Posts Tagged ‘Decks’

Spring Checklist

Take advantage of the moderate temperatures to get a head start on what should be an annual spring home maintenance routine. EXTERIOR INSPECTION “It’s good to do a walk-around of your property, especially after a storm,” says Curtis S. Niles, Sr., owner of Armored Home Inspections, Upper Darby, PA, and president of the National Association of Home Inspectors (NAHI). “Winter is tough on roofs and chimneys.” It can also take its toll on windows, walls, foundations, gutters and decks. Roof. You don’t need to climb up there yourself; with binoculars and a keen eye, you can probably spot trouble. Do you see any shingle-shift, suggesting that some fasteners may have failed and need replacing? Any cracked or missing shingles? What about nail-pops? “We call them eyebrows,” Niles explains. “It’s when nails push the tabs of the shingles up, allowing water to get in where those nails are coming through.” All will need to be addressed to keep your roof at peak performance. Chimneys. If you have a masonry chimney, check the joints between bricks or stones. Have any fallen out? Is there vegetation growing out of them? Each signals water infiltration. Also, look for efflorescence—”a white calcium-like deposit that indicates your masonry joints are no longer repelling water but absorbing it,” says Niles. Consider re-sealing masonry with a clear, impermeable or water-resistant barrier material (like Thoroseal products). Brush it on, small areas at a time; let it absorb for 15 minutes, then reapply—it may need a couple of applications. Exterior Walls. Whether you have wood siding, stucco or brick, look for trouble spots, especially under eaves and near gutter downspouts. Water stains normally indicate that your gutters are not adequately containing roof runoff. If you have wood siding, check for openings, damaged areas or knots that have popped out, making way for carpenter ants, woodpeckers and other critters that may nest in or burrow through. Foundations. When inspecting the exterior of your home, be sure to examine the foundation from top to bottom for masonry cracks. “Routine caulking by homeowners won’t do the job,” says Niles. “Hire a foundation specialist who can employ a two-part epoxy injection system that will bond cracks chemically,” he adds. Windows. Leakage around windows will admit warm summer air and let cooled indoor air escape, so be sure to check that any caulking and weather stripping you have in place has remained intact. “A tight seal is the first line of defense against air and water,” says Marty Davis, marketing manager, Simonton Windows, Columbus, OH. If you experienced condensation inside the glass on double- or triple-glazed windows during the winter months, the weather seal has been compromised, and either the glass or the window will need to be replaced. Spring-clean your windows—inside and out—with a store-bought or homemade window cleaner (one cup rubbing alcohol, one cup water and a tablespoon of white wine vinegar will work just fine) and either a squeegee or a soft cloth. Never use abrasive cleaners or a high-pressure spray washer. You don’t want to scratch the glass or crack the caulking around each unit. If screens were on all winter, remove and clean them with mild detergent. Lay them on a dry surface, like a driveway to air-dry before putting them back on. “Never power-wash screens,” urges Davis, “it could damage the mesh.”

General Cleaning. Spring is a good time to clean areas of the house that often go neglected. Dust or vacuum chair rails, window casings, tops of wall-mounted cabinets and ceiling fans. Launder or dry-clean fabric draperies and use a damp cloth to clean wood and vinyl blinds. Vacuum upholstered furniture and mattresses and consider renting a carpet cleaner—anything you can do to remove settled dust, mites, and allergens will make for a cleaner, and healthier, home.

If you detect grease residue in the kitchen, consider washing cabinets, backsplashes and walls with warm water and mild detergent. The same is true in the bathroom, where soap residue and fluctuations in heat and humidity combine to create the perfect breeding ground for mold and mildew. While you’re cleaning tile, look for areas of worn or missing grout, as these may lead to more serious water damage if not repaired.

Air Conditioning. Just as you readied your furnace for fall, now is the time to make sure that air conditioning units are in good working order for the warmer months ahead. Change the filter, check hose connections for leaks, and make sure the drain pans are draining freely. In addition, vacuum any dust that has settled on the unit and connections; over time it can impact the air conditioner’s effectiveness. If you suspected problems with the efficiency or performance of the unit last summer, now is the time to call in a professional to check it out.

Attics. Search for signs that indicate insects and critters have colonized. Also, search aggressively for mold, which often takes the form of “gray or black blotches that look like staining,” according to Tim Gentry, vice president of technical services, DaVinci Roofscapes, Kansas City, KS. Proper insulation and good ventilation will deter mold growth in the attic, so take action now to prevent the problem from developing in the warmer months ahead.

Basements. The basement—prone to dampness and insects—must be part of any thorough seasonal maintenance effort. Dampness suggests higher than normal relative humidity, inadequate ventilation and the need for a dehumidifier. Check the base of poured-concrete walls. “Cracks start from the bottom up, not the top down,” Niles points out. “If there’s water penetration, it’ll show at the bottom of those cracks.” And be sure to use a flashlight to examine exposed framing. “If you see even a quarter-inch or so of tunneling on the wood,” says Niles, “call a pest control company immediately.”

Leaks. Spring is a good time to check for leaky faucets, clogged drains and sweaty pipes. Check under the kitchen and bathroom sink to make sure connections on pipes and hoses are properly sealed, and look for any wetness around the dishwasher that could signal an existing or potential problem. The same is true of your laundry room; check washer machine hoses for cracks, bulges or dampness. The same is true for hot water heaters, which may show sign of corrosion and leaks.

Lawns. Rake the lawn to remove any branches, debris and leaves that you might have missed in the fall; if left, they can suffocate the grass beneath. During the winter, soil compaction, along with chemical changes altering your soil’s PH, may have left your lawn vulnerable to weed growth and other issues. Even if you can’t see weeds, they are more than likely waiting for optimum conditions to propagate. If you want to prevent them from germinating, consider an organic herbicide; fertilizers are better suited to the fall.

Make sure outdoor water systems—pipes, faucets, and in-ground sprinkler systems—are in working order. Once the ground thaws completely, start preparing new garden beds for summer plants. And take stock of your garden tools and lawn-maintenance equipment, including lawn mowers, trimmers and hoses.

Decks and Patios. Look for warped, loose or splintered boards, and do a good sweep to remove any leaves and debris accumulated in the space between boards. “Whether it’s wood, plastic or composite, a deck should be cleaned every year to extend its life,” says Chuck Harris, owner, Custom Lumber Manufacturing Co., Dothan, AL. If the finish on your wood deck is faded or worn, now is the time to clean, stain, and reseal it. If you have composite decking, follow manufacturers’ recommendations on seasonal care. The same is true for wood and composite fences, pergolas, trellises and other structures. If you have a stone patio, a simple hose down provide be all the maintenance required (unless you detect moss or staining, in which case a more serious cleaning may be necessary).

Outdoor Furniture. If you stored your lawn furniture for the winter, bring it outdoors and give it a hose rinse, or wash it with a mild detergent. For metal furniture, check for signs of rust or paint erosion; a simple remedy of spray enamel will prevent further damage from sun, rain and humidity in the months ahead.

Grills. If your gas grill has remained idle over the winter months, check burner jets for clogs and obstructions, and be sure that gas hoses and connections are sound and secure. You’ll also want to check for propane. For charcoal grill owners, make certain your grill is clean of ash and free of grease residue. It’s a good habit to adopt throughout the grilling season, not just in the spring.

Cleaning your deck and home exterior

One of the toughest things about deck cleaning is figuring out which weekend to do it. You don’t want it too hot or too cold, so you should have your supplies ready for when the weather cooperates. Spring is a perfect time to clean your deck and get your backyard ready for some outdoor entertaining.

Your supplies should include:

  1. Exciting and inspirational music to keep you motivated
  2. Easy-to-prepare meals for you and your helpers
  3. Cold drinks and a shaded area with chairs for breaks
  4. Old clothes you don’t mind getting dirty
  5. Plenty of trash bags to contain debris
  6. Deck cleaning supplies

Preparing to Clean the Deck

Your first step to cleaning the deck is, of course, to remove all the big items that are on the deck. Remove patio furniture, the grill, flower pots, shoe trays and anything else that would prevent the deck surface from being completely clear.

Next, it’s time to remove any debris that has collected on the deck. Since your deck hasn’t been cleaned for some time, it’s a good idea to bring out the heavy-duty Shop Sweep® Indoor/Outdoor Shop Vac that not only vacuums up dirt, litter and other debris, but its tough nylon impeller mulches it! And you don’t have to stop with just vacuuming the deck: The Shop Sweep® Indoor/Outdoor Shop Vaccan consume pine needles, lawn clippings, saw dust, wood chips and even litter, so once you have it fired up, you can keep cleaning all around the house.

Deck Washing

Once your deck is prepared and debris-free, the next step in cleaning a deck is to wash it thoroughly. Easily attach a Deck Cleaning Brush to your water hose to quickly clean dirt, grime and bird residue from your deck floor. The Deck Cleaning Brushhas strong bristles on three sides to tackle those tough deck cleaning messes and a soft squeegee on the fourth side to remove water.

After the long winter months, you might have some moss or algae build-up that requires you to use something a little stronger than water to clean your deck. Just apply some environmentally friendly deck cleaner with a sprayer or brush, let it work for 5-10 minutes (read label on package) and then spray it away with your hose.

Now that your deck is clean and there is little left for you to track into your home, you can clean your sliding door track with an ergonomically designed Track Cleaning Brushthat is so tough it can remove dirt, mold and even soap scum from those hard-to-reach places.

Washing a House

Once you’re done cleaning your deck, why not take your cleaning to new heights and wash down the exterior of your home? Attach a 32-oz bottle of Multi-Purpose House Washto your garden hose and watch as the non-toxic wash goes to work removing dirt, bird residue, tree sap, mildew, moss and algae from your siding or wood panels.

If, after using the Multi-Purpose House Wash, you notice calcium, lime and other hard water stains or outright rust on your siding, stone, masonry or other areas, eliminate it with Rust Remover. Biodegradable and non-flammable, Rust Removerdissolves most stains and can protect bare metal for up to 12 months.

Not enough water pressure from your garden hose? Use an Electric Pressure Washer to reach all those stubborn areas of your house from top to bottom. You can usually find a compact electric pressure washer that has wheels so you can roll it along as you work, whether it’s washing away moss from your deck or oil stains from your driveway. The spray is adjustable from fine to intense, so you can use the power washer for a multitude of cleaning jobs without the risk of surface damage. Pressure washers are high powered and you should always use caution when using one.

Washing Windows

Your deck might be clean, but can you see it through your windows? What about from the second floor windows? For those high, hard-to-reach windows, use a Telescoping Washer Setthat has an adjustable aluminum pole that attaches to your hose. A soap dispenser on the pole allows you to easily add a liquid cleaner to your washing routine. The window washer set includes a 7-pattern spray nozzle, window squeegee, round soft brush, 10″ floor brush and even a brush for washing a car.

Don’t forget to clean the screens! You can either take the window screens down, scrub them and hose them off, or you can attach a Window Screen Vacuum Attachment to easily whisk the dirt away while they remain in the window frames.

Design a Deck

DECK DESIGN CONSIDERATIONS

A deck is a popular home improvement that not only adds to the value of your home, but provides a focal point for enjoying the outdoors. You’ll want to carefully consider the design elements that go into your deck-it should include the features that match your lifestyle and complement the design of your house. Planning is the most important part of building a deck because, chances are, you’ll be living with your design for a long time.

There are three main considerations when planning a deck. Several questions must be answered in each topic. This document explains each topic and provides the background information you’ll need to make informed choices.

How You Plan to Use Your Deck-The most important consideration in deck design is how you will use it. Do you entertain frequently, and if so, how large a group will you need space for? What kind of seating will you need-would you or your guests be more comfortable on built-in benches or patio furniture? Do you want the space arranged to accommodate conversations between small groups or in one large common area? Will you need adequate lighting to entertain at night?
Try to imagine all the ways you’d like to use your deck, because most design elements will be based on those kinds of preferences.

Location-Chances are, the size and orientation of your property and house limit you to one or two deck locations. But within those limits, you may have more choices than you think. You may be able to add a door, build a walkway or incorporate a privacy screen that will allow you to locate your deck so it is most convenient for your intended uses.
The climate in your area and the views you’ll see are the major factors to consider when deciding where to place your deck. A northside deck will probably be the coolest location. Southern or western orientations may be too warm in the middle of the summer, unless you include an overhead screen or build the deck around an existing shade tree.
You may be able to avoid prevailing winds by locating your deck where the house will provide some protection. Likewise, careful placement can minimize traffic noise, eliminate unwanted views or provide additional privacy. If you plan to include a hot tub or swimming pool in your plans, privacy considerations for you and your guests may be very important.

Legal Considerations-Before you decide on a location, first check local zoning ordinances. They will limit the overall size of your deck, height of any privacy screens and the minimum distance from your deck to your lot lines. Neighborhood or subdivision covenants may restrict the appearance of the structure, and you’ll have to get approval for your design.
Also, check with the local building department to find out whether you’ll be required to have a building permit and what kind of plans you’ll have to submit. Finally, be sure to check with your local utility companies to make sure you won’t run afoul of utility rights-of-way and to locate buried pipes and utility lines.

Size-You can build any size deck you want within legal limits. But even within those limits, a deck can be either too big or too small. The most important consideration (aside from cost) is use, but a huge deck can look out of place next to a small house, just as a tiny deck looks wrong with a big house. If you think your dream deck is too large for your house, break up the expanse by building smaller sections on multiple levels.
To test your ideas, measure the size you want on your lawn. Drive 4′ stakes at the approximate corners, then tie string between them at about the height of the railings. Set your lawn furniture in the area to get an idea of how the space will work. The most common mistake people make is building a deck too small. The diference in cost between a deck that is a little too small and one that is the right size usually isn’t that much.
One tip: If possible, size your deck in 2′ or 4′ increments. You’ll have to buy standard lumber lengths anyway, and there’s no point in wasting that material when you could have a larger deck for the same amount of money.

PLANNING YOUR DECK

Shape and Decking Patterns-A deck can be any shape you want, and in fact, simple changes like an angled corner or a 45-degree decking pattern can dress up a house with a long, plain wall. Of course, a more complicated deck is more difficult to build and may require more materials. You can also add visual interest by wrapping the deck around a corner, adding built-in benches, integrating a fence or screen on one side or even adding an overhead screen.

Height-Usually, the decking should come to within 2 ” of the bottom of the access door from the house, with steps leading from the deck to the ground. On sloped ground, you may want to build your deck in multiple levels to follow the slope. Typically, wherever the deck is more than 48″ off the ground, codes require that the posts be braced to prevent swaying and racking.

Cutouts-A spa or hot tub can be set on the deck if the structure is reinforced to carry the weight of the water, or it can be set directly on a concrete slab on the ground with the deck built around it. Existing trees and rocks can also be integrated into the deck by framing around them; then either cap the ends of the decking or contour the decking to the shape of the obstacle. If you work around a tree, leave at least 3″ on all sides to allow for growth. Around a stationary object such as a boulder, leave about 1/4″ so the decking can expand and contract with temperature and moisture changes.
Railings-Railings are the most prominent visual element in a deck and offer great opportunity to use your imagination and creativity. They may be fastened to posts that run all the way to the ground, along the sides of the rim joists or attached to the decking itself. They may include wood, metal or even rope-nearly anything that satisfies structural requirements.
Your railing design will be limited primarily by building code regulations that are designed to ensure safety. Typically, those codes state that support posts may be no more than 6′ apart, and that the railing may have no spaces larger than 4″ x 4″. The durability of your railing will also be affected by the design. For example, the ends of the railing posts should be covered or cut at an angle to shed water, to minimize cracking and splitting.
Steps and Stairs-Step and stair construction is closely regulated by building codes. As a rule, steps and stairs should be at least 36″ wide-60″ if you want two people to be able to pass each other comfortably. The rise (vertical distance between steps) should be no more than 7-1/2″ and the width of a tread at least 10″. The slope should not be too steep-a 7″ riser with a 10-1/2″ tread is a common combination. Building codes will also govern how the stair is supported and attached and whether or not you need a railing.
Structural Components-There are five basic components of a typical deck:
Vertical posts are set in concrete or on piers set on a concrete footing. They are typically spaced 4′ to 8′ apart.
Horizontal beams are set on the posts parallel to the decking to carry the weight of the deck.
Joists are run between the beams, typically 16″ or 24″ apart. They distribute the weight of the deck and allow you to use decking boards that wouldn’t be strong enough to span the distance between the beams.
Decking is laid over the joists to form the “floor” of the deck.
Railings are usually 36″ to 42″ high, designed so no spaces between balusters are greater than 4″.
The materials used, and the size and spacing of these components, are specified by local building codes.
Materials-Deck materials must not only be resistant to decay and insect damage but also withstand the effects of water and sun. Standard construction lumber such as fir, pine or spruce may be treated to protect it from rot, but it won’t hold up under extreme weather conditions or the ultraviolet rays in sunlight.

You’ll get much better durability by using pressure-treated pine, redwood or cedar. Pressure-treated material is the least expensive and can be stained to nearly any color you want. Redwood and cedar offer an added advantage in that they are soft, fine-grained woods that will resist splintering. If you use redwood or cedar, remember that only the heartwood-the reddish-colored portion of redwood or the dark brownish-orange part of a cedar board-is decay-resistant. The lighter-colored sapwood will deteriorate just as quickly as pine or spruce.

Once you have a rough idea of what you want, draw two sketches-one of your lot, showing the deck as part of your landscaping plan, and one of your design. Use graph paper, making each square equal a given dimension (for example, each square may equal 1′ on your lot plan, or 3″ on your design) to get all the components roughly to scale. Take the sketch to your local home center or lumberyard and ask a salesperson to estimate and price the materials you’ll need.

TOOL AND MATERIAL CHECKLIST 100′ Measuring Tape 25′ Measuring Tape
Graph Paper Ruler
4′ Wood Stakes Hammer
Mason’s String

Check your state and local codes before starting any project. Follow all safety precautions. Information in this document has been furnished by the North American Retail Hardware Association (NRHA) and associated contributors. Every effort has been made to ensure accuracy and safety. Neither NRHA, any contributor nor the retailer can be held responsible for damages or injuries resulting from the use of the information in this document.

Building Your Deck

Once you have determined the basic design of your deck, the next step is to choose your materials. The most common choices are pressure-treated (P/T) lumber (usually Southern pine), redwood, or cedar. As a rule, pressure-treated lumber is the best choice for the substructure; the species you use for the visible parts of the deck will depend on your budget and the look you want.

The span tables in this document will help you determine how much material you need, based on the species you choose. Although there is no such thing as an “average” deck, these instructions assume that your deck is attached to the house, is no more than 6″ off the ground, and has no special load requirements. All design recommendations below are suggestions only, for estimating purposes. Always check local building codes before determining the final design.

Inside this document you will find information about:

  • Choosing Materials
  • Preparation and Layout
  • Building the Substructure
  • Decking and Railings

   
   

CHOOSING MATERIALS

  • Decking-If you choose pressure-treated lumber, you’ll have a choice between 5/4 x 6 decking (1×5-1/2 actual size) or 2″ material (typically 2×4 through 2×8, all 1-1/2″ thick). The size and species of the decking you choose will determine the spacing between your joists. Recommended spacing for common decking boards is as follows:
Decking Joist Spacing
5/4×6 PT Southern pine 16″ maximum
2 inch thick redwood, western red cedar, S-P-F, Hem-fir, Northern white cedar 24″ maximum, 16″ preferred
2-inch Southern pine 24″ maximum
  • Determining Joist Size-2x6s through 2x10s are the most common sizes used for joists. The beams that carry them are typically 4×6 through 4×10, often “built up” from doubled 2-inch lumber. Pressure-treated lumber is generally less expensive than redwood or cedar, and can be used for the substructure even when the decking and railing will be other species.
  • In most cases, you’ll want to determine the spacing between beams first, then use a joist size appropriate to that spacing. If the deck will be no more than 6′ off the ground, a common recommendation is to space the support beams no more than 12′ apart. As a rule, you’ll only need one beam along the outer edge of the deck (a ledger bolted to the house supports the other end of the deck).
Beam Spacing Joist Size (joists 16″ o.c.)
Up to 8 feet 2×6 (Southern pine, Douglas fir, Western red cedar, S-P-F, or Hem-Fir)2×8 (redwood, Northern white cedar)
8 to 10 feet 2×8 (all species listed above)
10 to 12 feet 2×8 (Southern pine, Douglas fir, Western red cedar, S-P-F, or Hem-fir)2 x 10 (redwood, Northern white cedar)
Beam Spacing Joist Size (joists 24″ o.c.)
Up to 8 feet 2×6 (Southern pine, or Douglas fir)2×8 (Western red cedar, S-P-F, Hem-Fir, redwood, or Northern white cedar)
8 to 10 feet 2×8 (all species listed above)
10 to 12 feet 2×8 (Southern pine, or Douglas fir)2×10 (Western red cedar, S-P-F, or Hem-Fir, redwood, or Northern white cedar)
  • Determining Beam Size-Since support posts are often run through the decking to serve as railing posts, the specifications below are given for posts that will be spaced no more than 6′ apart, with beams that are no more than 12′ apart. With these spacing specifications, 4×4 posts are adequate for any deck less than 6′ off the ground.
Beam Spacing (round down to nearest foot) Min. Beam Size (double 2″ material may be used in place of 4″ thickness)
Up to 6 feet 4×6 (Southern pine or Douglas fir)4×8 (Western red cedar, S-P-F, Hem-Fir, redwood, or Northern white cedar)
Up to 7 feet 4×8 (all species listed above)
Up to 9 feet 4×8 (Southern pine, Douglas fir, Western red cedar, S-P-F, or Hem-Fir)4×10 (redwood, Northern white cedar)
Up to 11 feet 4×8 (Southern pine or Douglas fir)4×10 (Western red cedar, S-P-F, Hem-Fir, redwood or Northern white cedar)
Up to 12 feet 4×10 (all species listed above)

PREPARATION AND LAYOUT

  • Preparation-First, prepare the ground under the deck by removing the sod. Slope the ground away from the house a minimum of 1″ every 15′ to provide drainage. Once the deck is finished, the ground should be covered with 6 mil. black polyethylene to keep weeds from growing.
  • Measure and mark the position of the ledger along the wall. The height of the ledger should be 1″ below the bottom of the door plus the thickness of the decking, plus the depth of the joists if you plan to set the joists on the ledger and beams rather than using joist hangers. It makes no difference which way you set the joists, as long as your layout is consistent.
  • Mount a 2×6 ledger to the wall with 1/2″ lag screws. The ledger must be level, and the lag screws should be long enough to penetrate the studs at least 3″. Use two lag screws at each end, and one at each wall stud (typically 16″ on center) in between. Install a “Z”-shaped flashing above the ledger to shed water, or space the ledger away from the wall with washers (see image).
   
   
   

  • Layout-To establish the outside perimeter of the deck, measure out from each end of the ledger about 18″ beyond the outside edge of the deck. Set up batterboards (see image) as shown, then run taut strings from each end of the ledger to the batterboards to establish the sides of the deck.
  • Run a third string between the batterboards to establish the outside edge of the deck. Square the layout by measuring the opposite diagonals, then adjusting the ledger-to-batterboard strings until both measurements are equal. Take care to maintain the correct distance between the strings.
   

BUILDING THE SUBSTRUCTURE

  • Footing and Piers (see image) – Use a plumb bob from the string to establish the location of the footings. The holes for the footings must be deeper than the maximum frost penetration in your area, and deep enough to rest on undisturbed soil. It’s a good idea to dig 6″ deeper and fill the bottom of the hole with gravel to allow drainage.
  • Mix concrete and pour the footings. To find the number of 90# bags of ready-mixed concrete you’ll need for each 12×12 footing, measure the depth of the footing in inches and divide by 8. As you finish each pour, set a precast pier on the footing so it extends about 6″ above the ground level. Use a thin cement mix to bond the piers to the footings.
  • Posts-After the concrete has set, stand the posts on the piers. Use temporary braces and a level to plumb the posts. Once the posts are set, run a mason’s line from the top of the ledger to each post and use a line level to mark it for cutting. The height of the post should be equal to the height of the ledger minus the depth of the beam that will be set on it.
   

  • Beams-Fasten post-to-beam connectors on top of the posts with nails and 1/2″x5-1/2″ hex bolts, then set the beams into the connector. Plumb and square the assembly, then secure the beams as you did the posts. If local building codes require it, install 2×6 diagonal cross braces and secure them with 1/2″x4-1/2″ lag screws (see image).
  • Joists (see first image below) – Mark the joist locations on both the beams and ledger, either 16″ or 24″ o.c., as per your design. Set the joists in place with the crowns up. If the deck is wide enough that you need two sets of joists (and if you set the joists over the beams rather than hanging them from joist hangers), splice the connections by overlapping each pair of joists at least 1′ and nailing them together with 8d galvanized nails (see second image below). Install blocking between the joists wherever required (see third image below). Blocking requirements are determined by your local building codes. Finally, nail the rim joist across the ends of the joists.
  • Stairs-Build any stairs you will need. Instructions for building outdoor stairs are covered in an accompanying brochure.
   
 
   

DECKING AND RAILINGS

  • Decking-Deck boards should be laid with the bark side up, and with both ends centered over a joist. Stagger the joints of side-by-side deck boards so they don’t line up. Notch the boards around posts or other obstructions, leaving 1/8″ space for drainage.
  • 2″-thick deck boards should be spaced approximately 1/8″; most builders set a 16d nail between the boards as they fasten them. 5/4″‘x6″ pressure-treated decking may be placed with each board flush against the next; natural shrinkage will provide the proper spacing.
  • Fasten the deck boards at each joist (see image). Use two fasteners per support point for decking up to 6″ wide, or three fasteners for wider boards. Deck screws or clips are generally better than nails, but all fasteners must be hot-dipped galvanized, aluminum, or stainless steel (see image below). If you use nails, blunt the points by tapping them with your hammer, to avoid splitting the decking.

  • Let the decking run over the edge of the structure, then saw the ends off after all boards are laid.
  • Railings-Secure the railing posts at each corner of the deck, and on each side of the stairs. Then secure the field posts, spaced equally between the corners but no farther apart than allowed by local building codes (typically 6′). Nail the sub-railings and cap rail in place, then add the balusters.
   
   
   
   
   
   
TOOL AND MATERIAL CHECKLIST
Level and Line Level Plumb Bob
Mason’s Line 2x2s and 1x4s for Batter Boards
Ready-mixed Concrete, Gravel Wheelbarrow
Shovel Concrete Piers
Structural Connectors Lag Screws, Hex Bolts w/ Nuts and Washers
Adjustable Wrench Hammer
Chalk Line Measuring Tape
8d and 16d Galvanized Common/Box Nails Screws
Lumber for Posts, Ledger, Beams and Joists Deck Boards
Railing Material Framing Square
Stain Brushes and Thinner
6 mil. Black Polyethylene  

back to top

Check your state and local codes before starting any project. Follow all safety precautions. Information in this document has been furnished by the North American Retail Hardware Association (NRHA) and associated contributors. Every effort has been made to ensure accuracy and safety. Neither NRHA, any contributor nor the retailer can be held responsible for damages or injuries resulting from the use of the information in this document.

eXTReMe Tracker