The plan was always to deck it off, in order to - provide a single level on which moving your chair a few inches didn't result in one leg resting on thin air and topplind sideways. - remove toddler trip hazards - reduce injury when said toddlers 'just fall over' despite their being nothing to trip on.
So; last week I ordered up some timber, a new circular saw, charged up the batteries and set to it. Here are some (rather disjointed) thoughts / queries.
Levelling the supporting beams: I found these: http://www.easyfix.ie/index.php?page Ίtten-acoustic-systems , bought a load of them, and would highly recommend them for anyone wanting a fast way to lay a deck over a solid, but uneven base. (just a happy user).
Supporting beams are 2 layers of 2 x 4 over part; dropping to 2x4 over 2x2 (well supported) and 2x4 on their own where the original 'patio' was highest.
Drill driver v Impact Driver I'm a bit of a tool buyer, and have a dewalt 18v Drill Driver / Impact driver set. The impact was bought with the expectation of using it on the deck but as the driver seemed to drive the 90mm TurboGolds without issue and the Impact driver was so much louder (and seemed to suffer from 'winding up' the screws rather than driving them) I now wonder what use I will get from it. Drill driver with 2.6Ah batteries did 700- odd screws on (I think) 6 charges. Very impressed. I tried driving one screw the last few mm with a 'normal' hand screwdriver, and could barely move it.
Edging the deck boards: I left all the deck boards overhang the end, and cut them all in a single pass at the end. Resulted in a very nice straight line that really stands out, I think.
Spacing: the deck boards shrank noticably over the first night. I laid them with 3mm gaps as they were quite wet. Gap is now easily 5mm.
Screwdriver bits: I bought a 10 pack of screwfix PZ3 bits, expecting them to be consumables on a job like this. I finished with the same one I started with. Is this normal? (I generally take good care of tools, and don't willfully abuse them, but thought this was strange.)
To those thinking of undertaking building one; - buy a good screwdriver - have extra hands to assist with aligning boards. - plan it well *before* starting - it took me approx 30 man hours. (two of us; two good screwdrivers with spare batteries)
(apologies for usign GGroups - I'm at work)