Deck Construction

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Now that the plans are in place, the construction may begin. The most important part of the deck construction is the initial step by which the deck is connected to the house. Unless this connection is water proof, the deck may collapse and the house may get damaged too.

This connection should be designed and preferably engineered by someone who has experience in deck building. The proper metal framing connectors, bolts, appropriate concrete piers, etc are of utmost importance to the entire structure. There are many cases where the deck collapsed when a large number of people were dancing or walking around at parties.

It is good to have the level of the finished deck to be at least two inches below the finished level of the inside floor of the home. This is to prevent rainwater won’t be able to flow towards the house.

STEP 1. Install the ledger board on the part of the house or other support that will connect to the deck. This is the connection that gives the deck extra strength. It is important to connect the deck ledger board to the house using corrosion-proof washers which face away from the house. Remember to use bolts that come with a nut as well as washer so that unlike lag bolts, they will not be easily pulled out of its moorings and collapse the deck.

STEP 2. Drill half inch holes through the ledger board and house floor joists, each 16” apart. Install them with appropriate galvanized nuts and bolts (with washers) and tighten firmly.

STEP 3. Install joist hangers and fill them with appropriate nails.

STEP 4. Install the footers which hold the deck according to local regulations depending on the size of the deck, the level of the frost line, footprint of the footer, its thickness, etc. Make sure that they are all level.

STEP 5. Depending on the support needed, assemble the main girder beam which will cover the length of the house or deck support structure. This will probably be the same length as the ledger board you fastened to earlier in STEP 1.

STEP 6. Install column supports and fasten main girder to the vertical columns and lift it into the right position. Mirror the joist locations on the ledger board and attach the two joists in place. Install the joists and nail them.

STEP 7. Install the decking boards, one by one. It is better to use full length boards at an angle to prevent splinters and cracked boards. Cut off the overhang and smooth it out.

STEP 8. Install the railing supports, the top rail and then the pickets.

STEP 9. Now install the stairs and decorations if any.

If the deck is considerably large when compared to the house or supporting building, it is best to get the construction checked by a professional building contractor.

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