Wooden Decks and Balau Deck Boards for Sale Durban

Besides offering a full wooden deck building service in Durban of supply and install, we also sell balau deck boards to end users for use in wooden decks in Durban and KZN.  Please use the contact us form below to enquire about deck building services or read on for more info on sale of deck boards and decking materials.

Because we secure our balau deck boards in bulk we are able to offer these deck boards to the wooden deck builder or end-user at a highly competitive price and more competitively than your popular outlets in Durban.

We stock largely 19mm x 68mm and 19mm x 90mm wooden balau deck boards but other sizes and species are also available, on request. We stock a range of lengths from 2.4m to 4.8m. Please check with us what we have in stock before ordering and provide us with the rough dimensions of your wooden deck so we can select the correct lengths for you to minimize waste. If for instance you are building a wooden deck measuring 4.8m then you would opt for 2.4m deck boards and space your joists with centres of 400mm or 480mm (but not 450mm or 500mm) as these are all factors of 2.4m. On the other hand if your wooden deck measured 5.4m long then you would opt for 2.7m deck boards and space your joists with centres of 450mm or 540mm being a factor of 2.7m. This way the off cut at the end of each deck board is minimized and a saving can be obtained. I will gladly help you plan your substructure and deck boards so as to build a structurally sound deck and minimize waste. Contact me below with the size of your deck and the height above ground.

There are mainly two different types of balau that can be purchased, red and yellow balau. In my experience the yellow balau is harder and therefore more durable. The red balau I have bought in the past seems to be more porous and will therefore absorb more water and rot more quickly. Although balau is very hard, contains natural oils and resins and repels water naturally all wood will eventually rot. The aim is to choose a decking timber that will outlast other timbers but is still affordable and easy on your pocket. We stock only yellow balau.

We sell mainly reeded deck boards. These are the deck boards with grooves on one side. The grooves are not there for anti-slip as is commonly thought. They are in fact there to be placed down against the joist. The reason is to allow any trapped water to dissipate quickly. By keeping the water away from the gap between the deck board and the joist will reduce rot to a degree and result in your wooden deck lasting longer.  It is not absolutely essential but does help to some degree.  Also by having the grooves up you cannot epoxy the screw holes closed, because you can’t sand it off due to the grooves, thus allowing more water to pool in the counter sunk screw hole causing accelerated rot. Grooves up also traps dirt and grime which actually causes the deck surface to become more slippery than a smooth surface. So always grooves down.

We are able to deliver in the greater Durban area. Please enquire about delivery charge.

To contact us for a full wooden deck building service in Durban, or to order deck boards and other timber decking materials, you can call us on 082 496 5444 or use the contact us form below.

Wooden Sundecks – Durban North

Wooden sundecks Durban North

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Wooden sundecks Durban North

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We completed these wooden sundeck jobs in Durban North last year during our busy decking season. There were two decks we built. They were both quite simple in that they were low-level wooden sundecks coming off the granny flat, which had just been refurbished measuring 5m x 2.2m.

The first one was a relatively small deck. It had two steps off the front edge with closed risers. That was probably the most difficult part of the job but we have worked out a way to build these quite effortlessly. We build the deck with a fascia beam on the front and then we build a box complete with supporting joists frame etc. We then attach this to the fascia beam of the deck we have just built and we are left with a frame which we can clad to create our riser and tread of our stairs. It is much easier to do it this way. Trying to build it piece by piece in situ is a lot more difficult and time-consuming. In fact building decks in sections and then hoisting them up into place is the easiest way to build as it allows you to work on a section of the deck on the floor, get everything square and then simply level it in place and attach it.  We had two concrete columns on the front edge of the deck so it was relatively easy to secure the deck and made for fewer posts and concrete.

Wooden sundecks Durban North

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The second deck was closer to ground level off the patio of the main house. Again we built this in sections and lifted them up to secure them to the wall and then secured the front edge with posts to ground using concrete. Because of the length of the deck (11m odd) we had to build it in two sections and lift each section up independently of each other. It becomes a bit cumbersome trying to lift an 11m deck into place. So it is better to build it in two sections and lift each one separately. You need to be careful though that the entire structure remains flat from one end to the other. By doing them in two sections it is easy to get a kink in the middle. So run fish line from one end of the one section to the far end of the other section and adjust the join to get the entire frame flat and level.

In another article I will describe the different methods used to screw the deck boards down. Again there is an easy and quick way or there is the slow process of marking and cutting each board individually. What one wants to do is to lay all boards out and snap chalk line where the cuts should be, then cut them all, put them back and secure them. There is another method too where you screw the boards down and then lift the ends that need to be cut and cut with a skill saw.

Wooden sundecks Durban North

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These two decks were sealed using Timberlife Satin Wood 28 Base, a sealer suitable for woods of low porosity. Being and oil based sealer it goes on very easily, cannot run or streak and when it comes to maintenance, you simply wipe clean and re-apply. You will need to do it a bit more often than other deck “sealers”, but there will be no more sanding as the oil cannot peel or flake like a coating does. It soaks into the wood, nourishes it, leaving the full natural look of the wood and simply disappears instead of flaking and peeling.

For a free no obligation quote on your wooden deck, balustrades, stairs etc. please call us on 082 496 5444 or use the contact us form below.

Wooden Screens, Pergolas, Decks and Gates Durban

Driveway gate clad in balau

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Wooden gates Durban

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Wooden Screens Durban

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Wooden balustrades and pergolas Durban

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We were asked to quote on wooden screens, wooden pergolas, wooden decks and wooden gates on a new build in Prestondale, an area north of Umhlanga, at a development called Izinga Ridge. We originally quoted in about June 2013 and the work was awarded to us for s start date of about 1 November 2013. The job consisted of various screens between brick columns on the boundary wall, a pergola on an open balcony on the first floor, external and internal balustrades, garden gates, a driveway gate and a pool deck.

All the timber we used was balau hardwood with the exception of the substructure of the pool deck which was H3 and H4 CCA treated pine. In other articles you can read about how we have managed to keep our prices down by using this as a substructure whilst still being able to offer up to a 50 year guarantee on this treated timber.

Most of the screens were pretty straight forward with balau cleats on the wall and then clad using a non reeded 19 x 68 deck board. We used non reeded so that both sides would look the same, but we did battle to find non reeded boards as most of the deck boards available are already reeded, or grooved on one side. There were two screens that proved a little more difficult as the wall we were attaching them to was angled. So the boards had to be cut at that angle and secured to each other whilst still remaining level and the join remaining plumb.

The external balustrades were different to our normal vertical picket style balustrades as the client requested horizontal slats instead. Again we used non reeded deck boards for this with a normal post system. On each post we attached vertical cleats to accept the horizontal deck boards or slats. They were installed in line, or on top of the concrete slab, rather than being attached to the front of the concrete slab. The tiles had already gone down so we had to drill through the tiles without cracking them. We installed an “ankle” on the middle post to provide support which is attached to the vertical post and is then shaped to fit around the slab to attach again to the vertical of the concrete slab. This, in effect, allows the post to be attached to the outside but still allows the balustrade to sit on top of the slab. It is much neater but does require a bit more thought and re-enforcing.

Wooden decks durban

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The pool deck was relatively simple as it was a low-level deck around the pool with a simple frame system using 38 x 114 joists and beams. Extra posts had to be concreted in as it wasn’t high enough to slot an under beam, or main beam, of 50 x 228 in.

The driveway gate was fun. We had the steel made up in a design that would work well by cladding it with wood. We had to source long enough non reeded boards to run the full width of 4m. One cannot join boards in this type of gate unless there is a centre steel vertical support which would spoil the look of the gate a bit. We had run out of standard non reeded boards and so had all suppliers so we sourced a 20 x 140 board and ripped it in half, length ways, to arrive at two boards of 20 x 68.

Wooden balustrades Durban

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The pictures alongside show some work in progress and some completed work. It was an interesting but challenging job as there were many contractors on site all trying to work, and finish, before the handover of the house. The worst part of the job was fighting traffic from north Umhlanga to the freeway in both the morning and afternoon.

For a free, no obligation, quote on wooden decks, pergolas, garden gates, balustrades and all other outdoor timber work, please call us on 082 496 5444 or complete the form below.

Wooden Decks Durban – Bluff

Wooden decks Durban

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This wooden deck in Durban was the second phase of a job we started at the beginning of the year. We were originally asked to build a deck off the main bedroom. First we had to remove the aluminium window and install an aluminium sliding door. I always suggest that clients do this first so that we can build our wooden decks perfectly flush to the new opening.

We had various obstacles to overcome. There was a septic tank that we were building on top of so we had to leave sufficient space and a large enough trap door to access all three tanks. We built one large trap door so that the whole thing could be taken off to access these tanks. During our build a new soak away had to be built as the old one had packed up.

With all of this out-of-the-way, we could continue with phase two which was to complete the main deck with two steps off the front edge leading to the garden and a new second deck in front of the sliding doors to the lounge. This second deck had a corner step similar to the other deck.

Wooden decks Durban

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These steps were the full length of the deck and had closed risers and treads. In order to build one of these you must basically build a second substructure in the same way as you build the deck substructure in order to span your deck boards across them. So each tread has two beams and joists and is then clad with deck boards. I can clearly remember building our first one which took ages because we tried to build each joist individually. We’ve since learned that with smaller structures one can build a frame and then pull it into position and attach it to the main structure and then clad it. Much quicker, much easier and a lot more accurate.

This was our final job for 2013 and we lost one day to rain which set us back a day and we had to spill over into the weekend. We had originally planned to finish on the Friday, but we had to come back on Saturday morning to seal it.

The original deck we built earlier on in the year had greyed already from the sun so we had to sand it quite a bit to get it back to its original colour for the two to match.
Most of our decks this year have been built using an H3 CCA treated pine substructure. We are able to offer a 50 year guarantee from the supplier for the H3 treated timber and a 30 year guarantee for the H4 treated timber. The cost

Wooden decks Durban

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difference between balau and CCA pine is huge so we can keep our rates down to our clients and the H3 CCA pine will actually outlast the balau substructure. We still use balau as deck boards and balustrades simply because it is a lot more attractive and more stable so reduces cupping, bowing and checking. In the substructure, because of the size of the timber it is not as important to limit cupping and bowing.

For a free no obligation quote on your wooden decks, pergolas, walkways, balustrades and other outdoor timber construction please contact us on 082 496 5444 or use the contact us form below.

Wooden Decks Durban – Paradise Valley Pinetown

Wooden decks Durban

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This is a follow-up article on a previous article I wrote about a high level wooden deck we are building at Paradise Valley in Pinetown Durban. Click here for the original article.

The poles proved to be quite a story getting up. We were 5 people on the day. The poles were 9m long and we had to get them in to a hole of 1m deep, secure them and then pour concrete. The difficulty was to get the pole up because with 8m in the air and only 1m in the ground you have no leverage to pull the pole vertically plumb. We got two of them in without having to resort to other methods, but our third and final pole proved a bit more difficult as by now we had stays and ropes all over the place holding the poles in position while the concrete set. So there was nowhere that we could actually move the pole to get it into the hole without disturbing the other poles. We ended up pulling it up (3 of us) from the flat which was about 2 stories up, using ropes, while 2 others pushed the bottom into the hole. The top of the pole kept catching underneath the balcony. We eventually got it up over the balcony edge and could then pull it so the foot of the pole went into the hole. We then nailed a 38 x 114 to the top of the pole and pushed it to vertical. Each hole took about 6 barrows of concrete mix. We were lucky enough to be able to mix right where we

Wooden decks Durban

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were building. I won’t say “never again”, because if challenged with the same task again I will most certainly attempt it. However, I will use a crane truck to get the poles in the hole. 9m is a bit long to handle by hand and although we did it, it was a bit dangerous at times and we had to continually stop to make sure that no one would get injured. A crane truck for a day will simply make the job a lot easier and much safer.

Wooden decks Durban

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We built our platform which took us a full day. We used 50 x 228 beams and set the platform below the level of our deck so that we could stand on that platform and build our deck. Once we had the 50 x 228 installed on two sides, we cut the same timber to lengths of just over 2m and nailed them down perpendicular to these main beams to create a platform. Needless to say we have taken perfectly good timber and cut it into 3 pieces to create this platform. At some point I suppose we will use them for stair treads or similar, so it is not a complete waste of money.

We strapped ourselves into harnesses, hired a 10m extension ladder and set about building the deck substructure. We had to resort to our old method of installing the substructure of first setting posts, then cutting and notching posts, then installing beams and finally joists. So it took a fair amount of extra time but there is no other way of doing this at that height. The substructure for 20m² took one day and deck boards another full day. The balustrade will go in on Monday and then it’s just a matter of installing diagonal supports to stop any racking (sideways movement), filling, sanding and sealing. As mentioned above I will attempt another high level deck, but I will cost it more accurately and I will use a

Wooden decks Durban

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crane truck to get the poles in.

For a free no obligation quote, please call us on 082 496 5444 or use the contact form below.

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Wooden Decks Durban – Verulam

Wooden decks Durban

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We recently had a good run of building wooden decks in Durban. With the arrival of summer and Christmas, wooden decks in Durban become a very popular item for consumers to spend their hard-earned cash. Despite trying to get jobs confirmed earlier on in the year, most of our work was confirmed in November and hence we have been running 2 to 3 sites simultaneously. It’s no easy task with the size of our current crew, but we were lucky enough to have most of them take place north of Durban in Durban North, Umhlanga and this one in Verulam. We rented an old beach cottage near Ballito and stayed there with our full crew for 3 weeks so that we didn’t need to fight traffic in the mornings or afternoons and drop and pick up staff in various different areas. However the traffic in Umhlanga and that whole north of Durban area is beyond ridiculous so it still took us hours to get “home” each day. This coupled with the fact that we had a lot of work to get through, made for very early starts and very late finishes.

Wooden decks Durban

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Wooden decks Durban

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The pics alongside are work in progress pic and I will update then once we have sanded and sealed the deck.

This job in Verulam was at a complex and this part of the complex consisted of 6 units. We built 3 wooden deck sections, each of about 45m². There was a wooden balustrade on the front of it and on the two ends or sides. The drop down from the first section of wooden deck was about 450mm so we created a step along the entire width of the deck with closed risers. For these closed riser steps we use a mini substructure and then deck it using the standard 19 x 68 balau deck boards. It then becomes a sort of bench as well as a step down.

Wooden decks Durban

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The step down from the second wooden deck section to the third was about 1, 100mm so we had to build some wooden stairs with open risers of standard width of 1m and clad the section were there were no stairs. We also clad behind the stairs in order to block of the underneath of the deck completely. These wooden stairs were the straight forward design with stringers on either side, and treads placed inside of the stringers using cleats on each side. Hence the risers are open which is why we clad behind it to block off the underneath of the second section. We used 30mm x 102mm stock to build the stairs as there is no support beneath them over the 1m span. Using 30 x 102 stock with no gaps, as opposed to 30 x 140 stock, results in a tread of 306mm compared to 285 (140 + 140 + 5mm gap). So they are slightly wider (by 21mm) but still very comfortable. Also we get to use our 1m off cuts from the capping on the balustrade thereby reducing our cost which we can pass on to our clients through our reduced selling price.

It was a fairly straightforward build but did take a bit longer than other jobs as the front of the wooden deck was directly in line with where the bank below suddenly dropped off. So it was difficult to work at head height on a very steep slope. Ladders had to be tied off to the posts to climb them and so on.

Wooden decks Durban

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For a free, no obligation quote, on your wooden deck, pergola, walkways, stairs and other outdoor and indoor timber construction please call us on 082 496 5444 or use the contact us form below.

Wooden Decks Durban – Westville

Wooden decks Durban

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This wooden deck built in Westville Durban was built in record time. We have been experimenting with new techniques of building to make the task quicker yet still remain accurate, neat and structurally sound.

It was a 35m² wooden deck with a balustrade on 3 sides and a gate. It was flush with the floor inside the house so we had to be careful to make sure that the door could still open without jamming on the surface of the deck. The first metre or so was built on top of existing paving after which the bank dropped about 1.8m.

We built the frame to take the deck boards first, attached it to the wall of the house using sleeve anchors and then installed temporary posts to get the whole structure level and flat. Once the frame was built, level and flat, we slotted our 50 x 228 main-beam underneath the joists and attached them. So we now had our joists and beam installed being suspended by temporary posts. The beams were in fact now just hanging from the joists with a few screws. We could then see very accurately and quickly were out holes, for our posts, needed to be dug in order to secure our main beam. Holes were dug, posts cut to length, notched, secured to beam and concreted in. Now it is possible to use a wet mix of concrete as there is no danger of the posts moving while working with them. In the past we have done it the other way

Wooden decks Durban

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around. We have worked out where our posts must go, concreted them in, then cut our posts to length, installed the beam and then the joists. The latter is far more time consuming. By having your frame built one can very quickly see where everything must go. A lot of the cutting is then done on the floor instead of in situ. Using the former method one also needs to make a dry mix of concrete and stamp it in so that you can work with the posts immediately. Pouring wet concrete is much easier and

Wooden decks Durban

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quicker than working with a dry mix. This part of the job, the complete sub structure, took us one day (35m²).

Day two was spent screwing down deck boards. Again we used a new method of securing each end of the deck boards with our 5mm gap and then coming back to screw the deck boards down in between the ends. See this video for how we did it. 35m² of deck boards went down in one day. The last part of building was the balustrade. It rained that day so we only got a half day in, but the total time to install balustrade was one day. Hence a total of 3 days to build the entire structure, deck it and install balustrade. We still used the old method of installing the balustrade by attaching our rails to posts and then installing pickets. Our new method is to build the rails and pickets on the floor, pick it up and attach it to the posts. This new method will be a lot quicker as everything can be pre-cut to length.

In busy times, as we are experiencing now, techniques that allow us to build quickly and accurately are invaluable and allow us to keep our prices down. Well done to the crew, this wooden deck in Durban was built in record time.

Wooden decks Durban

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For a free no obligation quote, please call us on 082 496 5444 or use the contact us form below. Please also visit the gallery page on this blog to see other pics of work we have done recently.

Screwing Deck Boards Down on a Wooden Deck in Durban

Here’s few videos of us screwing deck boards down on a wooden deck in Durban.  This wooden deck is 35 square metres in size.  It took us one day to get the complete substructure down and ready, and a 2nd day to screw down all deck boards.  Monday morning we will build the balustrade and gate.  It’s officially a record and I think it will be hard for us to beat that one.  Well done guys.

Wooden decks in Durban

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For a free, no obligation quote, please contact us on 082 496 5444 or use the contact form below

High Level Wooden Deck Installed Durban

Wooden decks Durban

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Now here’s a challenge. We’ve been commissioned to build a deck 5.5m high on the lowest point. The highest point is about 7m off the ground. An engineer and architect have drawn plans and there is a strict spec we need to follow. Our H4 CCA treated gum poles are 9m in length. That’s too long to fit on the top of our vehicles so we have to have them delivered. There are to be 3 of these poles in the front length of the deck measuring 6m long and another 2 mid way across the width of the deck. Each pole is to be buried in the ground in a hole measuring 1m deep to the lowest point and 600mm x 600mm wide.

The two end holes were dug with ease but the middle hole was slap bang in the middle of a rock. So we hired breakers, pulled the generator out and started digging. We dug straight through the middle of the rock. It was only sand stone so went relatively easily, but let me assure you even sand stone is hard enough to test the best of one’s fitness when holding a breaker whilst standing in the hole and still having to remove what you have just broken out the hole.

We will finish on nearly two cubic metres of sand and 2 cubic metres of stone and 14 bags of cement. We’re mixing a wet mix as opposed to our normal dry mix. Each pole is being placed in the hole and secured using 38 x 114 (our joist material) in 6m lengths attached to the post and secured to the ground by digging them in and placing bricks around them. We’ve managed to find a few trees nearby so have used the rope that was used to pull the pole up to tie it off to a tree to secure it while the concrete sets.

Wooden decks Durban

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We had a little set back in that the deck was to be originally 6m x 2m. However our main beam, and therefore posts below would have ended up on the ridge of the retaining wall you see in the pics. We therefore had to extend the front edge of the deck by 1m. As a result the original poles we bought are too short by about 300mm. We originally bought 7.2m poles but have now had to go up to 9m poles.

Wooden decks Durban

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Once we’re up with the poles we will need to build a platform of sorts so that we can work at waist height to build our substructure. Or we may opt for scaffolding. Once that is up we can then lay our deck boards and build our balustrade with ease and safely. I’ll post some more pics here of the completed job and work in progress. It’s a daunting task because of the height and we need to ensure that we are working safely and that the budget doesn’t run away from us. It is easy to lose money on a job of this nature due to extra costs.

Already we have had breaker hire for 3 days, one of which I managed to re-coup from the contractor breaking the hole in the wall to install the door. He didn’t realise that the balcony wall was solid concrete. He was probably expecting brick and sent his crew with a four pound hammer. Poles have grown in length and of course cost more. Holes have ended up bigger than planned so more money has been spent on sand and stone and cement.

Wooden decks Durban

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For a free no obligation quote on your outdoor wooden decks, pergolas, balustrades, walkways etc. contact us on 082 496 5444 or use the form below.

Wooden Deck Installed in Queensburgh, Durban

Wooden deck installer Durban

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This wooden deck we are installing is almost complete. The pics alongside are work in progress pics. I’ll update it with some others once we are done and you can then get the full feel of the deck. It has been an interesting installation as there are effectively three sections to it and the whole job incorporates three different methods of installing a wooden deck.

The first section is a deck around the pool measuring 1.2m off the side of the pool. The slasto that was there had quite a steep fall from the edge of the pool to the soil to allow water to run away from the pool instead of in to it. We used 38 x 114 joists but had to cut them in a wedge shape to allow them to be level on top but still remain in contact with the slasto as much as possible. There is an easier way of doing this by using 38 x 38 batons with a foot on the side, farthest from the pool, so that the baton remains level on top. This would of course result in a large gap beneath the baton. Being only 38mm in thickness the baton would break as a load is placed on top of it. So one would need to pack the underside of this baton with a suitable material. In the past we have used structural grout simply because of its strength and usability. It is fairly easy to use as it is cementious based. You simply mix it with water and pack the gap. It dries extremely hard, harder than cement, and contains small fibres in it which give it its strength. Both ways are structurally sound, but cutting wedge-shaped joists takes time and they inevitably need to be shimmed to get to a perfect level across all joists. Packing them is easier and just as strong. So next time I will revert to the old tried and tested method of packing them to save time.

We ran our deck boards parallel to the pool on all fours sides, rather than running them all in the same direction. The method we used in this deck is of course the better method. It looks neater and also keeps more water from the pool away from the end grain of the deck boards. Water is absorbed by wood largely through the end grain so this method will result in less rot than running them all the same way where two sides will have end grain facing the pool. However, and a big however, this method is tricky in that if the pool is not perfectly square, the corners of the deck will not run out from the pool at 45°. If a deck board is cut at say 40°, the other deck board that will meet it on that corner will need to be cut at an angle other than 40° if the deck is not square as a result of the pool not being square. And herein lies the problem. The cut ends of each deck board will not be the same

Wooden deck installer Durban

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length and will not meet up nicely resulting in a stepped joint. Hence the deck MUST be built square regardless of how square the pool is. This brings with it another problem in that it will mean that two ends will overhang the pool and two ends will be flush with the edge of the pool. If the pool is only slightly out of square, then it is not a problem because it won’t be seen. However if the pool is far out of square, then the overhang on the two sides becomes too big. If this is the case then opt for deck boards running all the same way or a gap filler must be placed between the join, so that the eye cannot pick up the difference in lengths of cut ends.

There was small walkway of 1.3m wide by about 4.5m long joining this pool deck to the other deck pictured alongside. There was a small step up to this deck which was enclosed with a balustrade.

So three different style decking systems were used which made it very interesting. One was a baton system on a slasto substrate, the other was a frame system as the walkway and the third was a joist and beam system which was suspended about 2m up.

Tomorrow we will continue sanding and then seal.

For a free no obligation quote, please call us on 082 496 5444, or use the form below. If you call please let me know you found my blog so I can track my marketing.