If you haven’t already, please be sure to visit our previous blog, Tips for Designing Your Dream Deck. Once you have determined the deck you want to build, here are some tips to help you get closer to having the deck of your dreams!
#1 – Before You Do ANYTHING else, contact your local Building Department to discuss what permitting is required and what you will need to do in order to obtain a permit, such as drawings, fees, etc. Next, contact your utility companies to ensure no lines will be disturbed or disrupted.
Figuring Your Materials
After you determined your joist spacing and size, deck height, and footing requirements (see Designing Your Dream Deck if you need help with this), put your framing package list together. Be sure to include a count of corrosion-resistant fasteners, including all the joist hangers, post bases, post to beam to connectors, as well as any flashing that is needed.
All deck framing should be Ground Contact Pressure-Treated material with a minimum ACQ rating 0.40 pcf.
Decking needed per 100 square feet (includes 5% waste)
- 4” product – 320 lineal feet
- 6” product – 210 linear feet
Determining the correct number of fasteners will vary based on the decking selected and joist spacing. When face screwing (or nailing) a 6” product down on framing that is 16” on center, you will need approximately 350 screws per 100 square feet, and approximately 480 screws per 100 square feet with the same 16” on center joist framing for 4” material, when using two screws per joist. For other types of fasteners, refer to the manufacturer’s recommendations.
If you have selected to use Western Red Cedar as your decking, now is the right time to
determine what product you will use to help protect the wood. We recommend using good quality penetrating oil product with mold and mildew inhibitors, as well as UV protection, such as Ultra Premium Red Label Penofin. This should be applied to all four sides of the decking before installation for optimum results.
If you have selected an exotic hardwood for your decking, such as Red Balau “Mahogany” or Ipe, you can either choose to apply a penetrating oil to the wood to help it maintain its beautiful color prior to installation (all four sides is recommended), or if you wish for it to simply weather to a beautiful silvery – grey, you can skip this step.
Other Items Needed
- Chalk Line
- Circular Saw
- Crescent Wrench
- Drill and Bits
- Dust Mask
- Extension Cord
- Framing Square
- Hearing Protection
- Hand Saw
- Hoe & Hose (to mix concrete)
- Nail Set
- Plumb Bob
- Post Hole Digger
- Safety Glasses
- Socket Wrench
- Tape Measure
- Tool Belt
Getting Ready to Build
Once your materials have arrived on the job site, keep them covered when not in use to keep them clean, as well as to prevent twisting and warping, especially when it is hot or under direct sunlight. They should also not be stored directly on the ground, as they will absorb moisture.
When framing your new deck, be sure to allow for proper water drainage. A deck should angle away from the structure a minimum of 1/8” for every 8 feet to reduce the possibility of standing water. In general, a deck should be installed 18” off the ground for proper airflow (or as specified by the decking manufacturer) to provide adequate ventilation to minimize cupping and warping of the deck top.
It is advised to wear gloves while handling pressure treated materials and to always use ear and eye protection when sawing, drilling or cutting wood. Leftover scraps of pressure-treated materials should be disposed of properly. Never burn them.
Install the ledger to the house. This will provide stability to the deck. Use string to find your footings and to ensure your deck is square. Remove the sod and dig your footings for the posts. Post holes should be at least 24” deep or up to 4’ deep, depending on the frost line in your area, as well as the height of the column.
Install your perimeter posts, then attach your beams to your posts. Attach braces to any posts over 5’ high. Next, layout your joists and install them using either joist hangers or by toenailing. Add blocking between your joists to minimize warping.
When installing the deck top, be sure to allow for adequate gaps between boards. This provides ventilation, as well as room for water to drain away. Inadequate gap space between boards puts additional strain on the fasteners and can cause broken screws or nail pops. Avoid over-driving any fasteners.
When face screwing any hardwood decking, pre-drilling is recommended; as well as when screwing or nailing close to the edge of any wood board to minimize splitting. Allow small gaps between butt joints to allow the material to expand and contract during weather changes.
Measure once, cut twice!
Our team of experts are available to assist you with questions regarding product selection and materials.
Before your next project, be sure to visit us!
950 B Fountain Street, Burlington, WA