Everything you need to know about building a decking

Adding a decking area to your home can be a great way to extend your living space and create an outdoor area that is perfect for relaxation and entertainment. A well-designed deck can enhance the aesthetic appeal of your home and provide a comfortable space for enjoying the outdoors. Whether you’re looking to create an outdoor dining area, a place to sunbathe, or a space to entertain guests, a well-designed deck can be an excellent addition to your home. And when it comes to building a deck, choosing the right timber for your joists is an essential step that can impact the durability and longevity of your project. In this article, we’ll explore the best timber options for decking joists to help you make an informed decision for your next home improvement project.

The Joists

When it comes to building a deck, one of the most important considerations is what type of timber to use for the joists. Joists are the beams that support the deck boards and give the structure its shape, and the right choice of timber can make all the difference to the durability and sturdiness of your project.

The Considerations

There are several factors to consider when choosing the best timber for your deck frame. Budget, strength, and quality are all important considerations, but the most essential step is to verify local building codes. A suitable frame is imperative to the longevity and overall preservation of your deck.

The Materials

Pressure-treated timber is a popular choice for deck frames due to its affordability and resistance to insect attack, moisture, and rot. Unlike untreated wood and most softwood timbers, which lack natural resistance to the elements, pressure-treated wood is infused with chemicals that endow it with impeccable rot and moisture resistance. However, it’s important to note that in the UK, we refer to it simply as “timber” or “wood,” rather than the Americanism “pressure-treated lumber.”

If your budget allows, hardwoods such as oak can be an excellent choice for decking areas. However, as a rule of thumb, pressure-treated wood is the way to go. We advise against using untreated softwood timber varieties in decking frames, as they won’t provide the necessary longevity and preservation for your deck.

Whatever you decide, it’s important to remember that the quality and longevity of your deck will largely depend on the choice of timber for your joists.

The Size

When it comes to selecting the size of your joists, commonly used sizes include 4×2 timber, 6×2 timber, and 8×2 timber. The size you choose will depend on the width of your deck area and how often you can support the joists down to the floor. Installing additional decking boards to your joists may allow you to select a smaller size of timber, saving on space and cost.

Once you’ve selected your timber and joist size, it’s time to lay your deck frame. We recommend consulting a professional before undertaking any construction project to ensure that your deck is built safely and correctly. Once the frame is laid, you can backfill around it with gravel or pea shingle.

The Bottom Line

In summary, choosing the best timber for your decking joists is an important decision that requires careful consideration. Pressure-treated timber is a popular choice due to its affordability and resistance to the elements, but hardwoods like oak can also be an excellent choice if your budget allows. Whichever timber you choose, be sure to consult a professional and verify local building codes to ensure that your deck is built safely and correctly. With the right choice of timber and proper construction, your deck can be a beautiful and durable addition to your home for years to come.

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