How to Lay Decking: A Step-by-Step Guide

How to Lay Decking: A Step-by-Step Guide

Summer is fast approaching, which means one thing for our backyards – outdoor entertaining. The best space to do this? A deck.

They’re an ideal way to finish off your outdoor space, creating a place to entertain your friends and family in the beautiful weather.

Whether you’re a DIY decking expert or have hired a construction professional to build your foundations and framework, you can easily lay your own decking in just a day. With the right information, products and some prior planning, you can save some money whilst enjoying the benefits of your own handiwork.

Imagine starting Saturday morning with a construction site and finishing it with a barbecue on your own brand-new deck that night.

Ready to build your deck? Let’s get started!

1. Grab your tools

Having your tools at the ready will make your work much easier. However, the toolkit you need for your job will depend on what decking boards you use.

For example, if you choose Modwood Decking you won’t require any special tools and can use conventional fasteners for fixing, including concealed options like KlevaKlip. If you choose timber decking, you might need to pick up some additional hardware like screws and pre-drilling and countersinking tools.

To make things easier for you, we’d recommend a power saw for cutting and an electric drill for fixing. A measuring tape, spirit level, and twine for setting out will also ensure your decking is installed evenly.

2. Choose your decking (composite or timber?)

There’s a great range of beautiful decking options available these days, from composite decking to timber. These all meet different requirements, so it’s important to choose the right one for your job.

Modwood Decking is composite decking that’s a top product for backyard decks. It has the warm look of wood and will last for years without the maintenance requirements.

It comes in a range of sizes, colours, and finishes – meaning we’ve got you covered for a diverse range of styles and designs.Importantly for your project, it’s easy to install, won’t splinter (so it’s great for kids and around pools), and doesn’t require any additional waterproofing or preparation.

Contact us and we’ll be happy to show you samples, so you can get a feel for what your deck will look like.

3. Site measure and set-out

Measure up the size of your deck framework to make sure you get the right quantity of materials for your job. Taking the time to do this will save you money and time, stopping those return visits to your supplier’s yard.

Make sure you check the width and length, considering any of your home’s features that you’ll have to work with.

Once this is done, you can confidently cut your decking boards to size if required. It’s suggested you only cut boards when you need a shorter length. This saves work for you and ensures the lengths are more likely to be consistent.

4. Position the first board

Now for the fun part – it’s time to lay your first board.

It’s important your first board is straight, as it is going to shape how the rest of your boards sit next to it. Check it’s true by using a spirit level to align a stringline with the outside edge of the deck’s frame.

5. Fix your decking board

Once your first board is straight, secure it to the joists.

Whether you fix the decking through its top or side will depend on what type of fastener you’ve opted for. Regardless, it’s important they are fixed in the centre of the joists, to ensure the decking boards remain secure.

If you use fasteners that are exposed, keep them in a straight line for maximum aesthetic appeal – you want your deck to look good.

6. Place and repeat

Congratulations – your first board is in!

Now it’s just a matter of repeating the above step until your deck’s framework is covered, ensuring there’s a 3-6mm gap (depending on the decking used) between each board to allow for expansion.

To keep the gap between your boards consistent and your deck looking amazing, you can use spacers or wedges. Another handy tip is to simply knock a nail into the joist next to each decking board, and then place the next board flush with the nail.

If you need multiple boards to cover the length of your deck, ensure the boards are placed so they abut or join up over a joist . Stagger these joins so that there’s not a straight gap that runs the length of your deck.

It’s also important to lay your boards in small groups, allowing you to make adjustments as you progress. To do this, check your decking is still straight every five or six boards, by using a spirit level and stringline.

7. Trim the ends

Once your decking has been laid and secured, cut any overhanging boards so that they sit approximately 20mm over the edge of the deck frame.

By cutting all the boards to size at the end, you’ll be able to ensure the finish is consistent.

8. Add finishes

To complete your deck, screen any parts of the exposed frame by attaching boards to the formwork. This will complement the decking you’ve chosen, and add some polish to your project, so that you can relish our final step.

9. Enjoy

You’re done. Deck installed. A few hour’s hard work, for years of outdoor enjoyment.

All that’s left to do now is kick-back, relax, and enjoy the fruits of your labour.

And, at the end of the day, if you’d rather skip to this last step, then reach out to our team and we’ll be able to supply the decking and help you organise a specialist to install it.


Get a Quote or Enquire

austim book

Download product range price list

What our clients say

Austim are a great partner and timber supplier. Our business is based on the East Coast of Australia and we partner with Austim for WA projects. We have had a long lasting and great working relationship with Austim for many years. Highly recommend them.
daniel wright
daniel wright
06:31 18 Jun 19
Austim is always the first place I try when I need timber and it’s rare that I can’t get what I need there. Stuart is a rare gem of a gent to deal with – quick to respond to any queries, full of good advice and goes out of his way to help get whatever project I’m working on happening to my schedule, even when all I need is a few sticks and a handful of fixings. Highly recommend Austim, the team and young Stuart.
Anni Lilford
Anni Lilford
00:51 16 Nov 18
Stuart went out of his way to make sure we got the product we wanted. He made suggestions on possible constructions and timbers suitable. Very knowledgeable friendly staff all around. Excellent experience, highly recommended.
Holger Butenschon
Holger Butenschon
05:14 22 May 18
Hi Ben,Just wanted to thankyou for your help and advice in our selection of the Millboard Vintage Oak decking also in you recommending Grant from Premier Hardwood Decking. Grant has just completed our decking and we couldn't have asked for a more professional, reliable and competent tradesman. The decking has been installed to a very high standard and the decking itself is stunning. Ian and Sue
susan smith
susan smith
06:27 08 Oct 18
I've used Austim on a few occasions for home projects like decking and pergola, etc and each time the response to my requests for price and delivery have been excellent, the deliveries took place as negotiated, the timber quality was great and value for money. The team at Austim do a great job and make dealing with Austim a breeze.
Michael Robinson
Michael Robinson
09:06 25 Oct 18
I have worked with Austim for around 8 years now and they are one of the best suppliers in perth to deal with. I would highly recommend to use them for any timber needs!!!
Art of Timber
Art of Timber
07:55 05 Mar 20
I had been looking for some cedar for my kayak project and had rung a couple of other places with no luck. When I contacted Austim they were very helpful, had the timber in stock and I was on my was in 20 minutes. The wood was very good quality and has really finished up beautifully. Thanks to Austim.
mark alderson
mark alderson
02:03 08 Apr 17
I"d like to thank Austim for there help in supplying me with material that firstly I thought I'd have trouble sourcing as it was marring up with originally 30 year old existing timber.My project was not a massive project but still needed the attention of an new build.The timber supplied by Austim was machined to size with absolute perfection, where I had to remove old pieces and replace with the new pieces they fitted perfectly.once the floors are re-sanded and varnished they will be back to there former glory. Thanks again to the staff at Austim.Regards Bob Heppenstall.I've just added a finished photo after the Floor Sanding was completed.Original timber was Tassie Oak, and the new is Vic Ash, as you can see there is only a slight variation in the final product.I hope this gives anyone thinking doing the same the confidence to proceed. Regards Bob Heppenstall.
Robert Heppenstall
Robert Heppenstall
10:05 12 Oct 18
Great service over phone and by email. Product supplied is high quality - no issues. Staff accommodating and friendly.
00:18 07 May 20
Good service with fair prices.
Colin Della Bosca
Colin Della Bosca
08:14 04 Jun 20
Great service and product.I struggled to find a bench top in the size and material I wanted, so was really happy when I found one with Austim.It came fully protected with wrap and was undamaged when I got it home.Thanks
Matt Harrison
Matt Harrison
06:29 08 May 23
Good selection, friendly staff, competitive pricing. Preferred over the 'hardware store'.You can hand pick if you need superior quality, Ben Price helped me with sorting through
Dirk Wachter
Dirk Wachter
03:59 12 May 23
Quick responses, timber prepared to request including cutting to Size. Easy pick up. Highly recommend.
Martyn Lethbridge
Martyn Lethbridge
06:42 05 May 23
We wanted Marri boards to make a bed - Austim provided beautiful planed and sized boards - at a good price - delivered on time......excellent service!
Mark Warren
Mark Warren
06:53 20 Aug 21

Austim Inspirations

Request Price List

“The timber quality is excellent, the price was competitive, the communication spot on and the delivery just right. Well done and thanks again”