Decking by Handyman Assist
Design and build or even repair and maintain…
If you have any particular needs for your decking projects, Handyman Assist is sure to have a solution for you.
I would love to invest some of my time into you and your decking projects. But I would like you to understand that quoting is often a long and time consuming process. The time it takes to meet on site and prepare a fully itemised quote can easily accumulate to over half a day’s work. I will therefore thank you in advance for taking the time to read over this information before contacting me.
BEFORE YOU CALL
Think about the layout of your deck
Is it going to be practical and will it add value to your home? Don’t be afraid to get your tape measure out before calling me too. From here, I can help you develop your own ideas.
For your information, a practical size for a deck is anywhere from about 15 square metres upwards which provides a suitable space for a table, chairs and BBQ. An average deck is approximately 30 square metres.
Do you have a budget?
It may be frustrating to find that your dream deck is not within a realistic price range for you. But I can work with you to achieve a solution that fits your budget and leaves you with a finished product that is both practical and aesthetically pleasing.
Use your tape measure to plan the deck you would like and don’t forget to measure its height off the ground.
Sometimes I’m able to give you a fairly accurate quote over the phone using this information. This way, you’ll have a rough idea on whether your proposed decking is going to be within your budget or not.
Naturally, prices can vary greatly from project to project depending on height, size, shape, materials, site access etc. Please try to give as much information over the phone as possible.
Think about quality of the deck you are looking for.
Is this a short term fix to a long term plan? How much will you use it and for how long? Handyman Assist uses only the best materials available. My decks are constructed of treated hardwood and select grade Australian species decking boards. I only pilot drill and hand-nail our decking boards down and we do not use nail guns. I ensure that all of my decks are of the highest quality.
Look at plenty of photos
You can get some great ideas by looking at lots of photos. You can combine the balustrade from one deck with the roof of another deck to create the ideal decking solution for your project. If you have some ideas, mention these over the phone so that I can investigate some costs for you before I meet with you.
Do you have a time-frame?
The process of obtaining a written quote, drafting plans for certification followed by the certification process can take anywhere from a couple of weeks to a couple of months (worst case scenario).
Certification can sometimes be a long process due to reasons beyond my control. If you are looking at getting a deck done before Christmas, it’s best to call a few months earlier as most people are booked in by August / September for their pre-Christmas projects.
COMMON DECK REPAIRS
All decks, even those that are well maintained and protected from our harsh climate, will eventually need some deck repair work done. With many years experience, I can assure you that if you do not quickly make any repairs needed, the cost for the growing repairs will quickly escalate. Good deck repairs can keep a deck looking good. And last for a minimum of 10 plus years. Depending on the type of wood, the location of your deck and the quality of the original deck builder’s work.
Wood rot is one of the deck repairs that really does need to be addressed as quickly as possible. Common causes of wood rot is leaking gutters, water pooling on an uneven deck and railings and stairs where the seal has worn off.
Firstly the cause of the rot needs to be determined. If it’s a broken gutter for example this should be fixed first. Then all the rotten boards should be removed and replaced with new sealed boards. As the new boards will be a different colour to your aged timber deck. You’ll then need to re-stain the entire deck so that the boards blend in. Alternatively you can paint your deck. Painting a deck has both pros and cons.
Boards Faded in Colour
Over time if not regularly maintained the timber boards of even covered decks will fade usually into a gray colour as it ages (all timbers ‘silver’ over time). To revitalise your deck you could try cleaning it and if that is not sufficient you may consider sanding the boards to expose the natural timber underneath. Obviously whether your clean or sand your boards you will need to seal them again to re-protect them. There is also again the option of painting your deck.
Cracked or Warped Boards
Cracked or warped deck boards need to be removed and replaced. If most of your deck is sound then replacing a couple of deck boards is an easy fix. The fastening of the boards need to be removed and then the boards themselves lifted and an exact replacement cut. The boards should then be either screwed or nailed in place. Naturally one then needs to stain and seal the replacement boards trying to match them in as close as possible to the existing boards.
Protruding nails are a hazard and should be removed or re-inserted into the timber. It is often quicker in the long run to remove a protruding nail and replace it with a screw than to hammer down the nail to only find it soon protrudes again. If you want to keep uniformity of fasteners then you can replace the nail with a new one of similar size or longer.
If you have a decking board that has many protruding nails and has not weathered all that well, it may be a good solution to remove all the fasteners, lift out the boards and then replace it back, turning it over with the underside of the board now showing on top of the deck. This will only work though if the underside of the board isn’t ribbed.
CARING FOR A DECK IN QUEENSLAND
How to Care for your Deck
The harsh elements in Queensland – heavy rain, strong sun and humidity can really destroy a deck if you don’t look after it. It will take some years (especially if you use hardwoods) but totally neglecting your deck is really not a good idea. Here’s a little advice on caring for a deck to give it longevity and maintain it’s aesthetic appearance.
Use and Maintain a Protective Surface
There are two things that are most important in caring for a deck in Queensland. The first is to regularly maintain the protective surface that you put on your deck whether it be oil, varnish or paint. If this is not done regularly your boards will dry out, crack and splinter and/or start to rot depending on where your deck is located.
Add a Deck Roof
The second most important factor in caring for a deck in Queensland is to have a roof over your deck. A covered deck will last much longer than one that is open to the elements. You will also have to do less maintenance if you have a deck roof. Also you may get a lot more use out of a covered deck as it will be shaded and much cooler as well.
Keep your Deck Clean
The longer you leave marks on your deck the harder they will be to remove. There are many ways that your deck can be marked including dirty feet or shoes, dirty pet paws, food and liquid spills and wet organic matter such as leaves.
Caring for a deck should include regular cleaning. This involves firstly regular sweeping or vacuuming with a soft brush/attachment and regular mopping. However do not use general household cleaners, a pH neutral floor cleaner is best – and follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Take care to ensure that your decking boards do not become slippery as a result of the cleaning process as this presents obvious dangers. Please do not use methylated spirits and kerosene on your decking boards.
There are several ways that decking timber can be scratched. One of the most common is to have furniture that is dragged across the deck. The solution is quite simple – always attach the small carpet squares like you are most likely using on your indoor furniture if you have wooden floor. You can buy a variety of different carpet squares (or circles) at Bunnings or on the net if that is the way that you prefer to shop.
Another way that timber decking boards are scratched is from pets. If your dog has long nails these can scratch your deck, particularly if your pet plays on the deck. A regular visit to your local vet to keep his/her claws clipped and trimmed will solve this problem. If you regularly walk your dog you may find that this is not an issue as their claws are blunted through the regular walking on hard surfaces.
High heels can cause dents in your timber depending upon what decking boards you have. Ideally if you have a softwood deck you shouldn’t allow high heels (especially stilletto) to be worn on the deck. Otherwise well situated rugs can help alleviate this problem.
Pot Plant Problems
A deck with well established plants in pots is always more attractive however pots can severely damage your deck. Caring for a deck with pot plants includes having a tray underneath each pot and also under the tray having a stand. If you have just the tray and no stand there will be no airflow and a tray filled with water will mark your deck. If you don’t use a tray at all then more than likely you will have dirty water flowing out the bottom of your pot onto your deck.
It is a good idea to use pot plant stands that are on wheels, particularly if you have large heavy pots with big plants in them. Having them on wheels makes it so much easier to move them around – for a change or to protect them from the summer UV rays.
Decking by Handyman Assist…
These articles on decking in Queensland were written by Localad Services. Handyman Assist are deck builders that take immense pride in our work. If you are planning an new deck or need substantial repairs to an existing deck, please feel free to contact us. Or for an obligation free quote, see below 🙂
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