We decided to attack an annoying outdoor project before we get to having any fun. Since building our deck last year, a variety of animals have found our deck to be the perfect place to hide out. We’ve provided refuge to a family of robins, a rabid possum, moles, mice, and bunnies.
We decided to skirting the pressure treated wood deck to take back our back yard from the wild kingdom. As a side benefit we thought a skirting would provide a more finished look. The rest of this entry will chronicle some of the decisions we made and steps we took to complete the project.
Easy DIY Pressure Treated Wood Deck Skirting Ideas in 4 Days
The Shopping Trip
Day 1 — We took some measurements of the pressure treated deck skirting and made a quick napkin sketch to take to Lowes for some ideas. The maximum height of the pressure treated deck skirting from the top to the ground was around 32″.
We headed first to the lumber department to check out lattice. We knew though that the holes would be big enough to allow mice, moles, and eager birds through it. This just wouldn’t do. When we costed out the number of board feet it would take to use pressure treated deck skirting boards instead we nearly had a heart attack.
Our epiphany came in the garden department where we found stacks of Dog-Ear Wood Fence Board. The wood is rough cut and intended for fences. The advantage of the material is how thin it is which would fit nicely under the overhang of the pressure treated deck skirting boards. At $1.69 for 6′ boards we figured we could get 2 slats per board. It would take about 70 boards to face the entire deck which would cost just under $120.
Next we needed to figure out what to attach the slats to along the ground. I ended up with a very simple idea. We would stake 2×4′s horizontally into the ground. I purchased (6) 12′ 2×4′s for this purpose.
To provide one more critter barrier I thought a bit of stone installed beneath the skirt might frustrate those trying to dig under the skirt. For this, we bought 20 bags of drainage rock.
I didn’t need to buy any screws because we had a ton of FastenMaster Deck screws from building the kids’ play set. These screws have square heads and will not corrode in the new kind of pressure treated wood deck skirting.
Figuring out the Technique
Day 2 — The first real day of construction took the longest because I needed to build the base plate into which we would fasten the bottom of the skirt. Using my chop saw, I first cut 18″ stakes to drive into the ground.
I used a plumb line to establish the face of the skirting and left 1.5″ of space behind the plumb line for the 2×4 to fit. After pounding the stakes in with a sledge hammer, I put stone underneath where the base plate would be attached. Then I attached the base plate to the stakes.
With the base plate in place we were able to begin installing the skirting. We started under the stairs; working our way from the most complicated end to the least. Under the stairs we had to notch some boards to match the rise and run.
The length of the skirt boards varied slightly as the distance between the top of the pressure treated deck skirting and the ground changed. We butt the boards against one another, knowing that as they dry they will shrink. At one point there looked to be a tilt to the boards left to right, so we began to use our level to ensure each board was true. By the end of the first night I had completed part of one side.
Getting in a Rhythm to Finish the Job
Day 3 — The third day was a Saturday, so we could count on a full day of work. We set up our work site with an electric drill for pilot holes and a cordless drill to drive the screws. Tricia could bark the lengths of the boards to me for cutting while she was installing the boards. We made it through 2 sides of the project before we couldn’t bend over anymore.
Day 4 — We rounded the last corner of the 20×25′ deck and installed the last board. To make absolutely sure that no animals would get through our fortress we plugged up any small holes between the skirt and the house with foaming insulation.
Overall, we are very pleased with the project. It was straightforward, simple carpentry with very few challenges. The skirt makes the diy pressure treated wood deck skirting ideas look clean and finished. We will give the wood a year to rest before we seal it.
- Building Deck Skirting Ideas With Composite Deck Boards: http://www.hammerzone.com/archives/decks/misc/skirting/composite.htm