Garden Decking DIY Tips

Garden Decking types

Garden decking can be a confusing task- From working out the size, how many beams you need as well as the base. Luckily this guide should help with any confusions to get you started on your new garden deck.

There are two main types of decking:

  • Decking tiles: These are ready made squares to give you a great alternative to the traditional decking boards. Made from pine, hardwood and composite materials, we offer a range of styles and sizes ranging from 30cm x 30cm to 100cm x 100cm to allow you to find the decking tile that would suit your garden. Easy to install, see our Decking Tile Range
  • Decking boards: The traditional way to build a decked area, our decking boards are available in Spruce, Pine, Hardwood and Larch in a range of sizes. These boards tend to be installed on a slightly raised base or rest on top of a flat base. See our Decking Board Range for some inspiration.

In this post you will see some examples on using decking boards to create a decked area for your garden. From advice on placement to assembly tips, this post will help anyone build their own garden deck.

Advice before ordering your supplies

  • Think carefully about the size of your deck. For example, if you’re planning to build garden decking for a dining table large enough to seat four people on.. Lets also add a sun lounger on the decking too, you will need to consider a deck size of 5m x 4m.
  • Start off with some grid paper and start a sketch of your garden, or the area that you want to build the deck on. By working out a reasonable scale onto paper, you’ll have a guide for calculating the materials you’ll need.
  • Consider the space needed between each of the decking boards, we recommended around 5-10mm space between each board. However if the decking board is wet you can reduce this gap by a few millimeters, or if you are installing this on a hot day, make sure to increase the space to allow the natural expansion of the timber to occur.
  • Be prepared with the tools needed for installation. To build decking you will usually need: a power drill, hand saw, a rubber mallet and a knife suitable for cutting weed control matting or similar materials.
  • Be safe when installing your deck, keep children away and wear the appropriate shows and gloves to protect yourself from splinters and other accidents that may occur during this process.

Calculating materials

Square Posts

It’s best to start this out with a sketch of your garden or the area that you’re planning to build your deck on, using graph paper. The posts have to be between 40cm – 50cm appart, making sure that the frame beam starts and ends on a post with a maximum of 10cm overhang. We recommend ground posts of 1 meter in length.

Weed Control Matting

Perfect for letting through water but suppressing weed growth, Weed Control Matting is a necessary material needed for your garden decking. Available in a large range of widths, you’ll need to work out the length needed for your deck guide with a 20cm overlap on each side.

Frame Beams

Framing beams are available in a range of sizes, thicknesses and materials- Typically we suggest to keep the frame material the save as your decking boards. So if you’re opting for a hardwood deck please look into using hardwood beams for your frame to prevent any difference in how different woods may expand or contract compared to others in wet or dry conditions.
Work out the beams needed with the 40cm distance mentioned with the square posts, with a maximum 10cm overhang overall.

Decking Boards

Starting from the popular 14.5 cm wide plank width, you’ll need 7 linear meters of plank floor per square meter. To determine which board length you need, take the width of your deck into account. For example, you can use the 5m length boards with a deck up to a maximum of 5 meters wide. At 5.20m you can choose the 300cm and 240 cm length variants. If you have seams, always have the head seams offset, this way you’ll have a more aesthetically pleasing deck instead of all the seams in a row in the middle.

Always keep in mind that there is sufficient space between the boards, do not underestimate the movement of wood! With hardwood planks 14.5 cm wide, maintain a minimum of 8 mm between them and with softwood planks at least 1 cm.

Screws

To work out the number of screws needed, take the total number of linear meters and divide it by 40cm, then times it for two so that you will have two screws every 40cm in each deck board. For example, for a 5.20m x 4m deck you will need:
5.20(width) x 4(length) x 7(number of frame beams) / 0.4 x 2 = 728 screws.
Our Decking Screws are available in packs of 200 screws.

Step by step guide

1. Sand bed substrate

Sand bed substrate

Dig up around 20cm of soil in the area that you plan to build your deck if the ground is hard- Then cover the area with around 10cm of white sand. If your area is on a hard surface or in a wet and damp area, we’d advise to lay some drainage in this step.

2. Placing posts

After prepping the base you can start to plot out where your posts need to go according to the calculations done earlier. An auger would be one of the easiest ways to dig out these holes, then place the posts around 90-100cm deep into the ground- Going this deep will help prevent the posts from rising in cold and frosty weather conditions. Provide approximately 20 cm of ventilation space under your deck.

Place the posts in a row a maximum of 50 centimeters apart and the beams mutually 40 centimeters apart, the beams must lay at a maximum of 30 cm apart from each other.

3. Laying the Weed Matting

Weed Control Matting

As mentioned earlier, using a weed control mat will ensure that no weeds will grow between your decking boards. Cut a cross on the posts with a knife to allow a snug fit, also make sure that the ground cloth is about 10 centimeters under the frame beams so that your deck can be well ventilated.

4. Fixing the frame beams

Now the frame beams (also called cross beams) can be mounted on the square ground posts. Never mount the beams on top the posts but on the side, this gives more strength to the deck base than fixing it to the top point of the post. Position the beams to go on the outside of the rows, as shown in the diagram above.

Keeping the beams nice and level will help this process. In this example M8-120mm lock bolts were used to secure the beams to the square posts, if you are using softwood as your material then do not pre-drill your beams however, if you are using hardwood then you can pre-drill the beams to help you.

5. Screw on the decking boards

Now it’s time for the tedious part, the mounting and screwing the decking boards onto the beams you just installed. lay the first board 2cm from the wall to allow expansion to occur without damaging the wall or your deck. As mentioned in the previous step, you can pre-drill your hardwood board but we advise against doing this with if you have a softwood deck as this will affect the grip from the screw.

We recommend to use between 2-3 screws every time your decking board meets one of the framing beams, making sure that the screws are not too deep into the wood to prevent the screw head from breaking off when it expands during the winter. We recommended around 5-10mm gap between each board. However if the decking board is wet you can reduce this gap by a few millimeters, or if you are installing this on a hot day, make sure to increase the space to allow the natural expansion of the timber to occur.

Create an aesthetically pleasing deck by staggering the decking boards, as shown in the example above. Only saw off any beams and planks that are too long. You can finish the sides of the deck with a standing board or a special sideboard.

6. Cleaning

Decking Cleaning

Finally, just sweep the splinters off the platform. You are now ready to place your garden furniture on your deck. Avoid color differences by regularly moving your patio furniture and/or storing it in the winter.

7. Maintenance

In theory, your deck doesn’t require much maintenance. Over time your wood will age as expected, if you are using hardwood then you can expect the colour of your deck to turn into a silver grey. If you want to preserve the rich colour of your new deck then you can use a Decking Oil twice a year using a block brush. The treatment of your deck can be left for a few weeks after the installation to allow the decking boards to settle.

We do, however, recommend keeping your deck free of algae, dirt and water (snow and black ice) so that the risk of slipping is small, keeping the grooves clean with a sturdy broom ensures a better anti-slip effect and clean finish.

Home Office Log Cabin Guide

With the recent global situation, working from home has become the new normal. It sounds like a dream but adapting can become a challenge- Especially if you are used to being in an office environment but now working from the kitchen table with the children wanting to talk to you all day long. However, a lot of people are enjoying working from home- But there isn’t any space in your home to set up a new office space. Now may be the time to look in your garden for a new office space with our Log Cabins and Garden studios.

If you’re working for a company or running your own – Here are some solution ideas for you.

This Aiste Log Cabin is now the official workshop for this customers handmade glass decor business. Using a classic white to decorate the interior to allow their artwork to speak for themselves… Along with plenty of lighting to allow them to work effectively.

The Elin Garden Studio is unique but modern in design, the extensively glazed front allows plenty of natural light to flood the room. Measuring at 4.77m x 3.51m- These customers have found ample space to set up their crafting room- With space for fabrics, machines and more.

Similar to the Aiste above, this Justine Log Cabin has also been painted white. Complemented with black and white furnishings and some bright canvases- As shown, the Justine has ample space for a large office desk, perfect for those who use multiple monitors or devices.

I’ll always be a fan of this Blackpool Log Cabin. The contrasting mint green doors and window frames gives a peaceful vibe, ready for a smooth day at work. Complete with some comfy chairs and a bright rug- This Log Cabin is ideal for both an office and a summerhouse.

Now my favourite example of a customer who is taking advantage of their garden space- Saying goodbye to shopfront rent payments and hello to their own home business. This Shannon Log Cabin has been transformed into a rustic dog grooming cabin. Complete with plumbing and electrics so your pup can get the treatment they deserve.

Now it’s time for the technical aspects.. For a Log Cabin, we would recommend a log thickness of 40mm and above- Along with some Log Cabin Insulation to keep your office cosy all year round.

Don’t forget to consider some Log Cabin Extras to future-proof your new office, with guttering to keep water away from the wall logs. Air vents for ventilation and storm kits if you’re in a windy area. Along with a Timber Treatment of your choice.

Once your home office has been installed with no signs of leaks, it’s time to consider adding electrics. Before you can do anything you need to plan out where you want the electrics and sockets to be – Consider where you would like to put your desk and workstation and map it out. We recommend to hire a qualified electrician for this step, but you can learn more on our Electrics in Log Cabins page.

Alternative Log Cabin Bases

With the current situation we’re all facing, a lot of companies have stopped their work for landscaping and laying concrete bases. Understandable of course, but times like these are the best times for some DIY projects to keep you busy- Such as building a log cabin, which will definitely keep you busy for a few days at least.

In our Base Requirements for Log Cabins blog post, we cover some of the options for building a level base- Including the traditional timber frame base, concrete bases as well as our Timber frame base pads. But some customers can get creative with their base frames, take a look at this video.

Sent to us by our independent/recommended installer John Heard, this Ben Clockhouse Log Cabin has been installed on a raised base using rolled steel joists to make this mad but durable Log Cabin base.

This is to show you that you can get creative with your bases, so long as your base is level and safe enough to hold up your Log Cabin as well as the people inside- Creativity is your limit.

We are OPEN and still Delivering

As per the latest Government Guidance during these difficult times, and as an online retailer we are still open and delivering across the UK.

We are currently working with little disruption and have taken the following steps:

  • All of our deliveries are carried our by our network of professional hauliers and is completely contactless.
  • Phone opening hours have been reduced to help keep up with the increased demand, Please email us and we will reply as qucikly as we can – info@tuin.co.uk
  • All of our office and admin staff are working from home utilising our cloud systems.
  • We have minimal warehouse staff in the UK and Holland operating with maximum distance between each other and with great care.
  • Our Show Areas and premises are now closed to the general public.
  • Delivery times are all displayed on the product pages, We’re doing our best to adhere to these times but with the increase is demand and struggling manpower sometimes things can be delayed
  • We are no longer offering installations as a company. We are recommending self employed installers who follow the strict guidelines.

Please contact us if you require any further information.

 

Gunda Log Cabin Timelapse

Our Gunda Log Cabin measures to 4m x 4m, the ideal size for a summerhouse. And it’s easy enough to install, once you have a level base ready- See this customer who sent in a timelapse of their install, attached with this was some build notes from them.

I thought I’d add some notes and thoughts to go with these photos, as it’s been such a great experience.

The Customers Garden Before

The ‘garden before’ pictures are the bottom of my garden, it’s a wasted horrible bit of garden.
I’d been a bit nervous about the delivery, knowing it was going to be a large truck coming up a narrow’ish road, and it was. A very big truck. But the driver was brilliant and it could not have gone better. He even turned the truck round with ease, no dramas as I’d feared.

The cabin was delivered bank holiday Monday, but we weren’t building until the following Saturday, so I hand balled all the parts down into the garden on the Thursday night, stacked them into logical piles on pallets and put tarpaulins over it all ready for Saturday.

Friday night was spent reading the instructions over and over, and watching Richards video on how to build the thing. I’d watched it at least 10 times before we built, and even a couple of times since to make sure I got it right (apart from the door!). I can’t go on enough about how useful all of Richards videos, articles and blogs have been. I’ve soaked it all up and re-watched some of them mid-way through the job just to double check things as we went along. We started building, 2 of us, at about 8.40 Saturday morning. In the afternoon we got the roof boards on, and you’ll see in the video, even my other half went up on the roof to get them coated (I used OSMO from Brewers, quite expensive, pity I didn’t find the voucher for Brewers on your website until this week).

Roofing was started on the Sunday afternoon, I spent Sunday morning stood looking at it not quite believing we’d got this far. It took Sunday afternoon to shingle one side of the roof, then I booked. Wednesday off to complete it all as bad weather was due last Thursday. I got the 2nd side and the ridge done by 4pm last Wednesday. And it belted it down all day on the Thursday and not a single leak. I did order some IKO Shingle Stick from another supplier (sorry) but glad I did – used it on all the ridge tiles and edges, plus any tiles that felt a bit loose.

The floor still needs fitting, but I’m stuck for time for a couple of weeks now with work, and I’m still kicking myself for getting that door frame wrong – and you can see it in the video. I can’t praise the support and service from you guys enough, plus the support page on the website and the quality of the product. I’m really pleased with it.


Timelapses are always soothing to watch, thank you to the customer who sent in this timelapse of their Gunda Log Cabin. Looking for some more Log Cabin inspiration? You can find more reviews like this at: Tuin Pictorial Customer Reviews.

Is the Gunda Log Cabin too big or too small for your garden? We have hundreds of Log Cabins in our range to choose from.

Garden Shade Inspiration

As we come to the end of January, you may start wishing for the sun to return. But when it does return, you need to be prepared for the hot sunny days where a shelter will be beneficial for your comfort and your health. This post will be filled with inspiration for your future garden shade area, perfect for outdoor dining or keeping the kids cool in the summer.

This post will also go in order depending on your DIY skills, so that the sun shade with the least DIY skills needed will be posted first and the one that requires the most skills will be last on the list.

Butterfly Arbour Shade

Perfect for your outdoor dining set, the Butterfly Arbour Shade will help provide some shade in your garden without it looking boring with it’s sleek and modern look.
Available in two sizes of 3m x 3m and 4m x 4m you can make sure you can fit all of the family under the neutral coloured shade, providing both comfort and UV protection to those under it.

Complete with powder coated steel poles and a fitting kit, you won’t need a lot of DIY skills to be able to assemble the Butterfly Arbour Shade. Although a drill and some smaller tools will be needed on site to be able to assemble the shade.

The Butterfly Arbour Shade is currently available with a 5 – 7 working day delivery window.

Garden Sail Shelter

A Garden Sail Shelter presents a contemporary way to create shade in the garden.
Available in two sizes as well as two colours, these man made woven sail shelters offer protection against harmful UV rays as well as being water, light and wind permeable. Each sail comes with a three year guarantee.

Depending on how you wish to install this sail shelter, the DIY skills needed to install the post structure for this shelter sail is generally higher than the Butterfly Arbour shown above. Attach this triangle shaped sail shelter to three poles for a modern garden centerpiece, alternatively attach one side to an existing structure and the third to a supporting post.

The Garden Sail Shelter is currently available with a 3 – 5 working day delivery window.

Sliding Garden Shade Awning

A Sliding Garden Shade Awning for your garden or patio. The shade canvas measures 3.0m x 5.0m. You can either buy this knitted synthetic canvas on it’s own to meet your own ideas or you can add various options such as fitting kits, closing system and a timber supporting structure in larch.
These sliding garden shade awnings provide much needed shade over your patio or dining area, of course when the sun is not too bright they can be fully opened. Available in sandy beige, ivory, white and silver grey- you can match the shade to your garden theme, whether it’s sleek and modern or a rustic setting.

Your DIY skills will need to be more developed with the Sliding Shade Awning depending on how you wish to install this, due to the fact that if you add the Larch supporting structure to your order you will need to cut to length according to the plans provided.

The Sliding Garden Shade Awning is currently available with a 3 – 5 working day delivery window.


These are just a few ideas on how you can provide some shade in your garden this summer, you can more products in our Awning and Shade Range. Including all of the products mentioned in this post, parasols and aluminium structures.

Or if you’re looking for something more heavy duty that can be used all year around, we also offer a range of Wooden Gazebos. We always have the best prices listed along with our FREE Roof Shingle Offer.

End Of Season Log Cabin Offer 2019

As we’re getting closer to winter, you may be aware that this time of year is the best time to buy a Log Cabin. And what is better than an already dropped price? Having an additional discount on the sale price.

Please note: Offer items are in a first come first served basis, make sure to read the product pages on our sale items to find out the quantity available.

While these items are listed in our Rummage Sale category, the ‘End Of Season’ items are in brand new condition. So, let’s take a closer look at just some of the products we have available in this offer.

Butterfly Arbour Shade

Be ready for next summer with our Butterfly Arbour Shade.

Moving away from Log Cabins, we also have two of our Butterfly Arbour Shades on this end of season offer- One of each size. While these aren’t suitable for use in the winter, you could be extra prepared for next summer- Enjoying time out in the garden while staying protected with this stylish UV solution.
One of each size available

Single Carport

Don’t let the rain and leaves ruin a newly cleaned vehicle.

The final product I will be showcasing on this post is our Single/Lean To Carport. The ideal product for this time of year, this single flat roof carport can be used as a lean-to or freestanding structure, allowing for use within a wide range of outdoor spaces. An economical alternative to a garage, this carport offers an effective way to protect one vehicle from the elements.
Two available

And these are just a few products on offer in our Rummage Sale category. Don’t forget that the products listed as part of our ‘End Of Season’ offer are brand new and in perfect condition.