Ways & How

How to Build a Deck

How to Build a Deck

There are several things you need to consider when you decide to build a deck. In order to plan the design of your deck, you need to give thought to what style you desire, what activities you will be doing on your structure, and how much you can afford to spend on the construction. You will also need to determine how much of the work you will be able to accomplish yourself and decide the best location for your deck. Do not forget to check city codes and see if you need a building permit to build this type of structure. The way you intend on utilizing your deck can certainly change your construction plans. For those who have, or intend to have, a swimming pool, you will need a deck that is broad enough to allow individuals the ability to walk in safety about your pool. An outside fire pit would require additional width to make room for optimal seating. What you are able to afford will affect the style of your deck. Various kinds of hardwood, illumination, as well as deck dimensions will alter the total amount you eventually pay for deck construction costs. More amenities added equal additional costs.



Naturally, the more work you can actually complete on your own, the more you'll be able to afford. In spite of this, do not forfeit quality in place of quantity. Perhaps you do not have enough time or skill to complete the entire project. Employ individuals to carry out that which you cannot. There are numerous kinds of deck styles. The deck ought to be fashioned as a natural feature of the residence, and should never appear as if it had been added on, like an afterthought. Invest some time contemplating the best way to design your deck to match the design and style of your residence. Be sure to find out from the city government if there are any specific permits or codes you will have to consider. This step can help you save time and expenses in the long term, in the event you abide by the codes in advance. Another point to consider is location. Will you have a stunning view? Is there a well shaded area on your property? Additionally, give some thought to all of the materials needed to construct a durable deck. Here are the basic steps in building a deck:

  1. Prepare the Construction Area

    Ready the soil beneath the proposed deck area by taking out the grass. Then, slant the earth leading away from the building to no less than 1 inch for every 15 feet. This will produce sufficient drainage. Once the deck is completed, cover the soil, using 6 mil black, plastic polyethylene to prevent trees, weeds, and grass from rising up within the deck’s floor. Cover the plastic with wood chips or gravel to achieve the nicest look.

  2. Mark the Height of Your Proposed Structure

    Use a tape measure and pencil to mark at the height of the proposed deck floor. The floor of the deck is generally placed 2 inches beneath the sill of your door. Consider the thickness of the material you are using for your deck and create an additional line to signify the top of the ledger board. Use the tape measure once again and determine the width of your ledger board. Create a mark to depict the base of the ledger wood.

    Install a 2x6 ledger onto the wall, using lag screws. Should your house contain siding, you might have to make use of shims in order to obtain a level surface. Make certain your ledger lies level. Also ensure that the lag screws are long enough to go into the studs by no less than 3 inches. Apply two lag screws on both ends, and insert one at every wall stud between the ends.

    It's a wise decision to put in Z flashing at a position above the ledger board to help shed water. If you refrain from doing that, you need to allow a space to ensure that water does not get between your house and deck and result in wood rot. Adding one washer, or perhaps two, is an excellent method of doing this.

  3. Establish the Outer Perimeter of the Deck

    Determine the outer perimeter of your deck by using the tape measure to determine the length from each end of your ledger to 18 inches past the exterior rim of your deck. Put in place batter-boards. Then, run strings securely from both ends of your ledger to your batter-boards. This represents the outside edges of your deck. Run a third string between your batter-boards to determine the outer edge of your deck. Now, it is essential to square everything up. Mark the location where you wish to place the posts and footings.

  4. Inspection Time

    Normally, at this stage, your building inspector may wish to examine your structure. The inspector will inform you if you should add additional footings. When the inspector provides you with the clearance to proceed, pour the footings into the earth. The openings for these footings are usually 24-36 inches deep; however, seek advice from your building inspector to determine specs used in your location. Add the concrete piers after the footings are poured. Let the concrete cure for a minimum of a week, prior to moving forward with your deck plans.

  5. Attaching Joists

    Secure the beams into the posts. At this point, connect the joists by using joist hangers. These joists are going to be secured by your ledger board. Now, place them along each 16 inch center, and fasten into the beams.  Utilize hot-dipped, zinc-coated, galvanized, 16-penny nails to put in the deck planks. Install your planks right up alongside one another and secure using the nails. If you keep the design for your deck rather simple, this step will go quickly and be much simpler to complete. Trim your deck edges to form a straight edge.

  6. Finishing Touch

    The main construction is now complete. All you need to do is add railing and then enjoy using your deck!

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