Shovels to prepare decking area

How to prepare your ground for decking

So you’ve chosen your decking and mapped out the perfect location for it, but before you rush into laying it, you need to make sure the ground is well prepared. Spending this time preparing the area where you wish to lay your decking will pay dividends in the long run.

How you prepare the ground will depend on the location of your decking and it is always a good idea to seek professional advice before starting your project. However, here are a few points to help you on your way:

Safety first

Safety is paramount, even if the composite decked area you’re installing is small. Ask a friend or family member for support and always wear the appropriate protective safety gear if necessary.

Preparing the ground for your decking

Firstly, mark out your decking using pegs and string. This will provide you with an accurate guide for when you start digging.

You need to make ensure there is nothing – grass, flowers, shrubs, weeds – underneath your decking before you lay it, so make sure you dig everything out. As you dig, use a spirit level to consistently check that the ground remains level – this is key to ensuring your new composite decking is flat.

Choose your support joists

Once you’ve prepared your ground, you need to decide what the frame of your composite decking is going to sit on. The two most popular options are timber or composite posts concreted into the ground or a concrete pad. Timber or composite posts are concreted into the ground and the framework is bolted on to them. A concrete pad is laid on to the ground with the framework sitting on top of a pedestal system.

If you’re fixing your composite decking framework to posts, it’s advisable to first cover the cleared ground with weed control fabric and then add a layer of gravel for additional protection.

If you choose to use a concrete pad, which will provide a more stable base, please seek professional advice before you start to lay them.

You are now ready to lay your new composite decking!

For further advice and guidance on how to prepare your outside space for new composite decking – or for any other decking questions – contact our friendly team of experts who will help you every step of the way.

Installation support