DIY Decking 

     I noticed that with most properties, especially new ones, that builders tend to build large homes on small lots thereby allowing little or no room for a yard.  The benefits of purchasing a home in an established area is that the lots are bigger giving you room to be creative in your landscaping.  My property being pie shaped, the back yard is much bigger which provides privacy and room to expand. One thing to keep in mind when starting your backyard projects is to plan out what type of structures you will be building in years to come.  With this long term plan, you will need to install your sprinklers keeping in mind where other structures will be so you will not have to re-route your lines or build on top of them.  Inevitably in time, your pvc pipes will leak, and you need to be able to access them.


     When you start considering your materials for the deck, you want to minimize material waste.  A walkway is generally 4' in width therefore when you purchase your boards, get 8' lengths.  Also, not all boards are exactly the same length, so measure each board before cutting them. The deck can be any height, however, no more than two feet high is best.  Depending on the amount of space you have to work with; if you construct a wrap around deck you can also build a patio along the way as a stopping point to admire the landscaping.  Built in benches are recommended and of course, be sure to use treated lumber.

     When constructing the decking frame, build it in 8' lengths.  The reason for that is so that there will not be any sagging in the center, due to variable weight on the structure.  I also placed a center post to every span to insure stability.  Use Joist Hangers as much as possible when constructing the frame.  Though nails alone would do, in time they will loosen and you would have to go back and reinforce it.

         
       Prior to starting my DIY Decking, I did install the sprinklers since I knew I would be planting shrubs on both sides of the walkway.  The main pvc pipe is located center of the deck.  By selecting this location, no matter what other extensions I would do on the line, it will minimize the possibility of accidently cutting into it.
     Since this particualr property had a gradual slope for drainage, this spot would be too muddy to walk on most of the time.  As you can see by the photos, this wrap around deck was an ideal choice allowing a garden to get the most use of this area.  Though some plants prefer full sun, you will find that most of them like part shade which this area provides. 

         To compliment your decking, be sure to include a variety of plants from annuals, perannuals and evergreens.  Since aquiring plants can get expensive, try to maintain only a 10% ratio of annuals.  Perannuals will come back every year and can be divided.  Evergreens will always provide color no matter what time of the year.  Having built my greenhouse, I am able to promulgate many of my plants maintaining an ample supply for the following season.  Though it took a couple of seasons to get these plants established, you will be supprised what decking will do for your landscape.  Something about having a deck invites a person to want to go walk on it than an area that is not decked.  A materials list is provided at the bottom of the page that will provide an average cost for this project.
 
  As time goes on your projects will evolve as mine have.  I have made some changes as you can see by the photos below.  The Westeria vines that were growing on the fence were damaging it and the vines will do best by themselves on a heavy duty trellis since they will get very heavy as they mature.

        I have started replacing the north fence to reflect the natural wood. In addition, I turned the deck boards over, sanded them and applied a transparent redwood stain called Penofin.  I recommend applying only one coat otherwise the wood will feel sticky.  Stain treatment for the deck should be done yearly and the fence every three years.  

       Something I also did this summer is fill all the flowerbeds with mulch.  One thing I found out is that you can get all the mulch you want for free from your local city dump.  When tree cuttings are brought there, they are processed by a large chipper generating several stories of mulch.  So far I picked up 12 truck loads and will be getting  more.  All you need to do is present your Identification showing that you live withen that city.  
   As I continue replacing and staining the fence, I will be providing additional photos.

 

  

Wrap Around Decking
 
 
 
ITEM
UNITS
PERUNIT
TOTAL
DESCRIPTION
2"X6"X8' Lumber
76
4.49
341.24
   Walkway
2"X6"X8' Lumber
18
4.49
80.82
 Deck Frame
Joist Hanger
40
1.95
78
 Deck Frame
Cement 80 lbs.
12
3.46
41
 
4"x4"x8'
16
6.97
41.52
 For Posts
 
 
TOTAL
582.58
 
 
 
 
 
 
Patio Arbor Combo with Deck
 
 
 
 
2"x6"x10'
12
8.97
107.64
 Frame
4"x4"x12'
5
11.97
59.85
 Arbor Posts
2"x6"x10'
20
8.97
179.4
 Deck Boards
Joist Hangers
14
1.95
27.3
 For Frame
2 1/2" Deck Screws
2
28.24
56.48

  Large Box

2"x2"x8"
48
2.97
142.56
 
 
 
TOTAL
573.23
 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   

 

 

  





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