Garden Decking Designs – Raised Level Deck
Raised Level Deck
On this site the garden sloped away from the house too steeply for a conventional patio to replace the small, 1.3m wide ‘patio’ that was in place. When the measurements were taken a difference in height of 70cm was recorded, so we felt that a raised deck would be ideal.
As the deck was to be elevated above 60cm, it needed a hand rail for safety. The basic remit for this deck was to replace a useless patio with an area for dining and relaxing. Situated in semi-shade on the east of the house, the deck needed to extend into an area of the garden that received sun. Proximity to the fence provided another obstacle to overcome, as the deck would raise the owners above the fence into the neighbours’ line of view. To help resolve this, the step was removed from the old patio to lower the deck and a large trellis-backed planter was fitted in front of the fence to raise the screening height, offering more privacy for both parties. The sloping ground was easy to accommodate with the deck and since the deck was raised, a hand rail was fitted for safety and a feeling of enclosure.
A number of details were noticed during planning — air bricks for house ventilation and a climbing plant were two elements that needed to be built around. The area was to be covered with a diagonal pattern to add visual interest and to guide people to the step at the front of the deck. Being close to the fence, a gap was left between the deck and fence to provide access for maintenance and repairs. Steps were also fitted to allow access to the passageway behind the deck.
1. Lay out the size and shape required with the joists. Install the posts where needed and cut to correct height using a long level. Leave a gap of 15cm between the deck and the fence for maintenance.
2. Cut excess timber away from the air brick to allow circulation. With a level mark the position on the wall. Slide the timber behind the plants to avoiding damaging them.
3. With the timber in place secure it by drilling a hole through the joist into a brick, not a mortar joint, and fix with a rawl bolt. Fix at least four bolt diameters from the edge as it will provide a stronger fixing.
4. Although the timber is not flush with the post, the coach bolt will easily take the weight. The longer joist needs two bolts.
5. On the cutaway corner, place the posts further back to avoid theon the front joist and to leave space for supporting joists. Position the angled step, measure and cut wood. Dig holes for two posts and fix corner step with screws to create the finished outline frame.
6. With the set-back post, thefor the joist can be used. Be careful to avoid the screws in the front joist. Before the deck is laid, paint any cut surfaces with preservative.
7. Lay weed block and fix in position. Measure out and fix all supporting joists.
8. Addto the support structure, starting with any that are needed to bypass air bricks and plants. It is best to rather than nail these in place. Leave enough space for plants to grow thicker.
9. With the rest of the noggins added to the base, start laying the deck boards from the front edge. You can use a block to keep the edge flush with the front of the joist.
10. Continue to fix the deck boards as you go across the deck. When you arrive at the air brick leave a larger gap for circulation and space for the plant to grow.
11. With the boards screwed at both ends, stretch string across the deck to align with the base timbers. Screw the rest of the boards to the joists, adjusting the gaps as you go.
12. With the fence so close to the deck it would be difficult todown a deck board as a guide. So pencil along the board to use as a guide line. Saw by hand or use a circular saw if there is space.
13. For the other sides of the deck, fix a straight edge down across the deck and use a circular saw to trim off the excess. Set the saw to a depth just a little more than the thickness of the board to give a cleaner cut.