How to Build a Deck: Instructions & Video


In the event you’ve all the time dreamed of constructing your individual deck, however have been hesitant to deal with such a big, difficult development challenge, we have got some excellent news. We requested This Previous Home common contractor Tom Silva to reveal the right strategies for constructing a small, easy on-grade deck. All you could achieve success at DIY deck constructing are some fundamental carpentry instruments and the need to take a position a bit sweat fairness.

Constructing a Easy Deck

The deck proven right here includes a pressure-treated ground body that’s supported by a ledger board and concrete piers, and topped with 5/4-inch decking. And since the deck is just a one step excessive, no railing was required. Now simply observe Tom’s ideas and construct your individual yard oasis. It’s a good way to make your neighbors jealous.

Anatomy of a Deck

An on-grade deck—one constructed simply above the bottom—would not require posts, steps, or railings. However it has the identical structural parts as any deck—ledger, joists, beams and piers. Constructing one begins with figuring out the sizes of the framing materials.

Tom Silva makes use of these guidelines fo thumb: for rim joists or beams made from doubled-up 2x lumber, the boards’ nominal width (in inches) ought to match the span (in ft). So a rim joist spanning 10 ft requires two 2x10s. The ledger is comprised of a single board of the identical width. For inside joists, Tom halves the span then provides two—a joist spanning 8 ft warrants a 2×6. (In all circumstances, spherical up odd numbers or fractions to the subsequent even quantity.)

Steps for Constructing a Deck

Step 1: Connect the Ledger

Photograph by David Carmack

Take away the constructing’s trim and siding to 1 foot above the highest of the place the ledger will sit. Cowl the uncovered sheathing with self-adhering waterproof membrane.

Mark the precise location of the highest of the ledger. (By code, any step all the way down to the end decking, which sits atop the ledger, should be 4 to 7¾ inches under the door sill.) Snap a degree chalk line.

Minimize a 2-inch-wide, 1½-inch-thick handled wooden spacer for each 2 ft of ledger size. Align the highest of every spacer with the chalk line and fasten with a 6d nail.

Align the ledger with the tops of the spacers and nail it to the wall at every spacer with a 16d nail. (Joints between ledger boards ought to fall on a spacer.)

Drill a 3⅜-inch pilot gap by way of the ledger and into the home’s rim joist at every spacer, following a zigzag sample. In every gap insert a ½-inch lag screw and tighten it in opposition to a washer utilizing an influence wrench or socket wrench.

Step 2: Defend the Ledger

Photograph by David Carmack

Minimize a strip of self-adhering waterproof membrane 6 inches large and the identical size because the ledger.

Fold the membrane lengthwise alongside its middle line to kind a proper angle. Apply it over the ledger-to-house joint so one leg covers the highest of the spacer blocks and ledger and the opposite leg extends up the wall.

Minimize a strip of steel flashing not less than 6 inches large and so long as the ledger. (If multiple strip of flashing is required, overlap the ends by 3 inches and mattress them in siliconized acrylic caulk.)

Fold the steel lengthwise to kind a proper angle. Apply it over the waterproof membrane.

Drive roofing nails by way of the flashing’s high edge each 8 inches.

Fasten concealed-flange double joist hangers at each ends of the ledger and flush with its backside edge, utilizing joist hanger nails.

Step 3: Set Footings and Piers

Photograph by David Carmack

Arrange batter boards and mason’s strings and decide footing areas on the deck’s outdoors corners and at 8-foot intervals alongside the entrance rim joist. Mark every location, then quickly take away the mason’s strings.

At every footing location, dig a gap large sufficient to carry the footing kind and deep sufficient to increase under frost line.

Assemble footing and pier types based on the producer’s directions, then place one in every gap. Gently backfill.

To find out every pier’s end top, run a degree line from the highest of the ledger to the pier tube. From this line, measure down 1/16 inch per foot of the pier’s distance from the home, plus the peak of the rim joist and submit base. Mark the shape at this level. Repeat for every pier. Trim pier tubes at these marks.

Verify the positioning of the piers and modify if vital. Fill with concrete, utilizing a shovel to work out air pockets (above). Enable the concrete to remedy for one week.

Step 4: Set up Put up Bases and Aspect Rim Joists

Photograph by David Carmack

Place a submit base atop a pier, positioning it so it is not going to intrude with joist hangers, and mark its location. Take away submit base and bore into pier with a hammer drill outfitted with a masonry bit. Reposition submit base, insert an anchor bolt, and tighten with an influence wrench. Repeat for every pier.

Minimize pressure-treated 2x inventory for the doubled facet rim joists and beams. Glue them up with development adhesive and nail them collectively from each side with 12d nails, spaced each 16 inches in a zigzag sample.

Match a facet rim joist right into a joist hanger at one finish of the ledger, sq. the nook, and toenail by way of the hanger into the ledger with 16d nails. Relaxation the joist’s reverse finish on a nook pier. Repeat with the opposite facet joist, eradicating mason’s strings as vital.

Minimize pressure-treated 2x inventory for the deck’s entrance rim joist. Stagger any butt joints by various board lengths, ensuring joints fall in the midst of submit anchors.

Step 5: Set up Entrance Rim Joist, Beams, and Inside Joists

Photograph by David Carmack

Fasten concealed-flange double joist hangers on the ends of the entrance rim joist’s interior 2xs. Then match the interior 2xs into the submit bases.

Match a facet rim joist right into a entrance hanger, and sq. the nook. Safe the entrance rim joist 2x to the submit bases with hanger nails. Then drive six 16d nails by way of the face of the entrance rim joist into the tip of the facet rim joist. Repeat with the opposite facet rim joist.

Fasten face-mounted double joist hangers for beams each 8 ft on middle alongside the entrance rim joist and ledger, flush with their backside edges.

Match and nail every beam as described above.

Full the doubled entrance rim joist by gluing and nailing the outer 2xs to the interior 2xs.

Set up 2x joist hangers alongside the beams, 16 inches on middle. (Joists, as soon as inserted, must be flush with the highest fringe of the ledger, rim joists, and beams.)

Step 6: Set up Entrance Rim Joist, Beams, and Inside Joists (continued)

Photograph by David Carmack

Then, match and toenail the joists by way of the hangers.

TIP: If the joist has a crown—a slight arc alongside its edge—set up it crown-side up.

Step 7: Connect Trim and Decking

Photograph by David Carmack

Nail paint-grade trim boards as large because the rim joists to their outdoors faces with two 8d hot-dipped galvanized or stainless end nails spaced each 12 to 16 inches. Scarf any joints within the run; miter joints on the corners.

Measure the space from the wall to the skin of the trim board and add 1 inch for overhang. Minimize the deck boards to this size.

Squeeze a bead of polyurethane marine sealant on the highest fringe of a facet rim joist. (This adhesive really fastens the decking in place.) Lay a straight deck board within the adhesive so its lengthy edge overhangs the trim board by 1 inch. Safe every finish of the deck board with an 8d end nail.

Tack 8d end nails into the joists alongside the primary board to take care of constant spacing. Squeeze dabs of adhesive onto the highest edge of every joist. Lay and nail the subsequent deck board as earlier than. Proceed gluing and nailing till the deck is full. (Add extra nails provided that a board doesn’t lie straight or flat.)

Exchange the home’s siding to inside ½ to 1 inch of the decking.

TIP: Decking laid at proper angles to the home makes for a stronger entrance edge.


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