Guide - Attaching decking boards : Hirepool

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Guide - Attaching decking boards

There’s nothing like enjoying a BBQ on your deck with your family or friends for company. To ensure your deck is stable and lasts for a long time, attaching the decking boards is a crucial step in doing so. This step is done right after the rim joists and interior joists have been installed so that the decking boards can be attached securely and safely. 


Equipment needed for the job

The only equipment you’ll need for this step is a saw for cutting the decking board; either a circular saw or a compound sliding saw, a hammer or nailgun and galvanised nails. If you’re not sure what type of saw or nailgun you need, feel free to visit any Hirepool branch and ask any one of our friendly staff for help and we’ll be able to assist you on what one to get. 

A nailgun will drastically speed up your decking job and all the hammering involved. Don’t have a nail gun? No problem, Hirepool have a couple of options available for hire, but the best option for decking is a gas nailer. For constructing timber framing, such as wall framing, fencing, pallets or decking, this gas powered nail gun is suitable for use  up to 90mm timber framing. 

A circular saw or a compound sliding saw are the best options for cutting the decking boards, as you’ll be able to do it much easier and you’ll likely get a far more clean and precise cut with these saws than if you were to use a regular manual saw. We understand that not everyone has a circular saw lying around at home, and it can be quite an expensive piece of equipment to buy, which is why Hirepool offers two different types of circular saws for hire. Both options are 175-200mm circular saws, but one of them is a cordless circular saw while the other is a corded circular saw. A compound sliding saw is larger and makes lining up and cutting decking boards at a straight line or angled line a breeze. 

Steps for attaching decking boards 


Stage 1: Cutting the decking to size

To determine the size of each decking board and how many decking boards you’ll need, you’ll need to measure the deck frame first, from the outside edge of one joist to the centre of another to allow for the next board to sit on the same joist. 

  • To start off with, cut the first two deck boards to this length and then cut off the length of any overhang from the board that will be laid next to the house. 

  • You can leave the other boards with an overhang as it’s easier to cut those boards at the end, after the decking boards have been attached. To do this, you need to adjust the cutting depth of the saw, position the saw, and then activate it by pulling the trigger. 

  • Push the saw slowly through the two boards, while holding on to them with your other hand for support. Guide the saw through until the boards are fully cut. 


Stage 2: Pre-drill all of the boards

It’s always worthwhile to pre-drill all of your boards at the end of each board, otherwise, the timber can split from the pressure if you drill them when they’ve already been laid down. 

  • If you’re not too comfortable with using a drill, don’t fret, it’s easy enough when you’ve got the hang of it - just go slow. 

  • Come in at approximately 20mm from each end and grab the drill with a firm hand and drill slightly into the decking board to create a pilot hole. 

  • Then when you’re ready, return the drill into the pilot hole and apply steady pressure with the drill until the hole is made. 


Stage 3: Lay down your first decking board

It’s generally better to lay down each board one at a time and nail them down as you go, starting from the outer edge and working your way into towards the house. It's common for there to be obstructions on the house or for the house to not even be straight! the last board going against the house means you can cut your board around any obstructions and finish with a tight fit against the house. It's also less noticeable on the house side than if only half a board fits to the edge of the deck.

  • Start by laying down your first decking board on the outside edge of your deck ensuring it is level and straight. 

  • To ensure that your first decking board is straight, you should nail the frame that the edge of the decking board is attached to and run a string line to the other end of the decking board. 

  • Once you’re sure that the board is straight, you can start attaching the board using two nails. A nailgun will speed this up and save you loads of effort. 


Stage 4: Secure the rest of the boards

Now you can set about securing the rest of the decking boards - just lay them out in a way that avoids boards being all attached to the same joists as this can look a bit strange and is less sturdy. 

  • To help set the boards apart, you can place a nail in between each board on the ends to add a gap, which will allow water to run through in the occasion of it raining or gets wet. 

  • A crucial step in this is to secure the decking boards with two nails at each joist so that each decking board is firmly secured at each joist, using a framing nail gun. 

  • To do this, press the nailer into the board, depress the safety tip and then pull the trigger to shoot the nail into the wood. 

Ok great, I’m ready to give this a go.

We’ve got the equipment you’ll need for attaching your decking boards. Head over to our Equipment Hire section or get in touch with your local Hirepool branch.


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