So now the fun part starts – building stuff!
I always wanted a deck. I had some of the tools (two drills, one powered, one cordless), but it was time to get a power saw as I had a lot of cutting to do with this project. Bunnings was happy to oblige with a $59 special – welcome home 10″ compound mitre saw. After talking to the helpful staff at Bunnings, it was clear that I couldn’t float joists directly on top of the pavers. While they were treated pine, they would rot if they were to sit on damp or wet pavers. Most of the deck area was under cover, but a good chunk wasnt, so I had to work out a (Jill spec) way to separate the pavers and joists. So… tile separators are plastic, and cheap, and I figure they will do the job perfectly. So, I set about attaching a pair of tile separators (with a dob of No More Gaps) at about 200mm intervals, along the entire length of every joist. That will give the joist a steady footing (being a pair of them, not just one), and give a couple of millimetres clearance for air and water circulation. I trimmed all of the joists to lay a bed for the deck, allowing for a garden bed that will be built with Hebel blocks and rendered to match the fence. Then it was start trimming the deck boards ready to start fixing. Cut a master board first, cut the rest from that master so they are all identical. I attached the first full length board on the outside edge of the building, so that it was a perfect fit/gap to the wall, then it was a matter of finding the perfect spacings for the cut boards to be layed back towards the house. The recommended gap was 4-6mm. I ended up using 4 CD’s for a perfect 5mm gap. I had dozens of data CD’s from many years of backups. I was never going to use them again, I had all the important stuff on hard drives. Before fixing the boards on the outer section (in the weather), I removed the pavers between the joists to increase drainage and circulation for those joists that will be anywhere near actual rainfall. The last 4 outer boards I won’t fix until the garden walls have been built, as I will be making a bit of mess when rendering and painting those walls, but I have positioned the garden walls so they are the perfect gap to the last full width boards.