Whether you place the deck by a water feature, within the garden, far from the house, or near the house, a detached deck helps create a world all its own. You don't have to be an artist. Snap a chalk line and cut the 1/4-in. to 6 in. The other beam, called a “ledger,” is bolted to the rim joist (or wall studs) of the house. Be sure to take that into account when doing your measurements. A third post shortens the distance the beam must span, so the beam doesn’t have to be as large. Drive nails 3/4 in. Once installed, it acts as a guide for a deck frame that’s level and square. 6). Pour concrete. Then, you’ll have to cut the beam that will go opposite the ledger board to the same length, and attach corresponding joist hangers. Lay the three common decking boards — 2x6, 2x4 and 5/4x6 — bark side up for better drainage. BestLife52 is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.ca. Make clean joints by cutting boards off perfectly square and butting them together over the center of a joist. Predrill nail holes near board ends to avoid splitting, Make these slightly smaller than the diameter of the nail passing through them. deep groove with a corundum (not carbide) blade on your circular saw. The deck shown here features a pressure-treated floor frame that’s supported by a ledger board and concrete piers, and topped with 5/4-inch decking. Start gathering inspiration by looking at websites or Pinterest boards to see what may work for your personal aesthetic and backyard layout. Attach the post anchors to the deck footings using a hammer drill designed for heavy-duty work. Click to explore images of raised and elevated decks. The calculations are important for the stairs and stringers for them to be within code regulations. Use 2x4s or larger lumber for guardrail. But if the prospect of building a full-scale attached deck feels daunting, consider an easier alternative: building a detached deck. Make them strong and fasten them securely. A raised decking doesn’t have to be attached to your house; it can work well as a feature around a tree, in a suntrap, or to elevate a hot tub at the bottom of your garden. Depending on your deck size, posts may be 4 - 8 feet apart with rail height of 36-42 inches. It lasts the longest too. In addition, nails loosen and pop up. C, simply because they make the deck feel a bit stiffer underfoot and fit better atop 4x4 posts. Homeowners can no longer buy powerful commercial preservatives, so this method won’t make your wood as rot resistant as pressure-treated wood. Preservative chemicals often won’t penetrate heartwood, so it can quickly rot. 3). (Concrete dealers limit their offload time and charge beyond that limit.). Dunk the critical ends of posts and other lumber into a bucket of wood preservative (formulated to resist fungus) for an hour or even a day to let as much preservative as possible soak into the wood. If you’re going the DIY route, several free apps can help you generate blueprints to take to your building office when applying for permits. Is the site directly accessible to the truck? All work well. As a rule of thumb. Wash your hands after working with it, and don’t burn leftover scraps. If you’re working with a contractor, you’ll want to be able to submit blueprints for the deck to have on file to make sure that your deck conforms to safety regulations, as well as local building codes. Fortunately, the path from the deck of your imagination to a real one isn’t hard, because there’s nothing complicated about building a quality deck. The preservative permanently bonds with the wood only when it dries. Check the containers to make sure the stain and repellent are compatible. Use a second 2-by-4 on the opposite side. Then when the sun bakes them dry, the wood shrinks. From one side of the stairs to the other is a 10 1/2-inch slope. Simply nail them into the posts with 16d galvanized box nails. On occasion you may need to bolt the ledger to a concrete foundation (Fig. Attach a 2-by-8-inch ledger board perpendicular to the house. Just insert 3/8-in. An above-ground deck works especially well for those living in elevated homes that are closer to sea level or in a flood zone, as well as for homes that have a backyard with a steep incline. The deck would be inset into a 6 foot deep, 14 foot wide "U" shaped space at the back of our house, approximately 8 feet above the ground. You can choose a stair design that goes straight to the ground or that turns at 90 degrees, depending on what works best for your own backyard and home structure. bolts 3-1/2 in. If your house was built since the mid 1990s, there is a chance that the floor system is constructed with a MWJ (Manufactured Wood Joist) floor system. D). Your deck will not feel right until you’re sure your railing is strong. At some home supply stores, staff will even design an elevated deck for you if you buy your supplies from them. You’ll see it happen as your deck “weathers” to a silver gray in a few years. It’s also a great project to take on if you’re wanting to put your DIY skills to the test. No matter which option you choose, you’ll need to pour a concrete pad for the base of the stairs. For additional support, bolt blocks under both ends. However, starting with a good foundation will prepare your deck for years of hard use. That’s where fungus takes root. Beams made from stronger wood can often be smaller. The metal post/beam cap shown in Fig. In these kinds of page, we likewise have variety of images available. Install the ledger first, and slip proper flashing to stop rot. Terms of use, Budget - Determines Deck Size and Materials, Selecting The Best Composite Decking Color For Your Home. Before adding the deck boards, set the posts for your guardrail. high and so that a 6-in. Reinforce with wood blocks cut from the same size wood material as the joists (called blocking) between the joists to prevent the joists from twisting. Lowe's Sponsored this video where I show how easy it can be to build a deck. For recoating ease, your best bet is to apply a clear penetrating sealer or an exterior stain that also seals. Just jot those ideas down. They’ll review your plan, help size beams and joists, check the railing and generally be a good source of technical information. Deck surfaces exposed to direct sun and rain take a terrific beating. Usually 4x4 posts spaced every 6 in. Anchor deck joists to the ledger with joist hangers, filling each hole with galvanized joist hanger nails rated for pressure-treated wood. A water repellent simply keeps the water out.). A “.40” rating should be stamped right on the board, which means it contains .40 pounds of preservative per cubic foot of wood. Take your design to your local building inspector’s office. Cut the 4x4 posts to length, fasten them to their concrete foundations, plumb them with a level and temporarily brace them in place with boards. This is a horizontal piece of lumber that attaches to an existing wall of your home to provide deck stability. When you dive into your next deck project, plan to stop these enemies right from the start, and you’ll keep your deck healthy for a long, long time. The chemicals bond to the fiber and remain there. They don’t react as much to wetting/drying cycles as several of the denser types used for pressure treating, like Southern yellow pine. How To Square A Deck For Your House Using 3-4-5 Technique. A named steel cap (A) is strongest. If you’re planning to cap your posts, be sure to allow extra room for the caps. Fixing: Use lag screws, hex head bolts and washers. This is because soil eventually shifts, compresses and otherwise moves with Mother Nature. These free deck plans will help you build the deck of your dreams. It sits atop the 4x4 posts. As you near the end, you can adjust the deck spacing so you end up with a … The beam, here consisting of two 2x10s, must be strong enough to support the weight of the deck, plus the weight of all the activity that takes place in it. According to the span table, one 2x8 does the job, though a second 2x8 was added for additional stiffness. We’ll walk you through step-by-step directions for how to build a platform deck that isn’t attached to the house and uses a simple foundation. Attachment of ledger Before you start building the raised deck it is good to attach a ledger board to the house, keeping in mind that a 14 x 24-foot deck would require a 2x12 ledger. rating), or the heartwood of redwood or cedar. Count every board and bolt. Building inspectors have found that many homeowners, designing by “rules of thumb,” make beams too small. Strength and safety are first priority here. Next, you’ll dig holes for the footings, assemble the footings and pier forms, and raise posts over the piers. 5A. As with beams, joist size depends on the weight to be supported, the length the joists have to span and their wood type. Good footing holes have vertical sides or slope inward toward the top. For more protection or when the stain doesn’t contain a water repellent, apply a clear sealer (or other water repellent) first. Neither of these forms a skin on the wood surface that can peel. Building the deck close to the ground helps keeps the “wobble” out of the completed structure. Plumb your posts, keeping them straight and then install the landing framing. Harsh weathering can crack the wood and weaken its joints. But make a visual inspection and use your own judgment, too. Print Version. Finally. Avoid Saturdays, when they're likely to be most busy. Think of your deck as a rigid platform set across two or more very strong parallel beams. Good quality treated lumber will contain no more than a trace of heartwood, the darker center of a tree. Cut two 2-by-8-inch boards to span the length of the deck and attach them to the first 2-by-8. wooden dowels, or the diameter of the spacing you desire, into several scrap 2x4 pieces. 10 galvanized screws beneath, as shown. above the ground to help them dry off faster after rain. Some of the items are necessary for more than one stage of the project, so do check the steps thoroughly for the tools and equipment needed. by Brian (Ontario, Canada) We live in Ontario, Canada and plan to build an elevated deck at the back of our house with stairs to access the main floor - which is above our walk-out basement doors. It’s time to lay the decking. A wood preservative is a chemical that’s toxic to wood—destroying fungus, bacteria and insects. Some of the items are necessary for more than one stage of the project, so do check the steps thoroughly for the tools and equipment needed. Make sure your posts are perfectly vertical with a level, then bolt on 2x4 or 2x6 braces between the posts and beams at a 45-degree angle. The guardrail feels firm, too, so you can lean against it confidently. You can choose from either of the two beam sizes shown there, either three 2x8s or two 2x10s nailed together. They soon wear off high-traffic areas and weather away from areas exposed to direct sun and rain. No. A ledger board attaches the deck to the home, and is the most important connection for the deck. Fill out the details, using other decks for examples. That’s to keep it from sinking or lilting and throwing your deck askew. 6), nailing it securely to each joist with galvanized 16d nails, three nails per 2x6, four per 2x8, five per 2x10, etc. 5B and 5C also show two kinds of bolts —— smooth-head carriage bolts and hexagonal-head machine bolts. Nail the ends of bowed boards first, forcing the bow against the previous row. In such cases use machine bolts, because you can steady their heads with a wrench. And it might if you put it together right. With most of the parts in place, it’s time to start connecting each of them to one another. Building A Ground Level Step-By-Step. Lay out the post and foundation locations. 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