While making sure your posts are properly spaced is a matter of safety, confirming that your caps have allowance is purely an aesthetic choice. Now add the platform. Four footings are common for a typical deck. 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. Then set the beam on top and nail it. 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. long to completely penetrate the rim joist. Usually 4x4 posts spaced every 6 in. Depending on building codes in your jurisdiction, you may be required to get a permit to build a raised deck of a certain height. They soon wear off high-traffic areas and weather away from areas exposed to direct sun and rain. To combat this decay, building codes usually require that you build your deck from rot-resistant wood. Predrill both the nail and screw holes. This pad is typically 4 inches thick. Proper flashing stops rot. Once the concrete has been cured, brace the posts for stability, adding beams or rim joists. Other designs, like the one in Fig. You’ve completed the main structural work. 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. Then slip aluminum flashing up under the siding and against the sheathing later you’ll bend the flashing over the top of the ledger to keep water from collecting against the house and causing rot. Don’t panic here; your building inspector’s job is to make sure you build a solid, safe deck. Install the ledger first, and slip proper flashing to stop rot. The first thing you will want to do, when building a raised deck, is to plan out your new deck. And boards warp. Decking How to build outdoor steps A D.I.Y. 3). Redwood and cedar are relatively soft and light. Did you bolt your rail posts to the joists or beam? Terms of use, Budget - Determines Deck Size and Materials, Selecting The Best Composite Decking Color For Your Home. But beware of some situations and then start your work. Some decks can't be attached directly to the house using ledger boards because of a house cantilever or a brick veneer. Chock magazines and books for ideas. 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. With your ledger in place, you can use it as a height reference for the other beam. make the finished deck 1/2 in. Pressure treatment is a process that forces chemicals that are toxic to fungus (termites, too) virtually throughout the wood fiber of your lumber. For a full list of items you may need and quantities of each, check out our calculators to put together your shopping list. When the lumber comes, you're ready to go. This is important for stability, but even more so in colder areas where you need to check how deep your soil will freeze during winter months. Get the seams of the decking board to be centered over the joists. The terrain, the deck’s location, budget, materials and project completion timeframe all factor into raised deck planning. Prepare a level, weed-free area for the deck. No. There are different sizes for different size lumber. You will sense it every time you step out on your deck listen. If you need any pointers here, please check out our detailed “How to Design & Build a Raised Garden Bed” tutorial. Pergolas are quickly becoming the in-demand outdoor living structure, and as a result, you can find pergolas for sale at more places than … 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. Decking can look amazing in your garden, and gives you and your family the perfect space to dine, relax and play. Are there enough of them, at least one every 6 ft.? If your design calls for a bottom rail, make sure it is at least 2x4. Deck surfaces exposed to direct sun and rain take a terrific beating. From ‘Instructables‘, this simple DIY floating deck tutorial is one of my favorites, because it’s so basic I think even beginning DIY’ers could do it. But it can delay rot for several additional years. You may choose to bolt the post to the stair riser or stringer at the top and bottom, then confirm they are even before you repeat the process with the next posts. (Water repellents are often confused with wood preservatives. Decide the size, the height, whether or not there will be stairs. As a sign of quality, look for the American Wood Protection Association (AWPA) stamp or a lifetime guarantee on each board. You can see one of those beams in Fig. When your post spacing reaches about 10 ft., the beams get big and heavy, sometimes four 2x8s, three 2x10s or larger. Here’s a handbook that outlines the best ways to build a high-quality elevated deck. Your attachment should also meet code requirements for bolt-through details into a solid part of the house. 2 Mark the place where the bottom of the deck is to go. A repellent will help protect your redwood or cedar decks, too, even though moisture affects them less. 9 below). Then, place a post into position in the corner of your frame and measure and mark out 100mm from each face. For more protection or when the stain doesn’t contain a water repellent, apply a clear sealer (or other water repellent) first. Unfortunately, though, repainting a deck is difficult once the first coat peels, because you have to scrape and sand the wood to prepare for a new coat. One big advantage of bolts over nails here is that you can easily retighten them should they loosen. In reality, these beams are simply too heavy to handle. Your footsteps on the deck boards sound crisp and firm, like the floor in your house. Measure your railing post locations and railing height, making sure they conform to building codes and your blueprints that had been approved. on center (from the center of one to the center of the next. processors of top-quality treated wood impregnate some of their wood products with a water repellent so they absorb less moisture, swell less, and therefore crack and warp less. For help on this, head to the 'How to square a site' section of our How to build a raised deck article for more advice. Then drive a wide wooden shim between the rows to properly space the bowed board. 3 from two 2x10s spiked together with 16d galvanized nails. Use a level to draw a line on the siding the whole length of the deck. Gather your decking boards and start laying them (temporarily) in the middle of the deck. You can use them to join the joists to the ledger. How to Build a Floating Deck. Answer the following questions: Bolt rail posts to joists. Confidence is the key. Even over a worst conditioned concrete patio, you can install a raised deck. Figs. In such cases use machine bolts, because you can steady their heads with a wrench. Fill out the details, using other decks for examples. deck screws; 26" x 10' corrugated metal panel (2) 2x2 x 8' treated lumber (2) 2x4 x 8' treated lumber (4) 2x6 x 10' treated lumber (5) 3/4" x 4' x 8' treated plywood; 6-mil plastic; Cheap Raised Garden Beds You Can DIY. They, too, are interested in your building a high-quality, safe dock. If they find enough moisture, the spores that settle on your freshly built deck will root and grow, slowly dissolving the wood fiber. Decide the shape and the height of the handrails. It is an easy part of the process. Start gathering inspiration by looking at websites or Pinterest boards to see what may work for your personal aesthetic and backyard layout. 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. 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. Before you break ground and start laying the foundation for a deck you’ll enjoy for years to come, weigh the various factors involved in building your deck and how it can impact your options. In that case. But despite your skills and patience, three enemies eagerly wait to reduce your new deck to a pile of waste wood in just a few years: You’ll learn how these foes attack your deck and also how to keep them at bay. Good quality treated lumber will contain no more than a trace of heartwood, the darker center of a tree. UPDATE: I added a span table below referencing minimum beam sizes in the section Avoid Common Deck-Building Mistakes. But they won‘t feel safe. Your deck will not feel right until you’re sure your railing is strong. My husband and I built this ourselves—mostly it was him, but I helped. First, the metal connector is a good one, but it won’t last long because water can easily puddle around it and rust it. From ‘Apartment Therapy‘, learn how to build a freestanding deck from repurposed pallet wood. One of the pleasures of building a good, solid deck is believing that it’ll last forever. 1, and some alternative styles in Fig. Neither of these forms a skin on the wood surface that can peel. deep groove with a corundum (not carbide) blade on your circular saw. Attach the post anchors to the deck footings using a hammer drill designed for heavy-duty work. These step-by-step directions on how to build a raised deck will help you build the deck of your dreams. The average homeowner spends $2,200 to build a 10x10 foot deck, $6,160 to build a 14x20 deck, and $8,800 to build a 20x20 deck. above the ground to help them dry off faster after rain. Over time these repeated movements can cause boards to crack and split. The triangle created by the beam, post, and brace keeps the structure rigid. Measure diagonally from post to post or use a set square to check the area is square. A down to one 2x8 in Fig. Once you gather your materials, it will be time to start the building process. Beam sizes in this table are based on the strength of Ponderosa pine, a relatively weak species. All other material should be at least 2x2 or stronger. You don’t have to treat the entire deck, only the vulnerable areas (Fig. Finally. Installing these anchors will keep the stairs steady and safe. Both spread the deck weight over the entire end of the post, and so stress the wood fibers least. Most deck wood dries quickly, but a few places remain wet for a long time (Fig. Step 1. Nail the ends of bowed boards first, forcing the bow against the previous row. Most raised decks are constructed with piers or posts every 6 to 8 feet along the perimeter and if the deck is wider than 6 feet, there are usually piers or posts in the middle. In addition to being a functional spot to entertain friends and family outdoors, a raised deck can also “raise” the style profile of your home and backyard. Remember, you can always add another beam to support the joists mid-span if you need to. D), especially joints where moisture sinks in and dries out slowly. 5B and 5C also show two kinds of bolts —— smooth-head carriage bolts and hexagonal-head machine bolts. The chemicals bond to the fiber and remain there. From the line you just marked, measure down the thickness of the deck boards (usually 1 to 1 1/2 inches, or 2.5 to 3.75 centimeters), plus the height of the ledger board. Even in this example, you could reduce the beam size from two 2x10s in Fig. The staff at your local home supply store can share recommendations to help you stay within your allotted budget. Fungus spreads in the form of thousands of microscopic spores that float through the air. bolts 3-1/2 in. How far will you have to wheelbarrow the load? higher so water will run off. We can help you find the balance you’re looking for, an experienced elevated deck builder at a reasonable price. Contact us with any questions you may have! C). The extra effort usually isn’t worth the trouble. So don’t buy boards that seem waterlogged or unusually heavy. Most cities, towns, and neighborhoods require building permits for building a deck above ground. A wood preservative is a chemical that’s toxic to wood—destroying fungus, bacteria and insects. They, like the wood posts themselves, should be set at least 6 in. No under deck mess; An Allan Block raised patio may be just what your project needs. Do they feel solidly connected to the framework when you push on them? You don't have to be an artist. Copyright © 2021 Trex Company, Inc. All rights reserved. Fungus needs moisture to grow, so rot won’t occur in any type of wood if the wood can dry out easily after rainstorms. Here is a great tutorial on how to build a DIY floating deck, from ‘Home Depot‘. Read How to build a raised deck. Use the above span table to determine the minimum size (strength) of your beam. (If you’re working more than a few feet off the ground, lifting a heavy beam can be dangerous. You can review images online to choose a design and talk with specialists at a building supply store for input. If it bends too much, your deck will feel unstable underfoot. Cut two of the three pieces to a point at one end as these form stakes that will be driven into the ground. Every time water soaks them, the wood swells. This can be tricky, especially on sloped sites. 2A that make this detail unacceptable: Should you mix your own concrete or buy ready-mixed from a truck? Don’t skimp in your rail design. Pour concrete. This will take approximately 48 hours. If you have to use them while they’re still wet, be sure to observe the safety precautions below. Finally, give yourself plenty of time to complete the dock. Homeowners can no longer buy powerful commercial preservatives, so this method won’t make your wood as rot resistant as pressure-treated wood. C, simply because they make the deck feel a bit stiffer underfoot and fit better atop 4x4 posts. Of course, you know it won’t, but you want to believe that you did such a good job that it’ll outlive the house and certainly the neighbor’s deck. Simply add more posts (Fig. As you know, decks are versatile; you can put them almost anywhere and build them almost any way you want. Work out where exactly the pads are required and dig holes roughly 150mm square and 150mm deep at intervals of 1.2m around the deck. They also require wider posts, 4x6s or 4x8s, to rest on. in some regions) cannot pass through any opening (Fig. Add clear penetrating sealer or exterior stain, American Wood Protection Association (AWPA), Paint is the best repellent because it forms a protective skin over the wood. Below are all the tools i use and a link to free drawings and material lists of two decks. Note: Most jurisdictions will require a building permit for the addition of a hot tub or spa on a raised deck. With materials list and plan in hand, visit your favorite lumberyard to get an estimate for the cost of materials. Count every board and bolt. You can review images online to choose a design and talk with specialists at a building supply store for input. Once your posts are straight and your landing framing has been installed, attach your decking to the joists. Clear, skin-forming finishes like varnish and polyurethane also protect well but don’t last long. Strength and safety are first priority here. Pull your tape measure across the rim joist and mark the joist location which will be every 12, 16, or 24 inches - per your drawings. On this point, redwood and cedar usually have the edge on pressure-treated wood. 3 is strongest, along with the one shown in Fig. If your 4x4 deck support posts extend above the beams (as in Figs 5B and 5C). You can buy a stair package for your raised deck at most home supply stores, or you can build your own deck stairs following tutorials. from board edge. Pull out a pad of paper and a pencil, and sketch the deck you'd like to add to your home. A named steel cap (A) is strongest. But when you recoat the deck, you don’t have to scrape off the old finish, so sealers and stains are much easier to reapply than paint. Be sure the ledger board is attached properly, using bolts -- not screws. 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. Depending on rainfall and moisture conditions in your region, serious signs of decay can begin within 10 years. Depending on your deck size, posts may be 4 - 8 feet apart with rail height of 36-42 inches. D). Notice the two weaknesses in Fig. Is the site directly accessible to the truck? your deck nears completion. This wood costs 10 to 20 percent more but often comes with a lifetime guarantee. 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. Wear goggles when cutting it to keep sawdust away from your eyes. Just insert 3/8-in. You can dig the footings by hand or rent a power auger to make the process easier. Most likely no is … Allow the concrete to set. Then consider how long it will take to mix your own. The functional parts are done. There are many other additions you can make to your deck: benches, planters, a stairway. A raised deck is a great way to make the most of space that can otherwise go unused, such as slopes and uneven areas. Each free deck plan will tell you which materials, supplies, and tools you'll need to collect as well as cutting instructions. Flare the remaining footings to 18 inches. Your budget will also play a role in the type of materials to choose, the size of your deck, and what types of add-ons you may want to consider. 2-3/4-in. Most contain a section on layout; or ask someone who understands layout principles to help you check your work. apart. The Amish Quality Difference. No matter which option you choose, you’ll need to pour a concrete pad for the base of the stairs. All work well. You have to clean the surface of the concrete slab. 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. Keep it at your side as you plan, design, and complete your own. What’s more, the chemicals in treated wood tend to attract moisture, causing treated wood to swell more readily than redwood and cedar. Examples B and C are okay, but their smaller bearing area mean more strain on the wood fibers. Cap the ends of the joists with a band joist (Fig. You can even chat with neighbors who have built similar structures and understand some of the limitations of the particular terrain or geography within your neighborhood. You’ll see it happen as your deck “weathers” to a silver gray in a few years. or o.c. 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. Bolt blocks under both ends that limit. ) or unusually heavy and stringers for them to join the.. Attempting an ambitious patterned inlay ( Fig mess ; an Allan Block raised patio be... Are still working on it, and slip proper flashing to stop rot but I helped weight of nail. Footing in the guardrail varies from 4 in framework, cut the 100mm x 50mm tanalised timber to the,. Choose from either of the spacing you desire, into several scrap 2x4 pieces shim between the to... That can peel just what your project needs is all cosmetic you ’ re to. Show us how to build a raised patio may be just what your project needs ’ s easy to deck! 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First imagine, but the quality you achieve is worth it deck a... A full list of items you may need and quantities of each, check the containers to make detail.