Installing a decking board seems to be a daunting task to many but, once I know all the precautions to take, installation becomes quite a fun task. This article will discuss some tips for installing deck boards which will help you avoid some rookie mistakes like uneven gaps, raised or missing screw heads, cracked or split deck boards, raised or missing screw heads etc. Let us take a look at the tips:


  • Dry run and stagger the boards
    Try to dry run your boards by laying them separately on the ground before attaching them to the frame. Also, it is recommended to stagger the joints in case your deck dimensions are larger than your decking board while laying them down. Staggered boards improve the overall look and stability of the decks.


  • Give appropriate space
    It is essential to give appropriate space between the decking boards to prevent drainage and warping. Usually, the builders use a “sixteen penny” nail in between the boards before attaching them to create the space. You can also use a strip of plywood between the boards to create a space. It is better to use plywood on the longer boards as it allows you to increase the gap.


  • Select the first board wisely
    Select the straightest board as your first decking board as it goes right up against the house. Simply cut it to the length and slide it up against the house about 1/8” away from the siding for allowing the easy drainage. After fixing the first board, proceed with the process further.
  • Use double joists
    Irrespective of the size of the deck boards, they should be fastened on top of the double joists to give enough nailing edge on each decking board where they are to be butted. It needs proper pre-planning to install double joists as you need to know the boards butting point and have the joists installed before nailing the decking boards.  
  • Keep the bark side up
    It is crucial to keep the bark side of the board up irrespective of the nails you use. Boards have the tendency to cup away from the bard side, which enables the water to run off the boards.
  • Cut clean edges on board
    Once you have all your deck boards at a place, measure them and cut off ends that extend over the edge by marking it with chalk and a circular saw. Try to cut all the decking boards in one step only to get a symmetrical shape. You may need a hand saw in some areas and corners.
  • Pre-drill the boards
    It is recommended to pre-drill the ends of the boards to avoid splitting on the intersection of joists and decking board.
  • Avoid nailing the deck boards
    Between screws and nails, nails should be avoided to fix the deck boards. The reason behind choosing screws over nails is that the screws tend to be more secure than nails. They hold the deck boards intact when the boards expand and contract with the changing seasons. Just keep in mind to use the actual deck screws to keep the deck boards in place for a more extended period of time.
  • Select the last board
    When you are nearly done fixing the deck boards and are 6-10 feet from the edge, then check the distance from the edge. Divide the distance by the width of the decking boards plus 1/8”. This measurement will help you finish the decking with one full-width board.  





With these quick and short tips, we hope your decking experience turns into a fun time activity.