Building a New Deck
A deck is to a porch what a penthouse is to an upstairs apartment.
This is one of the most magnificent ways to walk outside your
house and enjoy the view of your property and beyond. Some
people, depending on how big the deck, have chairs, plants,
even a grill or jacuzzi for the enjoyment of their guests,
their family, and themselves. If you would like to enjoy your
own deck, here are the necessary steps.
determine where you plan to put the deck. Off one
of the already-existing doors is the logical place, but
wherever it goes, make sure the area is clear of excess
debris. The ground where your deck is to sit must be flat
and clear. Here's how this will work: First we want to establish
the deck's outer perimeter. You do that by measuring from
each end of the ledger a foot and a half beyond the deck's
outer edge. Hammer batter boards into the ground. Now run
strings from each end of the ledger, making sure they stay
taut. Connect them to the batter boards in order to establish
the deck's sides. Now take a third string and run it between
the batter boards in order to establish the deck's outer
edge. You square your layout by measuring the opposite diagonals.
If the measurements are not equal, we adjust the batter
board - to - ledger strings until they are.
you've established the deck's area, you have to double check
to make sure there are no rocks or debris there. This is
of critical importance.Once you're sure it's nice and clean,
attach a ledger to the deck in order to determine the floor
level. Secure the ledger in place with bolts as you fasten
it to the wood. It's wise to tuck aluminum flashing under
the siding so that water cannot get behind the boards. As
you tuck the flash under, bend it down over the ledger;
bend it down again in front of the ledger.
it's time to make way for the footings--and this is a job
that will be easier with at least two people. Dig holes
about three feet deep for these. It's best if you
use a post-digger for this job (If you don't have one, you
can rent them for somewhere between $45-$60 a day). Some
people prefer filling the holes with alternating layers
of dirt and gravel, but it's probably easiest to pour in
concrete. One person holds the post steady as the other
person pours and mixes.
the posts are stabilized, you need to secure the beams to
them. Decide how high you want the deck to be (which is
how high the beams will come on the posts). Mark all sides
of the posts. Now attach the posts to the beam. After this,
you need to attach the joists. You place the joists on two-foot
centers and then attach them to the beams and ribbon joist.
next step is installation of the deck board. This will require
zinc-coated sixteen-penny nails. Separate the boards with
a spacer (A small finish nail will work nicely). Set the
boards end-to-end on the joists. Now nail the boards into
the place. If there is overhang of the boards, you can trim
this or add a fascia board.
deck is almost completed now, but you need to install the
railing. First install the railing posts, spacing them as
far a part as you want. The railing, which can be picked
up from a home-improvement store, will easily attach by
just following the included directions.
the last step is well, the last step...and the first one.
You have to install the steps to get from the ground to
the deck. Measure the height off the ground, and then decide
how steep the stairs should go. If you don't want them very
steep, you'll have to start them further out from the house.
But if you don't want steps out very far, then you have
to compromise by allowing for a certain "steepness."
It's one or the other.
regardless, if plan ahead and take your time, your new deck
will give you years of enjoyment.