light grey composite decking

How to prepare your ground for decking

You’ve decided to create a composite deck haven outside your home. You’ve chosen the perfect location and selected a stylish colour and finish. However, before you rush into laying your new composite decking, 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 need to prepare 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.

Once you have prepared your ground, you need to decide what surface the framework of your composite decking is going to sit on. The two most popular options are 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 are fixing your composite decking framework to concrete posts, it is 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.