Decking Ideas – A Simple Square Deck

Decking Ideas

A Simple Square Deck

The most straightforward deck you can build is square or rectangular. Here the timber can be used most effectively and there’s only a simple base to build. Working with standard lengths of timber, this deck was created using uncut boards to ease the process of its construction, thereby avoiding unnecessary cutting and wastage.

Decking Ideas - A Simple Square Deck


The following was a project where the old patio sloped towards the house having sunk over the years, so a new patio needed to be installed. However, the work and expense of digging up and removing the old patio was prohibitive, so it was decided that a deck would be built instead.

The deck’s main use was to be an extension to the dining room, with access to the deck from a set of double patio doors. With this in mind the basic design was drawn out on tracing paper. The size was decided upon by setting out the table and chairs on the old patio and then marking it out, remembering to leave space for the walkways to and from the patio doors.

After a quick check, the deck was built at 3.6m by 3.6m, which was the length of timber that the decking boards and joists came in. This made for a simple and straightforward construction.

The only difficulty to overcome was the slope back towards the house. A simple solution was to bolt the first joist — the ledger board — to the house, raising the deck to slope away from the house. From a safety standpoint, the deck boards ran across the deck so that when stepping out onto the deck from the house, the grooves reduced the chance of slipping and aided drainage on the surface of the deck.

1. Using a tape measure, mark off equal distances for the lag bolt holes. Check to make sure the joist and deck board will be below the doorstep to prevent rainwater from running in.

2. When choosing the positions of the bolt holes, avoid the mortar joints – the brickwork will provide a far better fixing. Wood drill through the wood, then use a masonry drill to penetrate the brick.

3. Hammer a rawl bolt through the timber and into the wall. Make sure the nut is on before you hammer it home otherwise the thread will be burred over and the nut will not, fit.

4.Tighten the nut with an adjustable spanner until the nut starts to be drawn in to the timber and the wood is tight to the wall. Check the level.

5. Fix the first joist to the ledger board. It is important to make sure that the top edges of each timber are level with each other

6. The outer joists can be attached with screws, which should be long enough to go through the first timber and into the other by at least 25mm.

7. With a builder’s square or a large set square line up the last joint and fix with a screw; then check that all the other corners are at 90°. If the deck is square the diagonal measurements will be equal.

8. Measure out and fix supporting joists at 40cm centres. Fix from each side by screwing in at an angle. If no edging is to be used this method can be used to hide the screws from view.

9. Measure and cut two rows of noggins to stretch across the beams (left). Alternate their position so you can get the nails in. Use screws on the outside of the deck frame and nails on the area hidden by the deck boards. Place the noggins on the ground to provide extra support to the frame (above).

10. Screw the first deck board into position. Make sure it is parallel to the first joist as this will set the pattern for the rest of the boards.

11. Use a 5mm spacer such as a spanner to set an even distance between each deck board. This will allow room for the timber to expand when it is wet.

12. Once the ends of the deck boards have been fixed down the rest of the deck can be screwed down. Use a chalk line to line all the screws up together

13. If the deck boards are warped, insert the 5mm spacer between the boards and use a chisel to lever the boards to the correct position. Then screw in the boards.

14. To finish the edge screw down a length of board to use as a straight edge. Make sure the distance between the board and the circular saw blade is such that the saw will cut the decking boards flush to the joist. Run the saw along to trim the ends of the deck board to a uniform length.


For more woodworking hints and tips from Ted ‘Woody’ Mcgrath – Professional Woodworker, Educator, Member of AWI , Please Click Here!


05. February 2011 by admin
Categories: Decking, Gardening | Tags: , , , | Comments Off on Decking Ideas – A Simple Square Deck


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