Ayden and Jess used stringybark decking on Reno Rumble earlier this year.
Ayden and Jess used stringybark decking on Reno Rumble earlier this year. Photos Contributed

DIY: You can redeckorate

WHAT a week!

Halloween, Melbourne Cup, staking out our build and the grand opening of the new RSL prize home right on the beach on the Gold Coast, which Jess and I helped style and create.

Yes, you read correctly - we are finally getting started on our build. After four months planning we are now ready to do our first cut into the ground, followed by 67 concrete piers and plumbing, hopefully all before Christmas.

We had hoped to also have all our footings concreted in as well to give us a great start next year, but it doesn't look like that is achieveable.

Sometimes I wish we were building on The Block or Reno Rumble as things just get done.

I don't know how our new neighbours would feel though if we worked 24 hours a day for four months. I also think we would probably double the cost. Imagine getting a quote from your tradies to work 24 hours a day, seven days a week?

That's why it was doubly important to find great tradies. Jess and I always knew we would complete our rooms each week because our tradies had our backs.

Today, we show you how to re-lay your decking - you'll be amazed at the difference it can make.

Step 1: Measure Up

We need to work out how many metres of decking you are going to need. Using a tape measure simply measure the length of your deck and multiply that by how many planks are down and that's your lineal metre (L/M).

Step 2: Prepping

This looks like a really daunting task but once you get a rhythm going, ripping up the old decking is actually quite fun. Use your hammer to tap your crowbar between the decking and your joists. (Your joists are the large timbers holding your deck up). Now using your hammer or the claw end of your crowbar, pull out all the stubborn nails that stayed in the joists. For the really tough ones you can grind them off or simply knock them in using your hammer.

Step 3: Cutting and Fixing

It is a lot easier to nail and cut as you go, especially if you're re-decking by yourself. Starting at one end place your timber down on to the joists and see where it ends. It has to end halfway over a joist so you can join the next piece. If it doesn't, using a pencil and tape, mark the centre of the next joist down. Now using a handsaw or dropsaw, cut your decking to length. Repeat this until you reach the end of your deck. Your first off-cut is now the first piece on the next run, which can be started at the opposite end from the first run. But before starting the second run, nail your first run off using a nail gun and galvanised nails. Alternatively you can hand nail - Jess and I have hand nailed our first deck and it wasn't the quickest and you could say a few barnies might have happened throughout the day. If you pre-drill all the nails it makes it a lot easier, so do yourself a favour and hire a nail gun. There are a lot of products on the market and different ways to fix your decking, such as screws or hidden fixing. However, nailing is the cheapest. Now you can start your next run. This time we are going to hold a 6mm builder's packer between the two runs of decking - this gives you your gap. Keep going until it's all covered in brand new, beautiful decking. For a better finish try and scatter your joins so they are away from each other.

Step 4: Stain

We love clear stain as the timber should be the beauty, not the stain. But if you can't source the right timber or budget is a constraint, drop in to your local hardware store and check out their samples and application of your preferred stain.

Tip: On the grand final of Reno Rumble we used stringybark decking and it looked amazing. For the build of our home, we are using tallowwood decking - not only because it's Jess's favourite timber, but its durability is unbelievable. I think it will outlast us, which means I'm only going to deck our deck once.


 Tape measure  


 Handsaw or dropsaw  

 3mm drill bit  





 Decking of your choice  

 50mm annular groove decking nails  


 Pack of 6mm builder packers.

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