Spotted Gum Decks

Spotted Gum Decks built in Australia

MJ Leckie Carpentry

5/26/20232 min read

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Building a deck with spotted gum is a popular choice in Australia due to its durability and attractive appearance. Spotted gum is a native hardwood known for its strength and natural resistance to pests and decay. Here are some considerations when using spotted gum for your deck:

  1. Material selection: Choose high-quality, sustainably sourced spotted gum timber for your deck. Look for timber that is properly seasoned, straight, and free from defects. Ensure that the timber meets Australian standards for decking applications.

  2. Deck design: Plan the design and layout of your deck, considering factors such as size, shape, elevation, and access points. Take into account the natural characteristics of spotted gum, including its natural variations in color and grain pattern.

  3. Substructure and supports: Use suitable treated pine or galvanized steel for the deck's substructure, including posts, bearers, and joists. Ensure that the structural elements are properly spaced and securely anchored to the ground or existing structure, following the local building codes and regulations.

  4. Decking boards: Spotted gum decking boards are typically available in various sizes and profiles. Choose the appropriate board width and thickness based on your design and structural requirements. Consider the span and spacing of the joists to prevent excessive deflection or sagging.

  5. Fastening methods: Select corrosion-resistant fasteners specifically designed for outdoor applications. Stainless steel or galvanized screws are commonly used for securing spotted gum decking boards. Ensure that the fasteners are suitable for hardwood and are installed at the correct spacing and depth.

  6. Deck finishing: Spotted gum has natural oils that help protect it from decay and pests. However, applying a decking oil or protective coating can enhance its appearance and provide additional protection against the elements. Follow the manufacturer's instructions for the chosen finish, and reapply as recommended to maintain the deck's appearance and durability.

  7. Maintenance: Regular maintenance is crucial to ensure the longevity and appearance of your spotted gum deck. Sweep or hose down the deck regularly to remove dirt, debris, and leaves. Inspect the deck for any signs of damage, such as rot or splitting, and address them promptly. Apply a new coat of finish as needed to protect the timber.

Remember to consult local regulations, building codes, and guidelines specific to your area when constructing a deck. It's also advisable to seek advice from professionals, such as builders or timber specialists, to ensure that your deck is built correctly and meets all necessary requirements.