Title:
Modular wooden decking for patios, balconies or terraces
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The present invention relates to modular wooden decking for patios, balconies or terraces. According to the invention, the wooden decking comprises a framework made up of a plurality of rectangular frames (1) which are arranged alongside one another and whose sides have lengths which are a multiple of the length of the shortest side (l), and boards (5, 9) laid on top of the frames and secured to them, said boards having a length which is a multiple of the length (l) of the shortest side of the frame.



Inventors:
Wilhelmsson, Lennart (Rundvik, SE)
Application Number:
11/097313
Publication Date:
11/24/2005
Filing Date:
04/04/2005
Primary Class:
International Classes:
E04B1/00; E04F15/00; E04F15/024; E04F15/04; (IPC1-7): E04B1/00
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Primary Examiner:
LAUX, JESSICA L
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
YOUNG & THOMPSON (Alexandria, VA, US)
Claims:
1. A modular wooden decking for patios, balconies or terraces, characterized by a framework made up of a plurality of rectangular frames (1) which are arranged alongside one another and whose sides have lengths which are a multiple of the length of the shortest side (l), and boards (5, 9) laid on top of the frames and secured to them, said boards having a length which is a multiple of the length (l) of the shortest side of the frame.

2. The modular wooden decking as claimed in claim 1, characterized in that the boards (5, 9) have the same width (b) and are secured to the frames (1) with a spacing a between adjacent boards, and in that a multiple of the sum of the width (b) of a board and the spacing a between adjacent boards is equal to the length of the longest side of the frames.

3. The modular wooden decking as claimed in claim, characterized in that the frames (1) are square.

4. The modular wooden decking as claimed in claim 3, characterized in that the frames (1) are made up of four identical joists (2) which have a thickness greater than the spacing a between the boards.

5. The modular wooden decking as claimed in claim 1, characterized in that each frame (1) has a central joist (4) arranged midway between the two shortest sides of the frame.

6. The modular wooden decking as claimed in claim 1, characterized in that the boards (5, 9) are screwed securely to the frames (1), and in that screw holes are pre-drilled in the boards.

7. A package for a unit forming part of the modular wooden decking as claimed in claim 1, characterized in that the package contains all the components included in a modular unit (8, 10) of frame(s) (1), central joist(s) (4), boards (5, 9), angle irons (3) and screws.

8. The package for a unit forming part of the modular wooden decking as claimed in claim 1, characterized in that it comprises angle irons (3) and screws for one or more modules.

9. The modular wooden decking as claimed in claim 2, characterized in that the frames (1) are square.

Description:

TECHNICAL FIELD

The present invention relates to modular wooden decking for patios, balconies or terraces.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

It has become increasingly common for some types of work, traditionally done by craftsmen, to be done now by do-it-yourself enthusiasts. One type of work often done by owners of houses, summer holiday cottages and the like is the construction of wooden decking for patios, terraces, balconies and the like. At the places where the construction elements for wooden decking are sold, for example at DIY stores, sawmills or the like, the boards and joists forming the main components of wooden decking are sold in lengths which make it difficult to transport the elements needed for the wooden decking in a car or on the roof rack of a car. It is often necessary to shorten some of the building elements in order to be able to take them away. Another problem is that it may be difficult to calculate how many joists and boards need to be purchased to be able to construct a certain size of wooden decking, as it is necessary to take into account that a certain amount of material may be wasted. This difficulty is accentuated if the joists and boards available at the point of sale do not have the same length, which they often do not have. The result is that the purchaser often buys more construction elements than are actually needed, so as to avoid having to buy further construction elements at a later time. This in turn leads to more material being wasted and then having to be dealt with.

Even work as simple as constructing wooden decking with the construction elements presently available at DIY stores requires a certain level of craftsmanship. The joists have to be sliced, and the boards have to be sawn and secured to the joists. For the wooden decking to be esthetically pleasing, the joins between the joists have to be neat, and the saw cuts made in the boards have to be at right angles both transversely and in depth. This can be a difficult task for the average do-it-yourself enthusiast, and it means that the end result may be wooden decking that is functionally satisfactory but esthetically unattractive.

There is therefore a need to permit wooden decking construction in which the building components are easy to transport by car, and the wooden decking can be easily constructed without requiring skilled craftsmanship.

The objects of the present invention are to satisfy this requirement and at the same time to provide a construction which eliminates waste or at least to a large extent reduces waste.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

According to the invention, these objects are achieved by means of modular wooden decking for patios, balconies or terraces, characterized by a framework made up of a plurality of identical rectangular frames which are arranged alongside one another and whose sides have lengths which are a multiple of the length of the shortest side, and boards laid on top of the frames and secured to them, said boards having a length which is a multiple of the length of the shortest side of the frame. Wooden decking of this type is very easy to assemble and involves simply laying the frames alongside one another across the surface that the wooden decking is to cover, and then securing the boards to the frames. The only tool needed for joining the boards and the frames together is a screwdriver or a hammer, depending on the type of securing element used. There is normally no need for any sawing of joists or boards.

In a preferred embodiment, the boards have the same width and are secured to the frames with a spacing a between adjacent boards, and a multiple of the sum of the width of a board and the spacing a between adjacent boards is equal to the length of the longest side of the frames. The frames can advantageously be square and made up of four identical joists which have a width greater than the spacing a between the boards.

In a preferred variant, each frame has a central joist arranged midway between the two shortest sides of the frame, and the boards are screwed securely to the frames, with screw holes being pre-drilled in the boards in order to make assembly easier.

The invention also relates to a package for a unit forming part of the modular wooden decking described above, characterized in that the package contains all the components included in a modular unit of frame(s), central joist(s), boards, angle irons and screws.

In one variant, the invention also relates to a package for a unit forming part of the modular wooden decking described above, characterized in that it comprises angle irons and screws for one or more modules. Such a package can be included inside a package for one or more module units.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING

The invention will now be described with reference to the attached figures, in which:

FIG. 1 shows a schematic perspective view of a frame according to a preferred embodiment of the invention,

FIG. 2 shows a schematic perspective view of the frame from FIG. 1, with boards fitted onto it,

FIG. 3 shows a schematic top view of the frame from FIG. 1,

FIG. 4 is a schematic illustration of how two frames according to FIG. 1 are joined together,

FIG. 5 shows the frames from FIG. 4 joined together and with boards fitted onto them, and

FIGS. 6-8 show schematic perspective views of different combinations of frames and boards.

DESCRIPTION OF EMBODIMENTS

FIGS. 1 and 3 show a square frame 1 made up of four identical wooden joists 2 whose end areas are secured to one another in a suitable manner, for example with the aid of angle irons 3 screwed into the ends of the joists. The frame 1 constitutes a modular unit of the wooden decking according to the invention and is advantageously of such a size that it can be carried in the luggage compartment of a car or on a roof rack of a car. In the embodiment shown, the sides of the frame have a length l of ca. 1200 mm, and a central joist 4 is arranged midway between two opposite sides of the frame 1 so that the boards to be fitted onto the frame will be mounted with a suitable central spacing between the supports. The central joist 4 is secured to the frame in a suitable manner, for example with the aid of angle irons 3, as in the embodiment shown in FIGS. 1 to 3.

The frame configured as a modular unit can of course have a different length than the one mentioned above; for example, it can be rectangular, with long sides having a length which is a multiple of the length of the short sides, e.g. twice as long as the short sides. For example, the short sides can have a length of ca. 600 mm. With such a configuration, no central joist is needed to obtain a suitable central spacing between the supports for the fitted boards. However, the short sides should not be shorter than 500-600 mm, so as to avoid an unnecessarily large number of joists being included in the finished wooden decking. It is also possible to imagine a rectangular frame with short sides having a length of ca. 1200 mm and long sides which are twice as long. If the long sides are longer than ca. 2400 mm, it may be difficult to transport the frames in a car, and for this reason the length of the long sides is preferably at most ca. 2400 mm.

FIG. 2 shows a schematic view of the frame from FIG. 1, provided with boards 5 laid on top of it. In FIG. 3, broken lines indicate the boundaries 6, 7 of the different boards. As can best be seen from FIG. 3, the boards 5 are separated from one another by a spacing a which, for example, can be between 6 and 10 mm. The length of the boards 5 in FIG. 2 is equal to the length l of the sides of the square frame 1, and a multiple of the sum of the width of each board 5 and the abovementioned spacing a is equal to the length l of a frame side. Such a configuration ensures that the boards 5 of units 8 composed of frame and fitted boards according to FIG. 2 and adjacent to one another in the transverse direction of the boards can be arranged with a spacing a between them. The thickness of the joists 2 is preferably greater than the spacing a. In the longitudinal direction of the boards, the board ends lie against one another in longitudinally adjacent units according to FIG. 2.

FIG. 5 shows a second unit 10 made up of two frames according to FIG. 1 and with fitted boards 9. This unit differs from the embodiment shown in FIG. 2 in that the boards 9 are twice as long as the boards 5. Otherwise, the embodiment is the same as the one described above. As is indicated in FIG. 4, the unit 10 is constructed from two frames 1 which are brought together as indicated by arrows in FIG. 4 and are then preferably secured to one another, for example by being screwed together. The boards 9 are then fitted on top and secured to the joists 2 and central joists 4 lying in the transverse direction of the boards.

FIG. 6 shows two units 10 according to FIG. 5 joined together to form a square unit, and FIG. 7 shows four units 8 joined together to form a square unit with the same size as the unit in FIG. 6. It will be seen from FIGS. 6 and 7 that wooden decking of different patterns can be constructed depending on which module length of the boards is used.

FIG. 8 shows a unit made up of five frames, where boards 5 of module length l have been used for the frame 1 extending out to the right in FIG. 8 from the square made up of four frames 1, and boards 9 of twice the module length have been used for the frames in the square made up of four frames.

For the system according to the invention to have the necessary flexibility, boards 5, 9 of different length should therefore be included in the system, and the lengths of the boards will constitute a multiple of the module length l.

In the embodiment shown in FIG. 8, identical frames have been used. However, this is not necessary for wooden decking according to the invention, and it will be appreciated that the boards 9 can cooperate with a frame of twice the module length.

By means of the above-described system of frames and boards, wooden decking can be constructed by first laying the frames out so that they completely or partially cover the surface area to be provided with wooden decking. The frames are then secured to one another, for example by means of screws, after which the boards are laid on top of the respective frame or pair of frames depending on whether the boards have the length l or 2l. The boards are then secured to the frames, preferably by screwing. It is therefore very easy for a do-it-yourself enthusiast to construct wooden decking by means of the above-described system of frames and boards.

It is not entirely necessary to connect the frames to one another, but such connection is preferred from the point of view of stability. The frames included in a unit 10 according to FIG. 5, however, do not need to be connected directly to one another, and instead they can be indirectly connected to one another via the boards 9. It is also possible to surround the whole of the wooden decking with side pieces which are secured round the edge of the wooden decking and avoid horizontal shifting of the units of frames and boards included in the wooden decking. These side pieces preferably have a width or height which at least corresponds to the sum of the frame height, i.e. the width of joists included in the frame, and the thickness of the boards.

The only tool needed for constructing wooden decking by means of the described system of frames and boards is a screwdriver if screws are used as securing elements, or a hammer if nails are used as securing elements. To make it easier to secure the boards, they can be provided with pre-drilled holes at the level of the joists and central joists. The fact that all the boards, central joists and joists have been cut by machine at the time of purchase means that even the average do-it-yourself enthusiast will achieve a satisfactory result on assembling the described wooden decking. Machine cutting means that exact lengths are obtained, something which is difficult to achieve when cutting by hand.

So that the frames take up less room and are easier to transport, they can be supplied in a disassembled state and then put together on site by the do-it-yourself enthusiast or someone else. To facilitate the purchase of the components and the calculation of the amount of timber needed, it may be advantageous for all the components included in a unit 8, 10 of frame(s) 1, central joist(s) 4, boards 5 or 9, angle irons 3 and screws to be supplied in individual packages.

It is moreover advantageous if the fittings, i.e. angle irons or the like and screws or nails, for one or more modules are packed in a bag or the like which can be included in a package for one or more modules according to the above or can be supplied separately.

The described embodiments can of course be modified within the scope of the invention. The modules forming part of the wooden decking can have other dimensions than those indicated, and the spacing between the boards can be different than stated. The boards can be profiled on one side or on both sides. Moreover, elements other than angle irons can be used for connecting the joist ends to one another, for example wooden corner blocks to which the joist ends are secured, or just screws or nails. The invention is therefore limited only by the content of the attached patent claims.