Build Your Ideal Deck
A deck offers an ideal place to enjoy the outdoors right in your own backyard, and it is easier than you may think to build your own deck. You just need to know certain information to accomplish the task.
Before you start shopping for kitchen countertops, make sure you have a well-thought-out plan for your kitchen renovation. Consider how long you plan on living in the home, as well as the cabinetry and fixtures you plan to use. You should also consider what types of upgrades are typical for similar homes in your area. Here’s how to start the selection process:
PLANNING YOUR DECK
You must first know what style and shape of deck you wish to build before proceeding. Check out the decks of family and friends for some ideas. In addition, many books and online resources are available to provide you with ideas.
Once you know the basic shape and style chosen, you will need to take some measurements of the location of the deck. These measurements will allow you to choose the right plans. You should know the width, length and height of footings for your deck.
TERMS YOU’LL NEED TO KNOW
Beam: A horizontal support member. (Also see post.)
Decking: The material installed over the supporting framing members to which the roofing material is applied.
Edge: Either of the two longer sides of a board, perpendicular to the face.
Face: Either of the two wide surfaces of a board.
Footing: The base on which a masonry wall or other support rests. It spreads out the load to prevent settling.
Joists: Horizontal framing members that support a floor or ceiling.
Pilot Hole: A small-diameter hole that guides a nail or screw.
Post: Any vertical support member. (Also see beam.)
Rim Joist: The outermost joist in a structure’s floor framing.
Rise: The vertical distance from one point to another above it; a measurement you need in planning a stairway or ramp. (Also see run.)
Run: The horizontal distance a ramp or stairway traverses. (Also see rise.)
Screed: Leveling concrete, sand or other material by pulling a board pipe or other straightedge across it in a sawing motion.
Three-Four-Five Triangle: An easy, mathematical way to check whether a large angle is square. Measure 3 feet along one side and 4 feet along the other. If the corner is square, the diagonal distance between those two points will equal 5 feet.
Toenail: To drive nails at an angle.
Once you have the necessary measurements of the deck you are thinking of building, it is time to find the plans to show you how to build it. You can buy pre-made plans or computer software to design your own plans, or you can draw out your own plans if you have the skill.
Most pre-made plans or computer-generated plans include a material and tool list of everything that goes into assembling your deck. Make sure if you’re drawing your own plans that you know all this information for yourself.
MATERIALS, TOOLS AND SUPPLIES
The next step is to choose the type of materials you are going to construct your deck with. Many choices are available today. Pressure-treated lumber such as southern yellow pine is a very popular low-cost option. This type of lumber is treated with certain chemicals that make it resistant to weather elements. Other lumber made of redwood or cedar also stands up well outside. Today, there are many synthetic choices also for building a deck, so examine the benefits of all before choosing the right one for you.
SOME OF THE TOOLS AND SUPPLIES NEEDED ARE LISTED BELOW
HAND TOOLS YOU NEED
POWER TOOLS YOU NEED
Power Screwdriver (Manual ones can also be used.)
OTHER SUPPLIES YOU NEED
Nails and screws properly treated for outdoor use
Various brackets for attaching the deck to the house and the pieces together
(Note: This is just a sampling of tools needed. The plans you use should have a more detailed list.)
CONSTRUCTING YOUR DECK
Step 1: Clearing and leveling the land that the deck supports are going to set on or in footings.
Step 2: Install the ledger boards onto the house at the appropriate height according to your plans, making sure they are well secured to the house’s foundation or framing.
Step 3: Measure where footings go and dig holes. (First call utility companies to ensure no underground lines are present). A building inspector may have to inspect the open holes at this point; check local codes.
Step 4: Framing out the deck is next.
Step 5: Install the floor and build the steps.
Step 6: Build the railings and finishing touches.
Step 7: Stain the deck if so desired. This does depend on which materials are used for construction. Once the stain is dry, the deck is ready for a party.