Decking, decking, decking! Halfway there!

Decking. It seemed like such a simple idea and a weekend job when we started on it a couple of months ago. With new jobs and winter weather it’s taken longer but as off a couple of weeks ago we’ve completed the decking and are preparing to get on with the awning. This post is a breakdown of our decking construction.


As mentioned in a previous post the design we set on for our decking was for a pallet deck. The deck was consisting of 4 pallets of 800 by 1200. The deck itself totalling 4.8 metres in length. After some rough sketches Deirdre sent our ideas through to her sister partner and he drew up the below diagram for us.


Using this as a base for our design I had a go at drawing up the diagram in the computer program I am using for my landscape design course. We ended up going with 3 sets of posts set at 2400 intervals. Ontop of this would sit 4800mm bearers with the pallets resting on this.


We set out the footings by marking them out with string line. We then dug the holes with a shovel as a ground was quite compact. As the decking post were going to be resting on post stirrups we only dug the holes out to around 300 deep and then set these half concrete before putting the stirrups in.


Setting out the string line and first footings.

As we came to quickly learn these approach was not necessarily the right one as the concrete didn’t really set and the post supports when we put them in weren’t as stable as they should have been. In the end besides the 2 tall post supports we ended up digging out the concrete and setting posts straight in the ground as you can see in the photo below.


First attempts

With the posts and post stirrups in place we set about putting the two end posts in. To support these we ran a cross beam from the roof and also off the side of the bus. This one from the bus, as you can see in the picture below, is a temporary brace and will be taken down once we complete the awning.


A trial run off the pallet 

Once the posts had been put up it was then time to have trial run of the deck. Putting the bearers in place I then went about adding the pallets to the deck. All seemed right but as soon found out there was a problem. The post at the rear off the bus was in the wrong spot. The pallets wouldn’t fit without some serious hacking away at the posts.


Houston we have a problem! The pallets don’t sit properly on the bearers.

It seemed like we were going to be in possession of half a deck. Or up for a lot of chiselling and manipulating. Neither of which looked like a good prospect. After talking it over we realised that we had some old Jarrah decking we’d picked up from the tip. With that in mind we set about completing the deck.

Take 2

Using a thin piece of pine we slowly laid out the deck developing a system of clamp, drill, nail; clamp, drill, nail; clamp, drill… Over the course an afternoon we worked together on system completing the deck



Resting after finishing the deck.


With the deck completed and at height of some 450 from the ground we realised we needed some steps. We had some extra Jarrah as well as some off cuts from the legs and so set about measuring and creating the steps. This was simply process then the deck. The steps we set at 200 high 1050 long and 450 wide. The posts this time weren’t buried but rather set onto of  the ground. This was chosen as we were attaching the beams for the steps directly to the deck.


Measuring for levelness.


Adding the jarrah to the steps.


Yoda checking out the new steps!

With the steps completed the question then was what to do with the leftover pallets. After some thought came up with the idea of A PALLET ISLAND.  But more of that for next time.


3 thoughts on “Decking, decking, decking! Halfway there!

  1. Excellent job guys! It’s still too wet up here to do anything but hopefully soon we will be able to get our (now half full) fridge wickers up to our veggie garden. Your bus is really starting to look like home 🙂


  2. Deck looks good, that jarrah was a good find, one quick point though, it’s upside down, the ridges on one side are meant to be facing down, it is designed to allow air flow between decking and joists and to shed water better so you don’t end up with deck boards rotting from underneath. Keep up the good work.


  3. Pingback: Winter proofing the bus: roof frame and awning | twodogsandabus

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