Installing a Deck Close to the Ground

Many Sydney properties require timber decking to be installed close to the ground. As a leading installer of timber decking in Sydney, here’s #1 Decks tips on installing a deck close to the ground.

It’s important to know that wood, while appearing hard, actually acts like a sponge, so timber will gain or lose moisture based on the conditions of the surrounding environment. Installing a deck close to the ground may radically shorten its lifespan if it comes into continual contact with moisture.

According to the Australian Standards all decks should be a minimum of 400 mm from the underside of the lowest timber to the ground.

Moisture & Ventilation

The importance on selecting timber for a low height deck is the lack of ventilation affects moisture under the deck. The more moisture the boards are exposed to from underneath, the higher the chance of expansion. This can cause the boards to cup or the gaps to close. Once the gaps close there is nowhere for the water to go which accelerates the rotting process and can shorten the lifespan of the boards. When boards cup, they can also lift up and snap the screws.

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Choose Wood With Less Movement

It is recommend to stay away from boards with high tangential shrinkage. Most woods fall in the range of about 6% to 10% tangential shrinkage, but the woods we use and recommend have less than 3%. These include Rosewood (2%), Pacific Teak (Vitex), (2.5%) and Merbau (2.5%).

You Have Only One Chance to Oil Underneath the Boards – Don’t Miss It

We also recommend pre-oiling the boards with an oil-based oil prior to installation to protect the boards from underneath, as they can never be oiled again (on the underside) once installed.

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Access for Termites and Maintenance

Usually there is no way to get access under a low height deck, so access and inspection panels should be installed to check for termites. All framing should be a minimum 25 mm off the wall and the top decking board 10 mm so the termites cannot cross over.

Subframe Drainage

It is important that the surface under low height decks do not pool or hold water. A proper Agline or drainage system should be installed prior to building the deck to ensure water will not be sitting underneath the deck. You can also visit our showroom at 4/29 Bay Rd, Taren Point

Interested in building an outdoor deck?

Call our office on 1300 65 44 78. We are one of Sydney’s leading installers of decking and have a heap of experience to advise you on the best timber, composite or new generation timber product that will suit your area. We work with all manner of properties and budgets.

You can also visit our showroom at 4/29 Bay Rd, Taren Point (click for map).


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