We are a timber decking company based in Durban and specialise in the construction of timber sun deck, pergolas, walkways, stairs etc. We use primarily H3 and H4 CCA treated pine as our substructure and balau deck boards. Our balustrades and stairs are all made from balau unless otherwise specifically designed in pine. The H3 and H4 CCA Treated pine has a life span of between 30 and 50 years outdoors in the elements and although the balau is not pressure treated it will also last in excess of 30 years.
The timber deck we built in this article was in Plantations in Hillcrest and was a low-level pool deck. The pictures alongside show the different stages of construction and I will explain, in this article, the challenges we experienced with this one. All timber decks we build come with their own challenges and there are various techniques we use to overcome these challenges.
Our first challenge here was that the paving alongside the pool was not parallel to the house. There was a difference of about 80mm over a distance of about 3m. If we had simply placed our deck boards down with equal gaps between them we would have ended with a wedged shaped deck board with a measurement of zero on one side and 68mm on the other side which would be unsightly. In order to overcome this one needs to vary the gaps between deck boards.
In this instance we needed to gain 80mm over a distance of 3m. We needed to start with a gap of 4mm on one side of the run, and the gap needed to increase along the length of the deck board run to 6mm on the other side effectively giving us a gain of 2mm per board. Over a distance of 3m, a total of 40 deck boards, with a width of 68mm and a gap of approximately 5mm, will be needed. If we increase the gap on one side of the run to 6mm and reduce the gap on the other side of the run to 4mm, we gain 2mm per run of deck boards. 2mm x 40 deck boards gives us a
total of 80mm that we will gain thereby reducing the difference on either side to zero. In effect you are “fanning” the deck boards to close the difference created by the wall not being parallel to the house. Simple hey? Not always so. Because each run of deck boards is made up of about 3 or 4 separate pieces it can be tricky to keep the runs straight whilst still “stealing” millimetres. At the same time you need to try to end on a full deck board instead of having to rip one deck board to half the width to finish decking the area. We weren’t able to do this because we were running out of space to start increasing or decreasing the gaps to end on a full board. So instead we installed a 90mm deck board on the last run to close the 32mm gap we had left.
We built this timber deck in two sections and then filled the gaps in between. Some of it was on grass and some was on soil, so there was a mixture of posts in ground with concrete and posts on top of paving.
Another challenge here was that because we were building flush to the pool paving AND the floor inside we had to check that the height of the pool paving and the height of the floor inside were the same. They never are because the world is not flat. While I prefer building as flat, level and square as I can, sometimes one needs to build slightly off in order to line up with other substrates that are not perfect, and they never will be. One needs to be careful though that by building off square and level does not affect the total build or the visual appearance of the structure. If it will, then another plan needs to be made.
For a free no obligation quote on your sun deck and other outdoor related structure please contact us on 082 496 5444 or use the contact us form below.