How to Install a Composite Decking Boardwalk in Your Backyard

Hey guys ethan here from family handyman a boardwalk is a great addition to your backyard spruces it up nicely as you can see it's a ton of maintenance and a lot of work that's why we chose composite decking from trex not only does it look great it lasts forever and it's maintenance free let's get started on the project.

Before we start building we need to prep the ground to get the boardwalk to ground level a trench needed to be dug along the path we are filling our trench with drainage rock to keep the pressure treated lumber dry so we need to dig out enough soil to fit our 2×4 frames and a layer of rock tamping the dirt before laying the rock.

Will help give us a solid foundation after digging our trench we wanted to visualize the route our boardwalk was going to take we did this by laying out full length two by fours snapping a chalk line against the house to make sure we stayed level and snugging it up to the existing cement landing so our transition when.

Finished would be seamless next was time to start framing place two long two by fours along the edge of the boardwalk and fasten the stretchers 16 inches on center between them using construction screws or framing nailer with exterior grade nails the frames of the boardwalk are simple boxes made of pressure treated two by.

Fours to ensure our walkway could stay flat and level we had to remove some of the surface roots from our mulberry trees no worries here these roots are not going to damage the trees but it's going to keep the ground nice and level where the miter is going to turn the boardwalk back towards the.

House now that we've laid some framing between our rim joists we're getting the part where the composite decking is going to have a miter in order to keep all the boards of the miter supported we wanted to add 2×4 stretchers at a 45 degree angle from the corners and cut each cross member to fit.

This applies to both of our miters the one near the trees and near the house which extends up near the fire pit when cutting this blocking with the miters on one side i like to cut miters on both sides of my 2×4 then measure and cut your 90 degree angles.

so when putting in this blocking we're using screws in some places because it doesn't really work to get your nail gun in there no matter what you have screws or nailer it will work great for this project.

Now that we got the frame set up we're going to make a cut here so that the composite decking can follow the slope of the backyard once we wrapped up building the framing structure we laid down and smoothed the thin layer of gravel to level it on top of before filling the voids between the stretchers to lock it in place.

Now that we've thrown some gravel in here to lock the framing in for our boardwalk we're going to put on some joist tape to keep the moisture from going between the seams the black tape also nicely masks the light colored framing and gives it a more aesthetically pleasing look it's time to put on the composite.

Decking itself the outside courses will be surface mounted with plugs and the inside courses will use some of these fasteners one of the great things about composite decking is that its long lengths can contour to any slight grade change for our project it was important that the boardwalk finished at the same.

Height as our current concrete landing but was also vital that it would follow the grade of the backyard up to the fire pit to do this we cut our boardwalk structure added a stretcher and shimmed it until it's a nice smooth transition letting the deck boards run past the miter lets us make one cut using a straight edge guide and a circular saw.

Cutting the same angle in the adjacent boards and leaving them long will give you a very clean miter the beautiful thing about trex decking is its maintenance free nature and its assortment of fasteners composite decking comes grooved and ungrouped ungrooved boards are used on the inside and outside of the boardwalk.

With ungrooved boards we drilled composite decking screws into the top of the boards to secure them in place and plug the holes with matching plugs all the boards in between are grooved meaning we can fasten them with tracks hidden fasteners on every joist when finished you'll really see how this tracks decking works beautifully on.

Uneven terrain here it is guys the boardwalk is finished and wow it looks great the goal all along has been three things to update the backyard using sleek lines and intricate miters to use a low maintenance decking and lastly to improve the drainage of the entire backyard and we did all three.

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