Published: 12th February 2013
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This sun deck we made was an addition to a sun deck we carried out last year. This client originally made a 20 odd square metre deck off the front of his granny flat. It was then decided to extend the sun deck around the corner to tie up with the kitchen door.

We wanted to establish which way the deck boards must run. Historically they should have run the length of the deck add-on, but due to the way the present sundeck had been developed, it would have resulted in an odd line that would have been visually unappealing. Had the extension been constructed at precisely the same time as the deck then the deckboards could have met at a 45degree angle to turn this corner. Instead they'd ought to either meet at a 90° angle or they would need to run the same way (i.e. the width of the sun deck instead of the length). It was decided to run them the same way as the existing sun deck resulting in them running the width of the deck rather than the length.

With this in mind we set out to lay the substructure which consisted of lengthy joists of approximately 9.2m. The width of the sundeck was 1.2m so we placed a couple of joists plus a cleat along the wall. The challenge in setting these types of lengthy joists of course is always to be certain that they are placed straight. Our joists ended up being each 4.5m long so needed to be joined at the middle with out permitting them to bend or bow in the joint. It was simpler to connect the joists beforehand, set a false deck board of pine to hold them at their 1.2m width and then dig our holes for posts. We utilized H4 CCA gum poles as posts as they would not be visible from the out side and finances didn't allow for balau posts. The poles were half checked to accept the joists, fixed to the joists by using kalgard 60mm screws and concreted in with six inch nails hammered in the base to stop the post from sinking through time. A dry mix was used so as to have the ability to work with the post and joist right away after setting them.

There was a concrete gas bottle plinth that was not decked and we needed to deck all-around that and fill the vertical surfaces with wooden cladding for aesthetics. In addition the plinth that existed straight outside the kitchen door was a bit higher than we would have liked and as such we couldn't use our 30 x 102 joist and needed to utilize a 30mm baton to arrive at exactly the same height as the rest of our joists.

Once the substructure was down it was pretty plain sailing as our rough pre-cut balau deckboards were screwed down. We intentionally left them a bit extended and right after they were all down, snapped a chalk line alongside this edge and cut with a skill saw to get a straight line.

We cladded a few ends to close it all in, epoxied our screw holes to prevent water collecting in them and being soaked up by the end grain. Once dry we sanded flat and sealed using a top quality timber preservative with an oak tint.

A few pot plant stands were thrown in from the scrap off cuts which will now keep the pot plants off the deck and allow the water to drain away quickly and prevent accelerated degradation of the balau.

10m² took us 2 days to complete. The crew received a nice bonus based on square meterage and it was off to the next job.


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