sides by the kerb.

Weedfabric down and frame ready to be decked.

4. What happened next?

Well, that was the hardest part done! We began laying the decking and it was easy-peasy. We spaced the boards 3mm apart. New boards tend to shrink up a bit too, and that is exactly what happened since. 

A third of the way in.

Once the deck was finished we had a few days of testing various spots, and adding extra deck screws where we needed to. The decking has not been oiled yet, as sometimes boards are treated at source with a coating, and industry advice it to leave it a few weeks. So that’s what we have done, and we are just going to enjoy these sunny days chilling out on it.

Summer ready!

5. How long did it take?

The materials arrived on a very hot Friday so right after dinner on Friday night we started the scraping off and moving of stones, while it was cool . The next morning at 8 we started constructing the frame and then we were all done and sitting out on it by 2pm!

Thanks for reading

B x








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