8 Expert DIY Deck Building Tips

If you're looking to extend your home and add brilliant resale value at the same time, then adding an outdoor deck is one of the most effective home remodelling projects fit for the task. Decking is not only cost effective, but it provides additional entertainment space, it's a safe area for children to playand, best of all, it's easy to install yourself.  If you're thinking about adding a deck to your home, here are a few deck building tips to set you off on the right foot. 


  • 8 Deck Building Tips for DIY Enthusiasts 

You don't need to hire professional expertise to install this type of extension to your home. With some extra time, the right tools, and top-quality materials, DIY deck installation is very achievable on your own: 

  • 1. Choose the Right Decking Material

First thing's first, you need to find the right supplier and the best decking material for your particular environment. You also need to decide whether you want to build a deck with real wood timber or composite materials. Your budget will help you to make this decision. 

Composite decking is a little pricier. But despite this initial cost, you can save yourself money on cleaning, refinishing, and replacing decking boards throughout their lifetime. Some composite materials offer a 20-year warranty. Timber decking may be the more cost-effective option, but it requires a little more upkeep and maintenance

Here are a few popular composite material options to consider: 

Millboard Decking (Link to page)

This composite material is moulded from selected timbers and is coloured to match the authentic, natural tones of wood. It's made from wood-free polyurethane, combined with mineral stone. This makes for a unique resin product that is extremely durable, no matter the year-round weather.  

 Timco Composite Decking (link to page)

This is a popular alternative to natural timber decking as it looks the most similar to real wood fibre. These composite boards are easy to install, offer longevity, and stand up to all weather conditions. The ''M'' board is one of the most popular in the Timco range, made from eco-friendly materials, lighter in weight, with improved flexibility for installation.

Timber Decking 

If you prefer to keep things traditional, natural timber decking made from European redwood trees is a brilliant decking material. The wood is pre-treated to ensure it stands up to the elements. This redwood decking is preserved using Osmose Naturewood, which is a copper-based preservative. This ensures the wood is also protected from fungus, decay, and insects. 

  • 2. Check Whether You Need a Building Permit 

If your deck is over a certain height or size, you may require a building permit for your region. So, do some research on whether or not you need to secure a legal ''all-clear'' before you begin building. 

The last thing you need is to run into trouble when you want to sell your house and the beautiful deck you've built violates local building codes. 

  • 3. Decide on Deck Location and Design

Before you order your materials, you'll need to decide where your deck will be placed. Will it extend out from your back door, a second-story entrance or will it be freestanding? Once you've decided on the best location, think carefully about the design and layout.

If you want to get a rough idea of what your deck will look like, visit a home centre that offers deck design software. From here, you can draw up a plan for your design and layout and order your materials based on this. 

  • 4. Begin Your Deck Build with a Solid Base 

Regardless of whether your deck is going to extend directly from your backdoor, or a second-story floor, or be free-standing, it needs a solid base that meets all local building codes.  

Remember that deck footings must be installed properly and set in concrete. The depth of your deck footings depends on your location, but generally, they must extend below the frost line. 

  • 5. Always Install a Level Deck Ledger 

If your deck is going to extend directly from the level of your home, you need to install a level deck ledger. This is basically a large beam that is attached to the structure of your home. From here, the substructure of deck is then attached to this. 

A level deck ledger and footings are key components in installing a secure, level, and functional deck that won't jeopardize the safety of your family or friends. 

  • 6. Select and Place Your Decking Boards Carefully 

If you choose to go with timber decking boards, it's important to remember that natural wood comes with a level of imperfection. So, it's wise to choose the best quality boards and place them strategically throughout your build.

  • 7. Consider Your Fastener Choice

Your decking boards need to be securely held in place by something, and that's usually a fastener system comprised of nails, screws, or a hidden fastening option. You can buy these from MGM Timber when purchasing your decking boards.

If you're going for a more seamless look, opt fasteners that allow you to attach nails and screws from underneath your deck boards. Whichever fastening system you choose, make sure it's rated for outdoor use -- look for deck screws and nails in particular. 

  • 8. Remember the Importance of Board Spacing

This is a particular consideration if you choose to build your deck with timber boards. Time and the elements cause wood boards to move via contraction and expansion. This means you need to space your boards apart in order to make room for these movements. 

A good rule-of-thumb is to space your boards 3-5mm apart so that they can expand and contract without damaging the overall structure of your deck. Otherwise, you can also use specific deck board spacers when placing your boards. 


  • Order Beautiful Decking Boards with MGM Timber Today 


By following these deck building tips you could create an additional outdoor space that adds tremendous value to your home. If you're based in Scotland and looking for high-quality composite or timber decking, MGM Timber is the only supplier you need. 


We also offer a plethora of other materials for all your DIY home renovation needs. Explore our timber products here for more.


At MGM Timber, we work with a range of trusted suppliers and only purchase our timber decking products from PEFC and FSC chain-of-custody certified suppliers.