Installation & Maintenance

DIY Composite Deck Project Guide

January 30, 2020

DIY Decking Series Overview

Looking to transform your backyard into an outdoor living oasis thanks to a lounge-ready deck? Or already have your deck in place but just need some fresh design ideas? No matter the stage of your DIY composite deck journey, we have the right tips and tools to make your project successful.

This is your DIY Composite Deck Project Guide — a portal to help you find the information you need to design the deck of your dreams on your own. Get comfortable, grab your carpenter pencil, and read on to learn how to take your space from mere backyard to style-forward deck.

Step No. 1: Determine if You’re Ready to Build Your Own Deck

build your own deck resize

It’s important to have the skills, knowledge, and resources needed to execute your DIY composite deck project effectively before you begin. In this post, we cover key topics such as:

  • Are You Replacing an Existing Deck or Building a New One?
  • Are You Going to Use Any Intricate Design Features?
  • Do You Have a Budget in Mind?
  • Have You Researched Local Building Codes and Other Restrictions?

We also review the basic tools you’ll need and the decking terms you’ll need to know. Read the full article and see if you’re ready to build.

Step No. 2: Choose the Right DIY Decking Materials

diy decking materials traditional hardwood decks

Traditional Hardwood Decks

Including premium options like Ipe, Cedar, and pressure-treated lumber.

diy decking materials capped composite decking

Capped Composite Decks

Deck boards made with recycled wood and synthetic materials.

diy decking materials capped polymer decks 1

Capped Polymer Decks

Deck boards made with zero wood.

You’ve decided to dive into your DIY composite deck project, but you now must decide the most critical component: material. This post considers three common DIY decking materials — traditional hardwood decks, capped composite decks, and capped polymer decks — across six key categories:

  • Durability
  • Design
  • Performance
  • Installation
  • Cost
  • Sustainability

Jump in to get the 411 on how the three decking materials stack up.

Step No. 3: Inspire Your Design With DIY Composite Deck Ideas

diy deck designs settle on a shape

Deck shape, color, grain, and deck board pattern all work together to create the look and feel of your enviable outdoor living space. In this post, we guide you through each category, illustrating with helpful examples and links to the just-right products to achieve your vision. We also provide a link to our Deck Designer tool so you can begin assembling your DIY composite deck ideas, with no cap on creativity (just on our deck boards). Explore DIY deck ideas and get designing.

How to Choose the Right Deck Fasteners

Step No. 4: Learn Tips for Installing Composite Decking

Fasteners, fascia, and sleeper systems — what does it all mean? This article lays out 10 best practices for installing composite decking (both capped polymer and capped composite deck boards), with helpful links to installation videos and installation guides, including:

Plus, we drop the 411 on fasteners (ever wondered which kind of fastener pairs with which board profile and product line? Wonder no more.) and get into how fascia, sleeper systems, and weathering all come into play. Bust out your tool belt and read more here.

Step No. 5: Select the Right Rail for Your Decking Masterpiece

timbertech impression rail black

Just like a picture frame accentuates a work of art, so too does your railing spotlight the design and craftsmanship of your composite deck. In this article, we take a deep dive into the world of composite railing. Afterward, you’ll know the different parts of a railing system such as infills and caps, the difference between composite and metal railing, and how to pick the right railing for your unique style.

Are you a DIYer who wants handsome, durable deck railings? Learn more about the power of perimeters.

Step No. 6: Brighten Up Your Outdoor Space With Deck Lighting Ideas

diy deck lighting ideas

When it comes to outdoor living spaces, nothing evokes a warm atmosphere and keeps the conversation going quite like outdoor lighting. Of your lighting options, permanent outdoor lighting installations are the most weather-ready and reliable. Our TimberTech® lighting portfolio offers varied products for every mood, from softly glowing lighted island caps to visibility-enhancing riser lights. In this illuminating post, you’ll learn about:

  • Accent lights
  • In-deck lights
  • Lighted island caps
  • Post cap lights
  • Riser lights
  • Under-rail lights

This article also covers installation tips and benefits to each type of lighting. Read the full article and get started on brightening your deck.

Step No. 7: Put the Finishing Touch on Your DIY Composite Deck

diy deck decorating ideas

Once you’ve finished building your DIY composite deck, installing your railing, and lighting your outdoor living space with an inviting glow, you’re ready for the final stage: decorating. In this article, we explore ample deck decorating ideas to boost your inspiration and your styling know-how. From premier outdoor living furniture such as the TimberTech® Invite Collection by Loll, to personality-filled décor, eye-catching greenery, and more, we have the right ideas for the design-savvy DIYer. Get inspired with the full rundown of our fresh deck decorating ideas.

See & Feel the TimberTech Advantage

Our capped polymer and capped composite decking lines combine recycled material with all the beauty of traditional wood.

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