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Building a Timber Deck? Don’t Make These Mistakes!

At Narangba Timbers, we provide the best timber decking materials we can to the Brisbane and Sydney areas. We know that the best materials will provide the best results. But there are twelve mistakes that can turn your good intentions into a pile of trouble. Don’t make these twelve mistakes.

Rusty Bolts and Nails

Always make sure that your fasteners, such as bolts and nails, are galvanised. Galvanised materials have a dull grey colour because they are coated with zinc. Galvanised nails and bolts cost more, but can save you a world of trouble a year or two down the road. Non-galvanised nails and bolts will invariably rust within two years. Spend the extra money for galvanised nails and bolts.

Not Checking With Council

Always get your deck approved by your local council before beginning. Otherwise, you may be forced to change it or even tear it down. It isn’t worth the risk: don’t skip this important step.

Crooked Decking Boards

Nothing screams “amateur” or “unprofessional” like crooked deck boards. The surest way to ensure that your boards are straight is to make every fifth board a grid board installed over a chalk line. Install the grid boards first and then use wedges to ensure that other boards are spaced evenly.

Leaky Roof

The most common cause of a leaky roof is over-tightening the roof screws. This can damage the rubber washer and make it incapable of doing its job.

Sagging Ceilings

This is often the result of installing ceiling supports too far apart. The ceiling can look great when it is new, only to begin sagging in about six months due to moisture absorption softening the sheets. If there isn’t enough structure and support, the ceiling sheets will sag. Make sure that you at least use as much support as the manufacturer recommends.

Hitting Underground Services

This may sound obvious, but ignoring it can literally lead to tragic consequences, such as a gas explosion or electrocution. Before doing any work that involves digging, such as footings, call “Dial Before You Dig” on 1100. Double check by contacting gas, electric and water providers. To “hedge your bets,” dig footings by hand with a shovel and crowbar. That way, if you do hit something, you aren’t as likely to damage it.

Timber Breaking and Cracking

This is most often the result of cutting too much timber out of the piece you are using. Never remove more than one-third of the width of any board. For example, if you are placing a floor joist over a bearer, make sure that you have at least two-thirds of the timber left to sit on top of the bearer. For any exceptions, you will, at the very least, need to supplant your timber.

Sagging Deck

This can be caused by using the wrong variety of timber or the wrong size boards. If you are doing this yourself as opposed to having an engineer design your deck, you need to make sure that you are using a variety of hardwood that is rated highly enough to provide structural integrity. We recommend Blackbutt or Merbau, often called Kwila. Resist the temptation to save money by using a softwood.

Black Stains on Decking Boards

The most common cause is grinding sparks hitting the timber and not being cleaned off properly. Easy solution: don’t grind metal on your deck.

Rotting Timber Posts

Always separate your posts from the ground by using post stirrups. This keeps excess moisture out of your timber and keeps fungus from rotting the posts.

Sinking Deck

If your footings aren’t correct, your deck can sink into the ground. Dig holes straight down and always clear all of the loose dirt.

Grey Deck Boards

This is nearly always due to a lack of maintenance. Apply a protective coating when building the deck and recoat every 12-18 months.

Are You Ready?

When you are ready to build your timber deck, call Narangba Timbers. Our knowledgeable customer service staff can keep you from making these mistakes by providing the right materials. 1300 477 024.