How to Install Composite Decking

Are you planning to build a lovely deck in your backyard or garden? Sure, a deck will increase the worth of your property and its curb appeal. But to achieve the desired result, you have to install your deck the right way. Getting started with composite decking installation can be a daunting task for beginners, but with due diligence and planning, it can be done. This article explains how to install composite decking. 

Installing Your Composite Decking, How To

Installing a composite deck can be a bittersweet experience, depending on your experience. If you know how to build decking, that is a plus for you. But if you are an amateur, it will take a while to master how to build your decking. 

This article assumes that you don’t know what it takes to plan your decking installation. While it provides advice on the steps to build composite decking, it doesn’t explain the various calculations involved in cutting the frame and determining how many deck boards you need. 

Also, the advice provided in the article is not sufficient for an amateur to build a deck. We recommend that you hire a decking installer to help you construct your composite decking.  So, let’s get started. 

Getting Started with Composite Decking Installation
  1. Plan Your Composite Decking

The first thing to do when installing your composite decking is to plan it. Planning your deck involves drawing the design, choosing the location you want to build the deck, and the type of boards to use. Where do you want to build your deck? 

Most people build their composite decking in the backyard of their homes. This is the right spot to relax in the evening after a day of hard work. Do you want a deck on your veranda? You should measure where you want to install the deck to know the total areas it will occupy in square feet or meters. 

The design you choose matters. Do you want elevated decking? Elevated composite decks are a little more difficult to build than flush or floating decks. You must plan where to build the decking if you must get it right. 

  1. Get the Materials Ready

After planning your composite decking before installation, you must prepare all the materials. Materials you will need to build a deck are composite boards, circular saws, clips and fasteners, wooden or composite joists, screws, nails, a drilling machine, fascia boards, measuring tape, markers, wood posts, a book, and a pen. You will also need the helping hands of your friends or adult children when building your decking because you can do it alone. 

  1. Build the Frame

You can’t lay your deck on the ground. You must build a frame to support the deck and lift it off the ground’s surface. Building composite decking joists is one of the hardest parts of a deck. 

composite decking joists installation

You have to get it right at this stage if you want a leveled decking and if you want something that will last longer. If you are building a floating deck, you only need stones or concrete slabs to lift the frame from that ground. 

But if you want elevated composite decking, you must fix posts at different places where you want to install your decking. The posts will support the deck and keep it off the ground. Build your frame by attaching wooden or composite planks to the posts. 

After building the outer frame, you can attach other planks for the inner frame. Note that you will find this part difficult if you are not an expert. So, it is recommended to hire a decking installer. 

  1. Lay the Composite Boards
laying the composite decking boards

After building the joists, the next thing is to lay the boards. Start from the edge and use starter clips to fix the boards to the joists. Use intermediate clips to install the remaining deck boards. To make your decking attractive, you should cover the edges with fascia boards. 

Simple, erh! Oh, no, but it isn’t. The best way to install your composite decking is to hire an installer to do the job. But how much will an installer charge? Read our FAQ section below. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Can You Fit Composite Decking Yourself?

While most suppliers will tell you that you can install composite decking yourself, the reality is that it is not easy. You must have experience working with wood and building structures before you can install your composite decking yourself. 

Is Composite Decking Easy to Install?

For experts, yes. But for an amateur, no. Composite decking requires careful planning if you want to get it right. If you have experience building a deck, you can go ahead and install your deck. But if you don’t, you have to hire an installer. 

How Much Does It Cost to Hire Composite Decking Installer?

The amount it costs to hire a composite decking installer can range from $10 to $20 per square foot depending on the installer and the season of the year. 

Do You Leave Gaps Between Composite Decking?

When installing composite decking, you have to leave a space between two decking boards to prevent warping or sagging when the decking expands as a result of heat. Make sure to leave a 1/4-inch to 3/16-inch gap between the decking boards (don’t exceed 1/2 inch).
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