raised decking

19 Jun 2010
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United Kingdom
hi there i have decided to build a raised deck which will be at the level of my french doors. the area was slabbed with 3ft x 2ft (2"thick) slabs but it was on a fair old slope so first job was to lift my slabs.

next I levelled the ground and relayed some of the slabs to act as a sound stable foundation for my posts to sit on. i also lifted an area of turf which was in front of the slabs as my deck was larger than the slabbed area. I chose to use bolt down post feet (from toolstation) as i wanted to keep my posts off the ground and also to enable me to easily renew the posts should they ever rot in the future. The post feet were held in place with sheild anchor bolts also from toolstation (12mm diameter 50mm long) these were installed because they were cheap and they made the feet a hell of a lot firmer (i could lift the slabs by the post feet with just 2 of these bolts installed). I would however say that they were probably not strictly essential since the weight of the deck itself was more than enough to hold it all to the ground.

I then dug out the old clothes poles and added them to my rubble pile and then l dug 4 holes for the posts which were to be concreted in. Again i used post feet although these were of the concrete in type. i was slightly worried about these but they were solid as a rock once the ready mix concrete was set (not postcrete I tried this it was very much inferior to the ready mix concrete which i eventually used ) I will try and upload a photo of the bag of this concrete mix i used and its name etc as i would very much recommend it !!! I got it from a fencer mate of mine who works for the local council so i dont know exactly where sells it.

The posts were 4" x 4" and there were 12 of them 4 were concreted in (ready mix) and the other 8 were laid onto levelled slabs. all cut ends were treated a wood preserver. A post level was used to ensure the posts were straight and true. any posts which were not were corrected using large square steel washers as packers under the appropriate corner of the post foot then the anchor bolts were screwed down to secure the post feet. this only needed to be done on 2 of the feet since the slabs were levelled and the posts were squared before installing into the post feet.

In the pic above the posts are looking slightly off as they have not yet been bolted down.

here is an arial view of my deck area. As you can see my father in law and I recently painted the exterior of the house and we weren't too carefull of splashes since i knew it was getting decked lol

now that the posts are in and secured to the slabs and tightened at the sides of the feet (holds them secure in the feet) its time to start connecting bearers to them. Im sure some may/will say I have been overkill with the bearers and bolts but hey who cares its my deck and my design and I want it to be solid and last (WHICH IT CERTAINLY WILL!!!!) so we used a 6 x 2 bearer on each side of the 4 x 4 post and held these in place with 2 x m12 bolts (220mm long) per post. the bearers were levelled along the run of the house and to each other, but we allowed a very slight run (1 : 100) down along the length of the house to allow water to run off.

here is my father in law Arthur "the engineer" nicholls tightening the nuts on the first set of bearers.

we then moved all the gear and wood off the deck area and laid the heavy duty weed suppressor fabric. my daughter rolled up her sleeves and lended a hand

we then stretched the weed supressor fabric to size and cut crosses where the posts were so the fabric was laid over the posts and then down onto the ground.
The bearers were held in place while we positioned and prepared to drill holes for them by heavy duty 350mm draper screw type g clamps (supplied by Arthur "the engineer") these are wonderfull clamps and far far better than my silverline yellow and black vice clamps which can be seen in the pic where arthur is tightening the nuts on the first set of bearers.

once the bearers were positioned leveled and where we wanted them we gunned in a 75mm screw to hold it before we drilled the 12 mm holes for the bolts.

Although I designed the deck , sub frame and figured out the structural tolerances arthur was a great help when it came to building it, providing tools and stopping me from saying " ah f**k it its close enough. The man is an absolute perfectionist lol.

One of the screw clamps i mentioned can be seen sitting on the right hand bearer in this next picture

nearly done for the 3rd day now (well we have drank a lot of beer and the world cup was on while we were building it so maybe 2 days in real time lol) this is where we were on the 3rd day a solid frame built which we will now lay and screw 4 x 2 joists to and then ballustrade and deck. I will be back shortly with the next installment. here is my daughter and the deck sub frame.

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it is now day four and time to start putting on the 4 x 2 joists. these were placed at 400mm centres and scew screwed onto the top of the 6 x 2 bearers. Since each support post had double 6 x 2 bearers this allowed one 75mm nail to be put in at each side of each bearer. (i.e) 2 bearers per post x 2 sides per bearer x 3 posts = 12 75 mm skew screws per 4 x 2. the joists felt solid at this stage but noggins were added to beef the whole thing up ( 2 noggins per 4 X 2 ). you probably wouldnt need any noggins at all since the deck boards would add a hell of a lot of structural rigidity once they are screwed to the joists.
The pic below shows the 4 x 2 screwed to the 6 x 2 which are supported by the 4 x 4 posts.

[GALLERY=media, 24377][/GALLERY]

i decided to fit the newels to the inside of each end joist. the newels were notched out so that they would rest on the joist and sit flush to the back(inside) of the end joist. now nat this point i must admit my one major mistake of the build so far........... forgetting the kitchen window !!! had i put this post to the level i wanted the rest at the window would not have opened. I pondered this and swore a bit for a while trying to decide whether to lower this one post slightly to allow the window clearance or whether to lower all the posts so they were all at the same level as this pain in the a**e of a post. well here is your answer i decided to keep the rest at the same height as per originally planned and lower the window post to allow clearance.

[GALLERY=media, 24378][/GALLERY]
It looks really good, nice and sturdy. Lots of attention to detail too, you've obviously put a lot of time and effort into the build, and it shows! Well done mate.

My only suggestion would be to anchor the whole thing to the house. I can't see any evidence of that. Personally I would like to see a 2x6 or similar screwed to the masonry of the house and tied into the subframe, or else I'd be worried that the whole deck (no matter how well constructed) could wander away from the house over time, plus fixing it to the house will add just a little extra structural integrity.

Nice work,
ok here is the next installment in my decking project me and arthur now started laying the deck boards these were 4.8 metres long and were laid along the length of the house. the boards were screwed to every second joist with two 60mm screws. A 4 mm gap was lft between each board to allow for any expansion. once we reached almost the half way point we checked out the newel posts and secured them to the subframe with 2 m12 bolts per post.

here is my mother in law even getting involved to help us straighten a warped board

here is another pic of us a bit further into laying the deck boards

this is us nearly ready to wrap it up for the night nearly done laying the deck boards

now its time to call it a night deckboards laid a few beers drank and a good days work done

here is a few pics of the ready mix concrete bags I mentioned earlier its good stuff !!

my dyson came in handy when clearing up the masses of sawdust from beneath the deck (well the last thing i want at a summer barbecue/**** up is someone setting it all on fire with a rogue bit of fag ash lol)

my garage has looked very much like a wood store for the last wee while

back soon with the finnished deck !!
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Do you have planning permission?

The decking looks to be over 300mm high which ISTR is the height at which pp is required?
Do you have planning permission?

The decking looks to be over 300mm high which ISTR is the height at which pp is required?

I didn't know that. When we had our plans drawn up for an extention the architect included raised decking. When I think about it I can see why you would need PP for raised decking.
I only point it out so you dont become a cropper.

If your on good terms with your neighbours then maybe noone will dob you in, but I think it's something to do with overlooking the neighbours etc.

Neighbour objections are the most usual reason for planning refusal or restrictions

You could always raise 2/3 fence panels then maybe add a trellis on top ;)
I think it's something to do with overlooking the neighbours etc.
Indeed it is & this BR is catching a lot of folks out!

The decking also looks to be right up to the boundary & with such a low fence, you may well come a cropper unless your on very good terms with your neighbours. Even if they don’t "dob" you in, you may still get problems when you come to sell or if your neighbours change & the new ones take exception to it.
Not sure about this, where is the correct ground level because the ground floor level of the property is quite high, one could argue the ground level is too low(?)
Not sure about this, where is the correct ground level because the ground floor level of the property is quite high, one could argue the ground level is too low(?)
I suppose you could always spread x tons of top soil over 1/2 your garden to reduce the height of the deck to 300mm :LOL:
Do you have planning permission?

The decking looks to be over 300mm high which ISTR is the height at which pp is required?

Does this apply to front gardens as well? I currently have a raised concrete slab to step up to the front door which has become unsafe underneath, so planning to knock it all out and rebuild raised decking.

The finished deck boards will be maybe 3-400m from ground (public path) level, and it will in fact be lower than the current height of the concrete slab.
Thanks for the replies. However as i'm replacing an existing 'high level' platform and which will actually be about 5cm lower than what i've just demolished, does BR still apply? Probably about 30% of it will be above 300mm, the rest about 50-80mm.

From ground level to the front door entrance is probably in excess of 600mm, so it would be pretty stupid not to have it, unless they expect us to take a running jump into our house :eek:

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