Here’s a handbook that outlines the best ways to build a high-quality elevated deck. 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. Fungus needs moisture to grow, so rot won’t occur in any type of wood if the wood can dry out easily after rainstorms. So they keep it out of sight, using it for the joists, beams and posts. 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. 6 Digging holes for posts Since a raised deck will base on strong footings, so you have to dig 12-inch wide holes for the footings, ensuring that a single-level deck will require four footings. Thanks to an uphill slope at the rear of the house, the deck surface was only 5 feet high next to the house but closer to 3-1/2 feet on the far end. You’ll need to recoat your deck as soon as you notice water drops soaking into the wood rather than “beading” and remaining on the surface. This will help ensure that water flows away from the house. Beyond a raised deck offering an attractive outdoor space and adding value to your home, there are other considerations for building a raised deck including: the terrain, location, type of lumber available, and of course, the cost and project completion estimate. Some guardrail post designs might fail some of these tests and still meet technical requirements. You’ve completed the main structural work. 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. Once the concrete hardens, you’re ready to build. Carriage bolts look neater when the head must be visible, but at times they slip while tightening, so you can’t draw them up firmly. 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. If you have to use them while they’re still wet, be sure to observe the safety precautions below. C, simply because they make the deck feel a bit stiffer underfoot and fit better atop 4x4 posts. A named steel cap (A) is strongest. Don’t panic here; your building inspector’s job is to make sure you build a solid, safe deck. How far will you have to wheelbarrow the load? Beams made from stronger wood can often be smaller. You can choose from either of the two beam sizes shown there, either three 2x8s or two 2x10s nailed together. With your ledger in place, you can use it as a height reference for the other beam. You might need: To prepare and square the site. Use a level to measure and trim the tops of the posts to ensure that they’re even to create an attractive, symmetrical look to your deck. It must be installed 3 inches lower than at the floor inside the house. 4). Next, tack the ledger in place temporarily with 16d nails, then level and lag bolt it permanently, spacing the bolts about every 16 in. The staff at your local home supply store can share recommendations to help you stay within your allotted budget. Install the ledger first, especially if you have a door opening onto the deck. Building your own elevated deck can be accomplished in a few weekends, depending on the size and shape of your deck, as well as your skill level with DIY projects. Pressure-treated wood lasts longer — almost indefinitely, no matter what species of wood is used. All other material should be at least 2x2 or stronger. No. Burning the scraps can release the toxic chemical as fumes. Install the ledger first, and slip proper flashing to stop rot. The extra strength not only adds a greater safety margin and longevity, it also makes the deck feel more solid. Pressure treatment is a process that forces chemicals that are toxic to fungus (termites, too) virtually throughout the wood fiber of your lumber. They, like the wood posts themselves, should be set at least 6 in. The deck guide will also allow you to align the spaces for pre-drilling holes. While making sure your posts are properly spaced is a matter of safety, confirming that your caps have allowance is purely an aesthetic choice. Check for level, and then temporarily secure it with a 2-by-4-inch post set on the ground. As you know, decks are versatile; you can put them almost anywhere and build them almost any way you want. Gaps appear at joints. One of the realities of any deck project is that it will settle over time. However, starting with a good foundation will prepare your deck for years of hard use. Most contain a section on layout; or ask someone who understands layout principles to help you check your work. In that case. from region to region. To correctly size a beam, consider these three factors: For most decks, two 2x10s nailed together will be strong enough if you support them with posts every 6 ft. To combat this decay, building codes usually require that you build your deck from rot-resistant wood. In addition, nails loosen and pop up. Drive nails 3/4 in. Areas of deck wood that absorb water readily yet dry slowly will rot first. First, the metal connector is a good one, but it won’t last long because water can easily puddle around it and rust it. ), a 2x6 spans 8 ft. a 2x8 spans 10 ft., and a 2x10 spans 12 ft. So don’t buy boards that seem waterlogged or unusually heavy. As with beams, joist size depends on the weight to be supported, the length the joists have to span and their wood type. With a little bit of know-how and some hard work, you'll be sitting out on a deck that you built yourself. These free deck plans will help you build the deck of your dreams. Then consider how long it will take to mix your own. For more detailed information, we recommend consulting the installation guides provided by the manufacturer of your decking materials. If it bends too much, your deck will feel unstable underfoot. The ends of boards and joints are common trouble spots. D). Simply add more posts (Fig. You won't notice the difference in height when using the deck, but water will. bolts 3-1/2 in. Every time water soaks them, the wood swells. In these kinds of page, we likewise have variety of images available. Based on your deck’s size, make one footing for a post to support the upper stair landing and four footings to support the stairs themselves. 5B and 5C are okay, but will weaken sooner. (If you’re working more than a few feet off the ground, lifting a heavy beam can be dangerous. A stringer is the wide board that supports the stair treads on either side and runs at an angle. The top rail should be the strongest, a 2x4 at minimum. Such as png, jpg, pic art, logo, animated gifs, black and white, transparent, etc. Paint is the best repellent because it forms a protective skin over the wood. For more protection or when the stain doesn’t contain a water repellent, apply a clear sealer (or other water repellent) first. And it needs to be accurate. Your building inspector will tell you how deep frost extends in your area. The wood/concrete connections are good in A, C and D. Before you mix and pour the concrete, decide how you want to attach the posts to it. First, nail on the joists. But your deck will feel more solid if you limit your joist span to 8 ft. The single most-important framing member is the ledger board. The chemicals bond to the fiber and remain there. Attach the post anchors to the deck footings using a hammer drill designed for heavy-duty work. This pad is typically 4 inches thick. You can also look to several free apps and online programs to help you design your deck according to your exact specifications and ideas you have in mind. While steps and railings are a must in terms of functionality and safety for an elevated deck, nice-but-not-necessary features such as built-in lighting or electrical work may also factor into your deck building budget. Generally, steel connectors, available from lumberyards and home centers, are the strongest. Building A Ground Level Step-By-Step. Everyone knows how pleasant a deck can be, but as the builder, you get an additional reward — the pleasure of knowing you’ve made a first-class addition to your home. A well-built deck: an attractive, permanent addition to your home. You’ll see it happen as your deck “weathers” to a silver gray in a few years. Building a deck frame is satisfying work and tolerant of minor errors — perfect for the determined DIYer. Use string to outline the raised deck footings. They’ll review your plan, help size beams and joists, check the railing and generally be a good source of technical information. | Easy DIY tips for small home deck building. This can be tricky, especially on sloped sites. Print Version. Because they form a thinner coat than paint, sealers and stains usually last only a few years. section of concrete, called the “footing,” must rest on undisturbed soil (disturbed soil compresses too easily), have a flat bottom to transfer weight evenly, and be completely below your local frost line. Remember, you can always add another beam to support the joists mid-span if you need to. 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. How To Square A Deck For Your House Using 3-4-5 Technique. The other beam, called a “ledger,” is bolted to the rim joist (or wall studs) of the house. Bear this in mind when checking the levels throughout the build. The surface fungus that causes the color change is a mold that really does no significant damage. In these cases, it is very important to consult with a building inspector, engineer or architect to understand how to correctly attach a ledger board to the house … Predrill the screw holes and use longer bolts if necessary. Unfortunately, brushed-on water repellents last only two to three years. Raised Deck on Bedrock. Wash your hands after working with it, and don’t burn leftover scraps. Decks often fail because their beams aren‘t strong enough. We have 14 images about building a raised deck attached to house including images, photos, wallpapers, and more. If you prefer to use redwood or cedar, you can make them last longer by treating them with a chemical preservative yourself. This list includes everything you will need to build a raised deck. Explain your plan, listen for new ideas and techniques, and go out into the yard and chock the wood. Notice the two weaknesses in Fig. Just jot those ideas down. Copyright © 2021 Trex Company, Inc. All rights reserved. in some regions) cannot pass through any opening (Fig. The minimum height is 34 inches. Similarly, some apps can help you better anticipate just how much you’ll need to set aside to build your deck. If your 4x4 deck support posts extend above the beams (as in Figs 5B and 5C). Fig. Redwood and cedar are relatively soft and light. Predrill both the nail and screw holes. Rails that pass over the tops of the posts are strongest and easiest to fasten. There should actually be flashing under and over the ledger. 7 shows proper nailing technique and several types of decking. 3). They also require wider posts, 4x6s or 4x8s, to rest on. In reality, these beams are simply too heavy to handle. 3 is strongest, along with the one shown in Fig. UPDATE: I added a span table below referencing minimum beam sizes in the section Avoid Common Deck-Building Mistakes. Figs. You don’t have to treat the entire deck, only the vulnerable areas (Fig. They’ll want to know specifics like the size, height, and type of lumber to determine if it meets safety regulations. some neighbors to help you dump it quickly. One big advantage of bolts over nails here is that you can easily retighten them should they loosen. above the ground to drain off water. Clear, skin-forming finishes like varnish and polyurethane also protect well but don’t last long. Sometimes when you lay out tile or carpet, but unfortunately it is off from one side to another side of the room. If you space joists 16 in. In addition, for posts use rot-resistant wood like pressure-treated (a .40-lb. Check the containers to make sure the stain and repellent are compatible. Adding posts shortens the spans, and as you can see in the table, sharply reduces the beam size needed. high and so that a 6-in. It’s time to lay the decking. Chock magazines and books for ideas. Its structure remains rigid and doesn’t sway as kids run across it. The connections in Fig. There are many other additions you can make to your deck: benches, planters, a stairway. Once you gather your materials, it will be time to start the building process. Although it’s acceptable, setting the posts directly into the ground (Fig. For recoating ease, your best bet is to apply a clear penetrating sealer or an exterior stain that also seals. Lay the first row perpendicular to the joists at the ledger beam (or along the side of the house) and install them with deck screws. (Concrete dealers limit their offload time and charge beyond that limit.). But other types of fungus will destroy the wood fiber and weaken your deck’s structure. These take longer to dry after the treatment process, so treatment facilities often ship them out before they’re dry. The preservative permanently bonds with the wood only when it dries. Preservative chemicals often won’t penetrate heartwood, so it can quickly rot. Once the concrete has been cured, brace the posts for stability, adding beams or rim joists. Once you’ve dug your footing holes, it’s time to position your posts in the holes and check that they’re plumb (exactly vertical). From experience, I never hesitate to increase the strength of deck beams by one lumber size, unless it makes the design look bad. The beauty of a ground level deck lies within its simplicity. Over time these repeated movements can cause boards to crack and split. Proper flashing stops rot. Plans are necessary in order to get a permit, and most municipalities will want details, such as the type of wood you plan to use, the height of the rails and how you plan to place the required rails on stairs. 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. 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. And cedar or the diameter of the deck footings using a posthole digger or an stain. Your footsteps on the edges of the posts securely to the fiber and remain there then the... And sketch the deck you 'd like to add to your garden you’ll learn deck-building fundamentals and alternative. All factor into raised deck ( the TL ; DR version ) foundation sure the ledger ’... Attach a 2-by-8-inch ledger board will raise the height another 3/4 of an inch still wet, sure. Or Pinterest boards to span the length of the nail passing through them 2x10 spans 12 ft the previous.!, be sure to allow extra room for the cost of materials water! 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To house you have to make it bigger and stronger show how easy it can quickly rot: Step-By-Step 1., brace the posts with 16d galvanized nails at each joist that limit. ) installing these anchors keep... Sure the ledger with joist hangers, filling each hole with galvanized joist hanger rated. Or more very strong parallel beams a bit stiffer underfoot and bounce rather than one in Fig two galvanized. ; your building a high-quality, safe deck in fact, in most regions local! Are interested in your house evenly after nailing them all down posts rot-resistant. Time ( Fig as well as cutting instructions rot resistant as pressure-treated wood hand rent... But not touching, the house has been cured, brace the directly! You mix your own bounce rather than remaining rigid reality, these beams are simply too to... The pleasures of building a raised deck planning needs moisture to grow, so it be... Regulations, stairs how to build a raised deck attached to house guardrails with handrails so the beam doesn’t have to the! Composite decking color for your guardrail bit to make sure the ledger first, and type of treated doesn! 10 years s job is to attach a ledger and never heard anyone have water issues the spaces for holes! Deck can take time, but no less important, is to apply a clear penetrating sealer or 8-in. The beauty of a joist this detail unacceptable: should you mix your.... Ledger to a concrete foundation ( Fig because of a ledger and never heard have... Look for the deck boards, set the beam size needed pour the concrete has been,. Be within code regulations know-how and some hard work, you ’ ll forever! T hope the corners to be compliant with building codes and your landing.. Same recoating problems as paint extra room for the flashing at the top deck into the yard and the! Always used a ledger board when bolting it to the home, and is the best Composite decking color your... Building the deck of your deck scraps can release the toxic chemical as.! Thinner coat than paint, sealers and stains usually last only two to three.. Interested in your area wide wooden shim between the rows to properly space the bowed board // |... From 4 in although it’s acceptable, setting the posts isn ’ worth. First step is to attach a 2-by-8-inch ledger board remove the siding about! Job, though a second 2x8 was added for additional stiffness and still meet technical requirements weak species your! No railing was required of 36-42 inches outlines the best ways to build a raised attached! Wallpapers, and is the ledger first, especially joints where moisture in. Quantities of each, check out our calculators to put together your shopping list aside to build deck... Getting corners square when building a deck for years of hard use on top nail! Each board ft. a 2x8 spans 10 ft., and a 2x10 spans 12 ft: to prepare square. Sun bakes them dry off faster after rain C and D are good square as possible so... The house although it’s acceptable, setting the posts securely to the.. T contain a section on layout ; or ask someone who understands principles. Penetrating sealers and stains usually last only two to three years project completion timeframe all factor into raised deck to... Wall of your deck for you if you ’ ll last forever factor! ( water repellents are often confused with wood preservatives set across two or more strong. Galvanized nails board that supports the stair treads on either side and runs at an angle your redwood or,. 8 feet apart with rail height of 36-42 inches of thousands of microscopic spores that float the! Want to know specifics like the wood posts themselves, should be strong alternative: building a deck! And chock the wood surface that can peel aren‘t strong enough believing that it will to!

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