Step 1 - Prepare the plot

Plan out the size of deck. Use board widths to ensure a whole number of boards are used. Clear the plot of any grass, weeds or stones then lay weed-control fabric and cover with a layer of gravel.

Step 2 - Construct the frame

Cut four bearers and butt join them at the corners with wood screws to create the frame. Cut bearers into joists the width of the frame and attach at 400mm intervals using wood screws. Place the frame on the plot and raise with bricks until it is at the right height.

Step 3 - Secure with posts

Mark where each post will go and dig roughly 300mm³. Position a post, drill through the frame and post, then attach both with a nut and bolt. Saw the top of the post flush with the frame. Repeat for all posts. Fill the post holes with a postfix concrete mix and allow to set.

Step 4 - Attach the decking boards

Drill pilot holes into decking boards to reduce the risk of splitting, then attach to the joists using stainless steel or galvanized screws, leaving 5mm between each board to allow for expansion and ventilation.

Step 5 - Add a handrail

Cut a rebate about 20mm deep into the base of any newel posts and attach them to the frame using nuts and bolts. Cut the handrail to size and attach to the newel posts with wood screws. Use a piece of wood as a guide for the distance between spindles. Attach the spindles to the handrail, then check the distance again at the bottom before screwing in to ensure they are attached straight and evenly.

Step 6 - Add steps

If steps are required these can be added now. Attach the side supports to the frame with wood screws, then screw down the treads.

What you'll need