Building a deck can seem like a big decision and an overwhelming task, but by following these easy steps you can make this an easy, rewarding and ultimately painless experience.
1) Before you start building your deck, it is important to have a solid framework in place and set posts. The first step is mapping out where to put your posts. Measure out the areas you want posts planted in evenly. To actually plant the posts, dig a narrow hole for the post and fill 25% of it with cement. Next, place the posts on top of the concrete and fill in the gaps with gravel.
2) Before beginning work on the framework, place landscaping cloth over the entirety of the area that will be framed and cover it with gravel. Once you have placed your posts, place beams on top of the posts and screw them into the posts in the outline of the framework you plan on building on.
3) Now you are ready to begin composite decking! Start by screwing stop clips into the beams around every 15 inches. Next, lay your first board on the framework (starting closest to the house). Push the grooves of the board over the stop clips. Screw the board into the stop clip.
4) Install another stop clip on the other side of the first board you placed. Repeat the process of pushing the grooves into the stop clip. Make sure the board is flush with the first board, and screw it into the stop clip. Continue with this process until you have laid out boards across your entire framework.
5) The last board you place may be too long and overhang the framework by a few inches. Feel free to cut the board off if it overhangs by more than an inch and fourth. At the center of your deck, cut the boards to the width you need to for the parting board to fit, and install a long parting board down the middle. Use composite decking screws to secure it in place.
6) Congratulations on completing your decking! The next step is installing railings. Install post sleeves at intervals of your choice with PVC cement (as per the directions on the packaging). Screw brackets into the post sleeves and slide vertical flanges onto them. Then install the rails on top of the post sleeves and flanges with screws and cut the rails to a length of your choosing.
The process of composite decking can take a little while and requires some planning, but once you're finished with these six steps your dream deck is within reach. Enjoy your new deck!