Deck skirting, done right, adds a beautiful finishing touch to your deck, especially if the space under the deck looks unsightly. You have many options, and putting up your skirting yourself is not impossible if you enjoy some DIY.
To install skirting on a deck, you need basic tools from your toolbox and a plan. When you have done some measurements and acquired the skirting, it’s a matter of building a framework in the area you wish to skirt and attaching the skirting using the correct fasteners for the job.
It is obviously a bit more complicated than that but quite doable, provided you don’t have a deck perched over a sheer cliff; that’s when you contract an extreme DIY person to do it for you. The options available are not limited to your local DIY store and can add a striking finish to your deck.
Why Do I Want To Put Skirting On My Deck?
Before you put skirting around your deck, you can consider why you want the skirting in the first place. Do you want to skirt to create a storage space? Do you want to conceal an unsightly gap? Are you keeping animals out?
If you want to use the enclosed space below your deck for storage, say for tools or swimming pool accessories, that will impact what type of skirting you wish to use and if you need to include a door to gain access. You might need to put in a kind of floor, depending on what you wish to store.
Perhaps you want the skirting around your deck because it looks unsightly below the deck, or your pets keep going under the house, and you can’t get them out. If you do have pets that might scratch, chew or dig under skirting, carefully consider the type of skirting before you start. You don’t want to detach a whole panel every time Fluffy panics and squeezes through a hole.
What Are My Deck Skirting Options?
The more common skirting options include panels and lattices. You can buy them pre-made and pre-cut, and they can come in a variety of materials, including wood or plastic. Both need a frame or a place to which to attach. You can see 50 deck skirting ideas here.
Other skirting options to consider include the following:
- Deck boards,
- Scale planks for a more rustic look,
- Fascia boards,
- Nutec boards,
- Rock cladding,
- Precast cement blocks,
- Gambians filled with local rocks,
- Zinc sheets,
- Droppers, and
- Bales of hay with concrete packed over.
Where Do I Start With The Deck Skirting?
When you have decided what skirting you want to use and how you’d like it to look, you need to consider the area and shape of the space that needs to be covered so that you can gather your resources together. This includes drawing rough diagrams, taking measurements, and making a list of requirements.
1. Measure The Skirting Area That Needs To Be Covered
Should you choose a skirting that requires a framework, you need to determine if the skirting will be attached to the beams and then tidied with an edging or if you want it to be recessed. You also have to consider if the ground is level or sloped and how to keep your offcuts to a minimum.
The framework made will have to consider if the material used will be attached vertically or horizontally and the lengths of the material. You want the skirting to be fastened securely, so the framework will need to offer enough place for fastening, according to the skirting material length.
Remember to include posts or a frame in your measurements if you are incorporating a door or gate for access to the new storage area you are creating.
2. Gather Your Skirting Requirements
Once you have measured the area, you will need to get the wood or steel for the framework, the suitable screws and nails, the correct fasteners for your skirting of choice, and the skirting. Some DIY stores offer the facility of cutting materials to size, but make sure you’ve done your measurements well.
The tools you would most likely need would be a screwdriver, saw, sander, hammer, measuring tape, and a marker. It is good to buy treated wood and oil or varnish it before attaching the skirting because accessing it afterward will be more difficult. It will need sufficient time to dry before attaching the skirting.
Depending on the skirting you have chosen, ensure you have all that you need to finish it off after you have attached it to the framework. Perhaps it needs paint, varnish, or other decorative finishes like fairy lights or creeping plants. If you install a gate or door, you will need hinges and a lock or latch.
3. Build Your Skirting Framework
Your framework needn’t be beautiful if it is hidden behind skirting, but it will need preparation beforehand and needs to be sturdy enough to support the skirting. Use sufficient vertical or horizontal supports depending on the skirting measurements.
The framework can be reinforced by attaching it to support beams, joists, pillars, or posts. The fasteners will be hidden behind the skirting when connecting the frame this way.
4. Attaching The Skirting To The Framework
Depending on your chosen skirting, this part might require more tricky measurement and cutting. Since the ground below the deck may not be level, it will mean measuring, cutting, and possibly sanding piece by piece before fastening it to the framework.
If the skirting requires treatment, it is good to do so before attaching it to the framework so that all sides of the skirting get treated, helping it last longer. Depending on the permanence of the skirting, you can use a wood filler or suitable alternative to cover any of the holes made by fastening.
5. Embellishing Your Deck Skirting
Once you have attached and fastened the skirting to your liking, you can either leave it for people to admire your handiwork or go a step further by embellishing it.
Embellishing ideas include using paint or varnish finish, growing plants like creepers or creating a vertical garden, or installing different lighting options, like strip lights or fairy lights. It will look beautiful day and night and give it a unique look.
If you are looking for the best, or the most cost effective deck skirting materials then you can check out our two articles listed below and here. Composite deck skirting and inexpensive deck skirting options.
Putting skirting on your deck can be a great DIY project that you can do alone or with the assistance of your family or friends, provided you have access to the right tools and materials and have a plan.
The options for skirting are plentiful and are not limited to what is available at your local hardware store. You can personalize your skirting to look distinctive and suit your liking and needs. You can do it at your leisure, and it needn’t cost a small fortune either.