More in Outdoors
You can save a lot of labor costs by doing demolition and debris removal yourself, but it can be tougher than it looks. Be careful not to make costly mistakes that damage the structure of your home. For this project, we disassembled the old deck using a sledgehammer and pry bar. Be sure to wear proper safety gear when doing demolition work.
The deck framing is made of pressure-treated lumber, which will last for over 40 years. Once the framing is in place, attach the deck boards to the framing with screws (Image 1). Use a speed square to ensure even gaps between the boards to allow for drainage (Image 2). Composite decking is about twice the cost of cedar but requires minimal maintenance and is very durable. Be sure to make your deck large enough to accommodate your needs in terms of family, entertaining and outdoor activities.
Class V (class 5) gravel forms the base for the walkway and patio. Pour the gravel in the areas of the walkway and tamp it down. The layer of gravel should be about six inches thick. In cold climates, it is important to use class V (class 5) gravel because it will create stability during periods of freezing and thawing.
For the patio, the first stones you put down are the most important, so as you begin laying the first stones, be sure that they are square or the overall pattern will be thrown off. By mixing a few different colors of manmade stone, you will get a more natural look to the finished patio.