Summer is almost here, it's time to prepare your terrace!

Foundation of the terrace
Preparing the terrace surface
Installing terrace
Underlying beam

Sun? Check. Sunglasses? Check. Cocktail or mocktail? Check. A terrace to enjoy? Not yet, but that's coming up. In the next article we'll explain in a few steps how to lay out your terrace correctly.

Photo of a finished terrace for news article

Why would I build a terrace out of tropical hardwood?

There are several good reasons why you should choose a terrace made of tropical hardwood. You choose a wooden terrace if you like to give your terrace a natural, warm look and the wood also makes your terrace easy to work on. Add to this the fact that tropical hardwood is extremely durable and requires little maintenance and you already have a number of very good reasons for choosing a tropical hardwood terrace. Of course, you can also opt for softwood, but then you will probably have more maintenance work to do.

 

What do I need for my wooden terrace?

  • Picket posts and wire
  • A paved surface (slightly sloping) that is used as a foundation, possibly to be made up yourself.
  • Underlays to compose your substructure with.
  • An anti-root cloth and a crushing knife to cut the cloth
  • A drill
  • A countersink drill bit
  • Sufficient stainless/inox screws, plugs and corner supports
  • Your terrace planks
  • Possibly a circular saw to saw your decking boards
Photo for installation of the terrace

Preparing the terrace surface

It is best to start by sketching your terrace on paper first. This will give you a visual first idea of what your terrace will look like and what it should look like. Once you have this in order, you start by placing picket posts at the corners of the place where you want to place your terrace. You connect the stakes with a wire. This way you can easily calculate how many pieces of each product you will need to order the right amount of underlying beams and decking boards right away. The underlying beams can be placed up to 40 cm apart from each other.

Also make sure that your terrace slopes about 1 cm per meter. If you measure this with a spirit level, you are guaranteed to have good drainage under your terrace. It is also best to remove weeds and other debris.

 

Photo foundation with terrace feet

Your foundation

This is a very important part in the construction of your terrace because it supports the strength of your terrace and prevents subsidence. How your foundation will look depends a little on your situation. You can lay a wooden terrace on top of tiles, concrete, piles, screed/sand cement or even on normal earth.

Once you have made this choice, place an anti-root cloth on the bottom. You cut this anti-root cloth with a breaking knife so that there is always an overlap of 15 cm at the ends of your terrace. You also keep the gradient of 1 cm per meter. Now place the elements on which you will attach your substructure. It is best to start at the edge of your terrace and never place the elements further apart than 40 cm.

Now you have to decide in which direction you are going to lay your terrace. The direction in which you want to lay your decking boards is at right angles to the underlying beams. In other words, if you want to lay your decking or terrace horizontally, you will have to place your decking vertically on the foundation elements. Or vice versa. Make sure you also try to lay your underlying beams on the foundation elements with plugs, corner supports and screws.

 

The installation of your terrace

Start by explaining your boards. This way you will quickly notice if you have ordered enough planks and if something needs to be sawn. If this should be the case, it is best to use a circular saw. You can increase the solidity of your terrace by always placing the joint of your planks on the middle of underlying beams.

Now you place your planks the way you want to assemble them. It is best to always keep a distance of 3-5 mm between the boards. Also drill 2 screw holes in your plank or tile per fixing point. Do this about 2 cm from the side and pre-drill your holes with a countersink. Now you can screw in your planks with your stainless steel screws. 

 

Foundation and lower beam

Ready? Almost

If you want to keep the beautiful colour of your tropical hardwood as long as possible, it can be useful to work your terrace with stain or oil. What is definitely a must for your terrace, is a nice finish on the sides. You can do this by sawing the ends of the boards on mitre and fixing the boards on the side with stainless steel screws.

 

Photo finished terrace 2