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Finished Bearer all marked out and ready


Bearers carry the weight of the entire deck, so it’s important to install them correctly. Check out our step-by-step guide on how to install bearers.;

Safety tip: Always wear the appropriate safety equipment (safety glasses, ear muffs and a mask, for example) and always follow the instructions for the product or equipment.


1Mark and cut the stumps

First, we need to mark the stumps at the bottom of the bearer and cut them off. To work out where to cut, you have to subtract the height of the joists, bearers and decking from the overall height of your deck. Use a combination square to mark the stump. (Using this tool ensures your line and stump will be straight when you start cutting.)

Measure and cut the stumps

2Measure bearer

Use your tape measure to work out the distance from your house to your string line. This will determine the length of the bearer.

Measure bearer

3Cut bearer

Once you know the length of your bearer, cut it.

 Cut bearer.

4Join bearers

If your deck is quite long and wide, it’s a good idea to fix two pieces of timber together to provide sufficient strength. You can do this with a nail gun.

Green Bunnings hammer
Safety tip: make sure you wear your safety equipment during this step.
Join bearers

5Install bearers

Bearers are easily installed using framing nails and should always be tied down with hoop iron. Most importantly, remember to always nail on both sides of the bearer.

Green Bunnings hammer
Safety tip: wear your protective gloves while trimming excess hoop iron.
Install bearers

6Next step: installing joists

The third step in our seven-part series on How to Build a Deck is how to install joists.

More D.I.Y. Advice

Health & Safety

Asbestos, lead-based paints and copper chromium arsenic (CCA) treated timber are health hazards you need to look out for when renovating older homes. These substances can easily be disturbed when renovating and exposure to them can cause a range of life-threatening diseases and conditions including cancer. For information on the dangers of asbestos, lead-based paint and CCA treated timber and tips for dealing with these materials contact your local council's Environmental Health Officer or visit our Health & Safety page.

When following our advice in our D.I.Y. videos, make sure you use all equipment, including PPE, safely by following the manufacturer’s instructions. Check that the equipment is suitable for the task and that PPE fits properly. If you are unsure, hire an expert to do the job or talk to a Bunnings Team Member.