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Spotted Gum Deck - First Time Builder

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  1. #1
    Apprentice (new member) flyingbanana's Avatar
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    Default Spotted Gum Deck - First Time Builder

    First off a big thanks to all the regular contributors here, this forum has been a valuable source of advice and info in planning and building my first deck project. Thought it was about time to sign up and say thanks and also see if anyone can help with a few queries I've got for the last bit of construction.

    Have finished the frame and about to start laying the boards, deck details:

    Deck size 5000(l)x4200(w)
    Pryda gal stirrups set in concrete footings 300(dia)x600(depth)
    Bearers 2/140x45, continuous span 1500mm post spacing, 1400mm bearer spacing
    Joists 90x45 @ 400mm spacing, secured with Pryda joist straps
    All frame F7 seasoned Treated Pine
    Deck Boards 130x19 Spotted Gum kiln dried
    10Gx65mm 306 stainless decking screws (Using Smart-Bit 10g drill/countersink tool)

    I'm fairly happy with laying the boards, straightening bows, keeping the boards square to the house, board spacing etc.

    Few questions someone might be able to help with;

    2 or 3 screws per board/joist joint? With wide 130mm boards I'm more inclined to go with 3.
    Is it better to stagger screws to prevent joist splitting or should I be OK doing them in a nice neat line down the centre of the joist?
    Once the boards are all down I was told by the timber place there is no need to leave the deck to age as with Merbau, they reckoned with Spotted Gum it is better to get it oiled sooner rather than later. Any thoughts on whether it should be left for a while before oiling?
    There are a few boards which will probably need a light sand to remove some rough areas but in general the majority of the boards are nice and straight, nicely finished and good quality timber.
    Does it matter which way up the boards are laid? Have had several people telling me it is best to lay either bark side up or bark side down, others say it doesn't matter.
    Would it be best to follow utemad's cleaning guide and give the new boards a clean before their first oiling?
    Looking at using Feast's 'natural' oil as it seems to be well regarded by those in the know.

    Hopefully some photos of the current progress will appear below, thanks again to everyone for all the advice and info on this forum

    dscf1169.jpg

    dscf1170.jpg

    dscf1171.jpg

    dscf1165.jpg

  2. #2
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    Are the outside bearer stirrups bolted down? They look like they are just sitting on dirt. (I hope it is a concrete footing)

    2 or 3 screws per board/joist joint? With wide 130mm boards I'm more inclined to go with 3.
    I have used 2 per 140 wide merbau in an exposed area without issue. Cups up and a third would have made no difference

    Is it better to stagger screws to prevent joist splitting or should I be OK doing them in a nice neat line down the centre of the joist?
    I like the nice straight line. I don't think many stagger the screws. I did on one deck and it looks a bit messy.

    Once the boards are all down I was told by the timber place there is no need to leave the deck to age as with Merbau, they reckoned with Spotted Gum it is better to get it oiled sooner rather than later. Any thoughts on whether it should be left for a while before oiling?
    Read the sticky at the top of the decking forum about cleaning. Merbau has heaps of tannin and cleaning it removes most and lets you oil straight away.. Spotted gum doesn't and a quick clean would be enough.
    There are a few boards which will probably need a light sand to remove some rough areas but in general the majority of the boards are nice and straight, nicely finished and good quality timber.
    Does it matter which way up the boards are laid? Have had several people telling me it is best to lay either bark side up or bark side down, others say it doesn't matter.
    Don't really know
    Would it be best to follow utemad's cleaning guide and give the new boards a clean before their first oiling?
    YES
    Looking at using Feast's 'natural' oil as it seems to be well regarded by those in the know.
    Haven't used Feasts, except for their furniture oil. I used Cabot's.decking and lasted as long as the Feast oil on the bench

  3. #3
    Apprentice (new member) flyingbanana's Avatar
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    Thanks bpj, yes the outside stirrups are bolted down, there is a 1.5m deep 600mm wide concrete strip footing for the outside area roof extension and all the outer stirrups are bolted down with 10mmx100mm dynabolts and are all nice and tight in the concrete.

  4. #4
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    G'day flyingbanana,

    Re the staggering - I looked long and hard at this when I did my last outdoor structure. Basically it used to be done with hardwoods to stop the joist splitting - with treated pine the grain is less dense and the splitting is less of an issue, especially if you pre-drill. And as bpj1968 says, its much neater to have the screws in a straight line.

    Deck looking good so far.

    Cheers,
    Adam

  5. #5
    Old Chippy 6K
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chumley View Post
    G'day flyingbanana,

    Re the staggering - I looked long and hard at this when I did my last outdoor structure. Basically it used to be done with hardwoods to stop the joist splitting - with treated pine the grain is less dense and the splitting is less of an issue, especially if you pre-drill. And as bpj1968 says, its much neater to have the screws in a straight line.

    Deck looking good so far.

    Cheers,
    Adam
    Advice from me on this forum is general and for guidance based on information given by the member posing the question. Not to be used in place of professional advice from people appropriately qualified in the relevant field. All structural work must be approved and constructed to the BCA or other relevant standards by suitably licensed persons. The person doing the work and reading my advice accepts responsibility for ensuring the work done accords with the applicable law.

  6. #6
    Apprentice (new member) flyingbanana's Avatar
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    Thanks guys, advice much appreciated

  7. #7
    Apprentice (new member) flyingbanana's Avatar
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    Finally finished 'the project', deck all sanded and cleaned, all that's left is to oil it when we get a dry day next week hopefully. Once again a big thanks to everyone who offered advice and has posted info on here, it made the whole thing so much easier to complete with no dramas.

    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails dscf1196.jpg   dscf1197.jpg   dscf1198.jpg  

  8. #8
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    deck looks great! can't see clearly enough from the photos,just wondering did you leave any room for expansion??

  9. #9
    Apprentice (new member) flyingbanana's Avatar
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    Yes I left a 7mm gap at all edges where the deck meets brickwork. Looks a bit closer at the bottom of the pic as the bricks on the corner lean out to match the step but it is a constant gap, just the angle I took the photo.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails dscf1188.jpg  

  10. #10
    Old Chippy 6K
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    Great deck!
    Advice from me on this forum is general and for guidance based on information given by the member posing the question. Not to be used in place of professional advice from people appropriately qualified in the relevant field. All structural work must be approved and constructed to the BCA or other relevant standards by suitably licensed persons. The person doing the work and reading my advice accepts responsibility for ensuring the work done accords with the applicable law.

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