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Essential Guide to Composite Decking Installation: Step-by-Step Process

At Utah Deck Company, we understand how overwhelming the process of installing Composite decking can be for homeowners. That’s why we’ve created this essential guide as a resource to make the Installation process as smooth and straightforward as possible. Our aim is to empower you with the knowledge you need to embark on this home improvement project with confidence. Whether you’re a DIY enthusiast or considering hiring professionals, this guide is tailored to help you every step of the way.

The Benefits of Choosing Composite Decking

If you’re contemplating the ideal material for your deck, consider the numerous advantages of composite decking. First and foremost, it’s incredibly durable and designed to withstand the test of time, resisting fading, staining, and mold. Moreover, composite decking requires minimal maintenance compared to traditional Wood decking, meaning more time to enjoy your outdoor space with less upkeep. Its aesthetic appeal is undeniable, with a wide range of Colors and textures available to match any home style. Opting for composite decking is a wise investment that enhances the beauty and value of your property.

Another remarkable benefit is its environmental sustainability. Composite decking is often made from recycled Materials, making it an eco-friendly option for homeowners who are conscious of their environmental impact. This blend of durability, low maintenance, aesthetic versatility, and sustainability makes composite decking a superior choice for your outdoor living space.

Tools and Materials Needed

Before diving into the installation process, it’s essential to gather all necessary tools and materials. Ensure you have a circular saw for precise cuts, a drill for securing the decking, and a level to make sure your deck is perfectly flat. A tape measure is crucial for accurate measurements, and don’t forget safety equipment like gloves and goggles.

As for materials, you’ll need the composite decking boards, joists for the deck’s framework, and hidden fasteners or screws designed specifically for composite decking. It’s important to choose high-quality materials to guarantee the longevity and stability of your deck.

Planning and Designing Your Deck

Proper planning is the cornerstone of a successful decking project. Start by determining the size and shape of your deck, considering how you intend to use the space. Whether it’s for dining, relaxing, or entertaining, your deck’s design should reflect your lifestyle.

Additionally, think about the orientation of the deck in relation to the sun and any existing landscape features. This step is also the time to check local building codes and secure any necessary permits. Planning accordingly ensures a smoother installation process and helps avoid potential setbacks.

Preparing the Site

Once your plan is in place, the next step is site preparation. Clear the area of any rocks, debris, or vegetation to create a level surface for your deck. If you’re removing an old deck, make sure the area is thoroughly cleaned. It’s also advisable to ensure the ground beneath is compact and stable to support the weight of the new decking.

This step may involve grading or adding a gravel base to promote drainage and prevent water accumulation under the deck. Proper site preparation is crucial for the longevity of your deck, as it minimizes the risk of shifting or settling over time.

Installing the Foundation

The foundation of your deck is critical for its stability and safety. Begin by installing concrete footers or piers at strategic points to support the weight of the deck. These should be placed below the frost line to prevent shifting during freeze-thaw cycles.

Next, attach the ledger board to your home’s structure, ensuring it’s securely fastened and level. This board will support one side of the deck, so it’s important to get this step right. Following the correct procedures for installing the foundation ensures your deck has a strong base to build upon.

Building the Frame

With the foundation in place, it’s time to construct the frame of your deck. This involves attaching the outer joists to the ledger board and installing the inner joists at regular intervals. It’s crucial to ensure that each joist is level and securely fastened to create a stable platform for your decking boards.

The frame provides the structure for your deck, so taking the time to ensure it’s precisely constructed is essential. Employing high-quality materials and following building codes will result in a sturdy and safe outdoor living space.

Laying the Decking Boards

Now the exciting part begins – laying the composite decking boards. Start from the edge closest to your house and work outwards. Use hidden fasteners or specialized composite decking screws to secure the boards, leaving the recommended space between them for expansion and contraction.

Ensuring each board is straight and properly aligned results in a visually appealing and functional deck surface. Remember to trim any overhanging boards for a neat finish. This stage transforms your project from a framework into a deck you can begin to enjoy.

Finishing Touches and Maintenance

Once all boards are securely in place, it’s time for the finishing touches. Install any railings or stairs according to your design, and consider adding post caps or lighting for aesthetic appeal and safety.

Maintenance of your composite deck is straightforward. Regular cleaning with soap and water is sufficient to keep it looking new. Unlike wood decks, there’s no need to sand, stain, or seal composite decking, making it a low-maintenance option for homeowners.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

  • Incorrect Spacing: Proper spacing between boards is crucial to allow for expansion and contraction. Failing to leave enough space can result in warping or buckling.
  • Over-tightening Screws: While it’s important to secure decking boards, over-tightening screws can damage the composite material and affect the deck’s appearance.
  • Ignoring Manufacturer’s Instructions: Each brand of composite decking may have specific installation guidelines. Ignoring these can void warranties and lead to issues with the deck.
  • Skimping on Materials: Using fewer joists or supports than recommended can compromise the deck’s stability and safety. Always adhere to material specifications.
  • Poor Planning: Rushing through the planning phase or neglecting to secure necessary permits can lead to significant headaches down the line. Thorough planning is key to a successful deck installation.

Why Choose Utah Deck Company for Your Installation?

At Utah Deck Company, we pride ourselves on our expertise and craftsmanship in composite decking installations. Our team of professionals is here to guide you through every step of the process, from planning and design to execution and finishing touches. We ensure your project complies with all local building codes and use only the highest quality materials.

Choosing us means peace of mind knowing your deck will be beautifully designed, expertly installed, and built to last. And should you decide to entrust your deck installation to professionals, we’re just a call away. Reach out to us by phone at 801-921-6826 or Request a Free Quote. Let’s create your dream outdoor living space together!


Composite decking installation can enhance the beauty and functionality of your outdoor space. By following the steps outlined in this guide and avoiding common mistakes, you’re on your way to enjoying a durable, low-maintenance deck for years to come. And remember, the team at Utah Deck Company is here to help you turn your vision into reality. Reach out to us by phone at 801-921-6826 or Request a Free Quote to get started on your dream deck project.