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Terrace Decking and Balustrade railings - Part raised over steep bank.

The decking construction images of this Dartford, Kent Decking project, show the engineering aspects of deck building.

This Dartford, Kent, decking project was constructed over a steep bank, and the cantilever effect created an 'unsupported' deck effect for maximum impact.

The deck was a large project, and allowed for stunning views from the deck over some fine Kent farmland near Dartford. Not to be confused with a DIY project!

The construction of the deck is outlined in the images below. These decking images are for information only and NOT a suggested sequence or suggested method for DIY projects. Decks like this should NOT be attempted by weekend DIY 'Experts'.

Large timber terrace deck. This decking project provided comfortable access to a stunning scenic panorama

Whilst the size alone is well beyond an amateur, the very construction of this deck - over a steep bank and with an extensive overhang - makes it a job for professionals only. 

    All images can be clicked for enlargement

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The base plate joist is prepared by fixing galvanised joist hangers for the 6x2in - 150x50mm deck frame. Once the joist hangers have been fixed, the base plate is secured into the ground, with supports placed along the full length of the decking frame to be.

These supports had to be well sunk into the ground and concreted in in order to combat the lateral force which would be exerted by this type of deck. there is very little downward force with this type design. The aim of the supports is primarily to stop the deck 'sliding' towards the bank over which it is to overhang.

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The sub frame for this deck is supported by a double ranked joist bearer - affixed either side of the supporting posts by way of 12mm galvanised bolts. The levels of the bearers was determined by placing temporary joists from the fixed base plate joist hangers out to and over the proposed deck frame bearers. Once the level was correct, then the bearers were bolted into place. Prior to this, the timber  bearers were clamped with professional quality steel clamps.

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Once the timber decking sub frame was secured, the newels were fixed. In this case to the inside of the deck frame end plate and adjacent to a joist for extra support. The newels were fixed using two M12 mm galvanised bolts after firstly clamping into position and adjusting as necessary.

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The decking then commenced, taking care to measure the distance out to the edge of the deck at every five or six boards. This ensures that the deck boards are being laid square and perfectly parallel. They will all then meet the newels with a uniform spread. In this case, it was decided to position the deckboards so that a rectangle would be cut out of the deckboard to be slid over the newels. This gave added stability to the newels and the handrails.

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Once decking of the overhanging section of the deck was complete, then the assembly of the balustrade handrails took place.

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The hand and bottom rails are cut individually to ensure a perfect fit to the newels. Spindles - size determined - were then screwed up through the bottom rail and into the spindles. So far invisible fixing. The top rail was then screwed down onto the fixed spindles. This shows screws in the top of the top rail, BUT, then a further hand top rail is screwed onto the top, and screwed from underneath after the balustrade has firstly been affixed to the newels. Invisible fixings, and a sturdy handrail section. Fixing the completed balustrade railings is done by screwing through the fixed end spindles, then down though at angle through the basic top rail, and up through at angle through the bottom rail. Then the extra toprail is screwed from below, to give the invisible fixing method.

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The completed job, with beautiful views over the Kent countryside and North Downs in particular.



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