Building a deck with any deck pattern is one way to give character to your outside living space. The choice of patterns is all dependent upon how much time and money you want to spend, but a simple diagonal pattern is a very attractive option for sprucing up an otherwise ordinary deck. Follow the simple steps below to plan and create a diagonal pattern for your deck.
This is just a basic list. Depending on the complexity of the work, many other tools can be very helpful when doing a project of this type. For best results, do lots of research and get a good idea of what you are getting into. In any case, if a job seems to be too difficult, always call a professional.
Step 1: Preparation
When doing a pattern, as opposed to the traditional deck layout, you must take care when designing and measuring for the project material. Regular decks usually have a straightforward parallel deck board layout - which eases the installation, but patterns increase waste and preparation time.
Step 2: Measuring
Figure out the square footage of your deck surface, and add at least 15 percent for waste. Most diagonals are laid out on a 45-degree angle, so start with the longest board and try to work out your materials list so that you have the least amount of waste possible.
Step 3: Layout
As above, you will want to start with the longest board and work your way out from that point. When calculating your layout, try to reduce the number of butt joints you have. Two boards coming together at their ends is not as pleasing to the eye as a full-length board. You must also make sure that all board ends are supported by framing.
Step 4: Other Considerations
Be sure that your deck is free from nails and other debris. Use a pry bar or a powered drill/driver to remove old decking. In some instances, temporary handrail demolition can ease the new deck board installation.
Step 5: Installing the Decking
Once you have prepped your deck and gathered your materials, you can begin to install your new decking. As previously noted, it is best to begin with your longest board and work your way out from there. Start by making a reference line at the correct angle using a chalk line as a visible marker, keeping in mind that 45 degrees are the most prevalent angle. Lay down your first board along this line, and secure with screws or nails. Be sure that your fasteners are galvanized or otherwise suitable for exterior use.
Use a 16 penny nail to set the width of space between each board, and re-check your angle after 4 or 5 boards are set to be sure that you are correct in your layout. Cut each board individually, and use the cut-offs for smaller fill-in pieces as your lengths decrease. Continue this process until you have completed the entire deck surface.