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A wooden deck provides an elevated platform for your King Dome and adds a touch of luxury to your glamping setup. We will run through the step-by-step on how to build a deck that caters for your King Dome.

The process for building a deck:

Below, we have designed a series of drawings to illustrate this process. This particular design has 2 sets of stairs. The right one heads up to the front door, the left one heads up to the outdoor seating area. Where the deck angles is due to a large rock being at the location.

Step 1)

Work out the design for your deck

considerations include the position of the dome, the available space, whether or not you want an outdoor seating area, kitchen, bathroom, bath etc. Make sure to reference Australian standards and local/state legislation when designing your deck.

building a deck for your dome, Deck

Step 2)

Test out your ground quality

You will really want to make sure that your foundations (discussed in point 4) are well rested on firm ground to ensure that the deck does not sink or shift over time. You can do this by using an excavator, auger or the good ol’ shovel. Mark out roughly where the deck will be situated (using string line or markers paint) and dig in multiple areas (the more the merrier) to get a rough idea of what you are working with. 

building a deck for your dome, Deck

Step 3)

Clear any vegetation and minimise re-growth

the last thing you want to have to do once the deck is erected is to have to constantly get under there to remove weeds and cut grass. This will also minimise any insects/animals nesting under your deck (not entirely unfortunately or fortunately, depending on how you look at it).

building a deck for your dome, Deck

Step 4)

Install your chosen foundation

there are a few choices when it comes to your chosen foundation. Rather than explain it in depth here, i found some great links to people more suited to this topic.Link 1 and Link 2

In our example below we have used Australian Standards (Span Tables) to work out what the optimal size of joists/bearers we are using and have worked out the span distances between each bearer. Where the foundations have been calculated, proceed to place these foundations down (using a shovel, auger, screw pile, deck foundation flocks or excavator). If using a penetrative foundation, ensure you have sufficient depth to satisfy the various legislation/standards (ensuring you have completed point 2).

building a deck for your dome, Deck

Step 5)

Install your bearers

once your foundations have been installed (and set if necessary), it is now time to install your bearers. Think ahead before cutting and installing your bearers. Whichever direction you lay your bearers, the joists will run opposite and the boards will run the same as the bearers. To avoid major offcuts, purchasing timbers that’ll work within a certain direction to minimise waste. 

building a deck for your dome, Deck

Step 6)

Install your joists

Once the bearers have been correctly installed to standards, it is time to lay your joists. Remember to use sufficient span tables, specific to the timber you are using to calculate this. We typically work with 450mm centre to centre (405mm spacing in between each joist for 45mm thick joists) to accommodate for the structural ply boards and to minimise sag whilst keeping costs relatively low. 

Please note that if you are laying a deck that is flat on the ground, it is recommended to get your services through first to avoid hassle. The same goes for installing the blocking work (covered in point 10 and shown in the next picture).

building a deck for your dome, Deck

Step 7)

Recommended: Lay structural ply where the dome will cover the deck

where the King Dome is going to be positioned, we have put structural ply boards down (we recommend getting moisture/termite resistant boards and coating them with either a sealant or bitumen paint). We recommend doing this for anyone who is putting an interior flooring in their King Dome. This is simply because decking boards are very expensive and need to be spaced to allow expansion and contraction. They are going to be covered anyway so why waste the money? Save time and money and use sheets instead.

Pro Tip: In our experience, we recommend cutting these boards straight (not to the shape of the dome) on half the joist that it starts/ends on. This is to allow the decking boards to butt up to the ply boards. You will see an example of this on the next page.

building a deck for your dome, Deck

Step 8)

Lay your decking boards

If you have completed the previous step (hopefully so that each board is resting on the centre of a joist), then you will have no issues laying the decking boards. Remember that decking boards will need spacing (usually 4-6mm but can vary). We highly recommend to measure out when you are 1/2 to 2/3 onwards on both sides of laying the boards to ensure that you are both straight (though you should be constantly doing this) and to account for avoiding having to cut a decking board lengthways once you get to the end of the deck. 

building a deck for your dome, Deck

Step 9)

 Build any necessary hand/guard rails, stairs, bracing points etc.

Every state has their own requirements for this so check with your local council on the rules around the safety measures.

building a deck for your dome, Deck

Step 10)

Stain deck (if necessary)

It isn’t just about the particular style you are after but also the protection of the timber used as well. Doing this step well will ensure the longevity and looks of your deck for years to come (with the right maintenance of course). There are boards that do not need to be coated in which case skip this step.

building a deck for your dome, Deck

Step 11)

Install Blocking work where necessary

this section can be done after the King Dome’s frame has been built (unless it is a deck that is sitting on the ground, as mentioned in point 4). Simply drive a screw through the anchor plate holes to use as a marker when installing the blocking work underneath the deck. Remember, the blocking work needs to be securely fastened to the joists/bearers. We recommend using at least a 90mm block (or 2x45mm together) to allow for the various screw points through the anchor point. We have created a video for this which can be found here. 

building a deck for your dome, Deck

Want to check out how to build a concrete slab?

click below for more information

concrete slab

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