Decking can make a huge difference to a garden. It not only looks clean and contemporary, but also acts as a living space in your garden where you can entertain and spend time with the family. If you install it properly, the decking should last for many years and could even add appeal to your home should you want to sell it in the future. However, if you are installing decking on top of grass, there are some pitfalls to avoid. This guide outlines the key factors you need to keep in mind when installing decking on top of grass.
Consider the decking’s purpose
Before you start, you need to ensure you have a clear purpose in mind for the decking. For example, are you hoping to use it for garden storage, for entertaining, family time, or all of the above? By having a clear purpose in mind for your design, you can incorporate appropriate features like handrails and benches.
Where to install your decking
The location of your decking is a crucial consideration and will be determined by many factors. You may want to ensure that the decking gets the maximum amount of sunlight, or that it will not be covered in tree sap in the spring or leaves in the fall. Some people like decking to be close to their house, while others prefer the decking to be a separate living area. It is important that you are not covering structures like a cesspit, pipework, or manhole covers, so that you can still access them.
Think about drainage
Moisture under the decking can be a real problem when it is installed on grass. You can prevent problems by ensuring there are gaps between the deck boards so rainwater will run off and pools of water do not form. Furring strips placed between boards and joists can also help water to run off as well as placing a membrane on the joists to protect them from dripping water. You may also want to add a weed control fabric to prevent weeds and grass from growing up through the decking.
Best materials for decking
There are several options when it comes to choosing the right wood for your decking. The most common woods used are those that are weather-resistant such as Brazilian walnut or cedar, hardwoods like teak or pressure-treated timber. Your choice will be swayed by your personal design preferences and budget, so it is best to visit a supplier so you can look at your choices up close. You will also need to get the right type of screws for your decking project to ensure the structure is as strong and durable as possible, and consider how you will finish the decking to ensure it is protected from the elements.
Installing decking on top of grass
When you have planned your decking project down to the last detail, it is time to start the installation. Before digging, you should clear the top 1-4 inches of the ground of weeds and rocks. You will need concrete risers to ensure the square frame of the decking is not touching the grass. After creating joists to support the boards, you can lay the decking and screw the boards into position. Your decking should be treated with oil and cleaned with water and a scrubbing brush every couple of months to prevent the development of algae (which makes decking slippery).