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Building A Deck

Building a deck is a great way to add outdoor living space to your home. Your deck can be as detailed or as simple as you want it to be. Decks today can be tiered, with a several areas designated for children, entertaining, and serenity.
Tool List
Step ladders
Circular saw
Tape measure
Power drill
4 foot level or laser level
Power drill
Chalk line
Combination square
Framing Square
Safety Goggles
Decks are made up of 6 basic parts: Footings,posts, beams, joists, decking, rails.

Footings are the foundation of your deck, usually consisting of concrete pads or piers that support your posts.
Posts are typically 4x4 or 6x6 vertical members that support your beam. Keep in mind if your deck is very high, you may want to use the 6x6 posts; not only for strength, but smaller posts may look spindly when supporting a deck from a height above 6 feet.
Beams support the joints. The size of the beam depends on the height and width of the deck.
Joists are the framework that supports you decking, much like the ribs of a ship.
Decking is the floor of you deck.
Rails are the “fence” around your deck.
Before you start, there are a few things to keep in mind:
Check your city and state building codes. You most likely will have to get a building permit before you begin. Most codes call for your railings to be no less than 4” apart for child safety. If you live in a cold climate, you may have to pour frost footings. This is not as hard as you may think it is. Details to follow in our instructions.
Materials: You will have to decide what materials you want to use for your deck.. There are many options available in today’s lumberyards, including:

Treated Pine: Treated pine is a strong, inexpensive option for your deck. It won’t rot or break up, but you should put on a sealer or stain to increase the life of your deck. You should use an oil base semi- transparent stain to withstand foot traffic. Solid stains will eventually peel if you use them on the floor of your deck. Check the label before buying stain to make sure it will hold up to heavy traffic.
Tip: It is recommended that treated pine be left untouched for a few months unless it is marked KDAT (Kiln dried after treatment). New treated pine may not be dry enough to accept stain or sealer. To test your wood, apply stain to a small inconspicuous spot on your deck. If the stain in not absorbed within 15 minutes, your wood may be too wet. You should purchase your treated lumber a few weeks before you plan to build your deck to give it time to dry out enough to accept screws or nails. Wood will eventually crack if it is nailed or screwed when the wood is wet.
If you are using treated pine, be sure to ask at the lumberyard for special joists. Some metal may corrode when it come in contact with
the chemicals used is treated wood.

Cedar: Cedar is a softer wood than pine, and it it not as strong, but it will last a long time, as it has a natural resistance to decay. The downside is your screws or nails may eventually loosen. Again, check your wood before you stain to make sure it is dry enough. If you want to use cedar for your decking, you must use a stronger wood, such as pine for your framework.

Redwood: Redwood is a smooth-grained wood with a natural resistance to insects and decay, but it is quite expensive. Like cedar, you only want to use redwood for the deck. Use treated pine or other lumber for framing.

Composite decking: The new composite decking comes in a variety of styles and colors. This decking never needs stain and weathers well, It is more expensive than wood, but the low maintenance may make it worth your while. We recommend running your joists 12” on center instead of the normal 16” on center to make your deck stronger. For a 12 foot deck, this will mean you will need 1 extra joist, and you will have a stronger deck in the long run. Page 2

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