Buying a decking kit

A few years ago, building a deck required a lot more measuring, cutting and general design work than is now the case. Most of the well known outlets now supply your deck in a kit form. The popularity of decks has also made them very competitively priced, and the overall quality of the wood supplied is in most cases fit for purpose. In general buying a deck and constructing it over a weekend is very achievable for anyone with a little bit of DIY know-how. So what are the best options, and where is the best place to buy? Well, it obviously depends a bit on size, but for me, the option below is my choice – Why? Well, the rest of this post will give you my reasoning…

best decking kit This deck is available on Amazon, and is incredibly good value for the money. Check lower down this post if you want make your own design, but if you’re looking for a simple, easy to assemble kit, then this one takes some beating.

How does the land lie?

If you’re looking to build something substantially raised, multi-level, or on sloping ground, then there is a lot more to it than simply screwing a few decking boards into some joists/bearers. In other words, you’ll need to get involved with digging holes for posts which can then be used to bolt on load bearing joists. Alternatively, if it’s on concrete you could use post supports rather than doing any more serious excavation work. The best advice in this area (although I am biased here), is in the Dorling Kindersley DIY book. However, if you need another good option these guys are fantastic (even though they’re not big decking fans!).

Level is just lovely

More extravagant options aside, if you want a simple deck out in your garden, then as long as either the grass area or concrete slab on which you want to position the deck is relatively level, then you really don’t need to worry about posts, concrete, blocks, loadbearing etc etc. – it just becomes a very simple construction job. Also, because manufacturers now provide them as kits, normally there is very little (if any) cutting involved. It just gets delivered in sections cut to size and you simply screw it together.

A few little extras, and precautions…

Industry standard thickness is around 28mm – don’t be tempted to go for thinner options. Boards will always be treated, but if you find a price too good to be true, just check that ‘treated’ is in the specification! Similarly, most decking boards have grooves which improve drainage. I prefer the deep grooved option as it is the most efficient for shedding water, but its really down to personal preference. There are 2 other things that I consider a must, and these won’t be supplied with the deck kit:-

  1. Even though the timber is treated, get it off the ground by laying slabs below the bearers.
  2. Lay a weedproof membrane under the deck if its on grass, just to prevent any further growth.
Please check out my ‘How to lay a deck guide’ for some further instruction on these points.

My choice

If you want to build your own kit as it were, and want to get some slabs delivered etc., then Wickes are a good option in terms of delivery of all these goods, and their decking is very well reviewed. All-in-one ready to go options with rails are always available at Screwfix. However, my choice is the no rails and no frills option – this deck is well priced, easy to assemble, and ticks all the boxes! Check it out by clicking on the Amazon link next to the photo at the top of the post.

If you enjoyed reading this, please check out some of my other buying guides by clicking here.

  1. Anonymous says:

    Very interesting and informative post. I have recently bought a nice reversible treated deck board from B&Q and I am quite surprised how resistant it seems to be. Your choice from focusdiy seems to be worth buying too by the look of it.

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