Project Overview

An outdoor decking is the perfect place for entertaining, so it’s important that you install it safely and securely. After you’ve installed bearers and stumps for a decking, you need to attach joists. These will form the strong foundation for your deck. We’ll show you how to do it in a few easy steps.

Continue to Step-by-step instructions.
This D.I.Y. Advice is part of a series How to build a deck

Step by Step Instructions

1 Measure and mark the wall-plate
2 Cut a check-out in the wall-plate
3 Attach the wall-plate
4 Fix the first joist
5 Run a string line along the joist
6 Measure and mark for the second joist
7 Secure the second joist
8 Secure the other joists
9 Fit timber between the joists
  • Step 1. Measure and mark the wall-plate

    On the timber you are using as your wall-plate, measure and mark out the length of a bearer. Then use the circular saw to cut the wall-plate to size.

  • Step 2. Cut a check-out in the wall-plate

    At one end of the wall-plate, you’ll need to make a check-out so it will sit flush on top of the brickwork. Use the carpenters square to mark out a recess, then use the circular saw, handsaw and chisel to make the cut.

  • Step 3. Attach the wall-plate

    Line up the wall-plate with the lines marked on the wall from your profile piece of timber. Use the nail gun to temporarily attach the wall-plate to the wall. Then use the cordless drill and batten screws to firmly secure the wall-plate to the wall.

  • Step 4. Fix the first joist

    Using the wall as a guide to keep the first joist straight, use the nail gun to secure the first joist at the end of the bearer near the wall. 

  • Step 5. Run a string line along the joist

    Hammer a nail in at the end of the first joist and another to the wall-plate. Run a string line between these two nails. This will make sure the joist is straight when you attach it. Secure the joist into every bearer, on both sides of the joist where possible.  

  • Step 6. Measure and mark for the second joist

    Use the first joist as your guide and measure and mark on the bearer the required distance to where the next joist will go. Mark every bearer so your second joist will be lined up with the first joist. 

  • Step 7. Secure the second joist

    Use the nail gun to secure the second joist on each bearer, on both sides of the joist.

  • Step 8. Secure the other joists

    Now you’re ready to secure all the joists to the bearers. To do this, just repeat Steps 10 and 11 and work your way along the bearers.

  • Step 9. Fit timber between the joists

    When you’ve finished attaching the joists, measure the distance between them. Then cut pieces of timber to this length to fit between every second joist. This will provide your decking with extra support. Use the nail gun to secure the timber between every second joist. Your deck is now ready to be laid.

Get council approval forms 01:00

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Man bolting temporary timber guides in place 04:24

Decking How to set out a deck Before you can build a deck, it’s important to do the groundwork. We’ll show you how to measure and run string lines to mark the height of your deck and position of your stumps.

Install other bearers 03:47

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Person cutting a check-out in the wall plate 02:57

Decking How to install joists for a deck Installing the joists for your decking is an important step in the project. We’ll show you how to install the joists that will form a strong foundation for your deck.

lay decking 02:46

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Pre-drill holes to attach decking 05:17

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Deck lights connected to power 02:07

Lighting How to install deck lights Turn your deck into a space you can use night and day. This video will show you how to install lights into your decking.

Person cleaning the deck with high pressure water cleaner 02:46

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Please make sure you use all equipment appropriately and safely when following the advice in these D.I.Y. videos. You need to be familiar with how to use equipment safely and follow the instructions which came with the equipment. If you are unsure, you may feel it is safest to consult an expert, such as the manufacturer or an expert Bunnings team member.

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