Thanks for taking your time to read our review on the best cordless drill for building a deck. Most of us will know that having a deck in your back garden gives you a great space where you can barbeque, entertain or simply sit back and relax.
That is of course always subject to the great British weather.
If you get someone like a professional to build a deck for you then you will already know that it is an expensive option. Depending on the size and type of a deck that you want the prices can range quite a bit.
Mainly the cost will come down to the size of decking you want to have and the quality of the decking boards that you want to use. After that it is mainly labour costs.
You are however looking at £1,000 and upwards for 1-2 days work on average to have a finished decking. So it's not a cheap project to undertake by any stretch of the imagination.
If you are comfortable with doing a bit of DIY, then doing your own deck can actually be quite a fun project, as long as you have the right tools. You can buy the posts, boards, hand rails etc, and then do the installation yourself.
Tools Needed for Building a deck
The tools that you need will be:
- Some type of saw - ideally a circular saw or table saw just to cut the boards to size
- A drill/driver of some type - we prefer a cordless one as it just gives you more freedom as it is portable and no trailing leads
- A spirit level and some string
- A spade for digging the post holes
- Fastenings and screws
The reality is that you really don't need a lot of tools to be able to do this yourself.
Best Cordless Drill for Building a Deck
There are hundreds of cordless drills available on the UK market. However not all of them will be suitable for building a deck.
There are a few features that we would highly recommend your drill has when it comes to building a deck.
We have listed those below and explained why they are very important in our opinion.
- The majority of the work you will do on your deck, is drilling and driving screws into the decking boards. That means lots of holes and lots of screws so having a keyless chuck that can be opened and tightened with one hand will become your best friend and save you hours of time and frustration
- You will also need a drill with a good battery life so as it doesn't continually run out of battery life. Ideally your drill/driver should come with 2 batteries so as you can be using one, and charging the other one at the same time.
- We would also highly recommend an 18 volt battery or higher as that has enough power to make light work of driving home the long decking screws
- Decking screws come with a hex or pozi head and you will need a drill bit that fits that head.
- The drill that we would recommend is the Bosch PSB 1800 LI-2 Cordless Combi Drill
- This one comes with two 18 volt batteries, so as one can be used and the other charging
- Charging a battery only takes an hour
- It has a keyless chuck with Bosch Auto-Lock: for the fastest and easiest one handed bit changes
- Has a 2 speed gearbox and 20 torque settings which give you full control
This drill also has an LED light but most likely you will not need for deck building outdoors. It can be very useful for other jobs though.
One other thing worth noting is that it also has a hammer function. That is needed to drill through masonry. So if you plan on attaching any of the decking to an existing wall, then that will be an important feature to have.
Do You Need to Drill Decking Boards?
Some people say that you can just drive screws straight into decking boards without having to drill a hole for them first. In the centre of boards and along the board you can do that, and it will save you time.
However at the ed of the boards we highly recommend drilling the board first. As it is at the end of the board, forcing a screw into it can cause the board to split, and you want to avoid that.
It weakens the structure and allows water to soak into our boards.
The Basics of Building a Decking
We are not going to do an in-depth guide on building your own deck at home, but it is certainly worth outlining the basic steps which we have done just below:
- Mark out the area with a few stakes just to get an idea of the size you need to cover, make a note of the measurements on a pad or your phone
- Visit a DIY store or timber yard and ask what they have available and in what sizes - they will always work out what you need if you have the measurements
- Consider buying a higher grade board as they just last a great deal longer
- By that stage you will know how many posts you need and how many boards and accessories you will need.
- The ground should then be prepared as you don't want weeds growing up through your deck. It is best to dig that out and cover with a membrane of some kind to stop weed growth
- Mark out the posts and dig the holes making sure they are square by using the string and spirit level
- Install the posts using quick setting cement and make sure they are level and straight
- Make your frame and add your joists to the frame
- Lay the boards and drive the screws in. Always leave a gap to allow for swelling in the summer
- Add any side and hand rails to the decking
Decking Support Posts and Framework
- Support posts are set at a maximum of 2.4 metres (8 feet)
- The base construction is usually made of 47 x 100 mm timber, or if there is going to be a heavy footfall then use 47 x 150 mm timber
- Your inner joists should be spaced at a maximum of 450 mm (18") centres
For doing all of this type of work, one thing is certain you will need some type of power saw, and you will also need a very good drill/driver. The Bosch PSB 1800 is the best for building a deck that we now about.
It is tried trusted and as tough as old boots. It is particularly good at driving in those long decking screws very quickly and with little effort on your part.