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How to Plan and Construct a Deck
Deck construction can be a do-it-yourself project or it can be left to a professional. Whatever the case, it is important to plan the deck properly. Some of the best ways to do this are by taking the time to learn the proper steps and by being careful to follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Choosing the right materials is also a good idea, especially if you are going to be in a corrosive environment.

Decks can be built of many different materials, but the most common material used in this type of project is wood. Wood species such as cedar, redwood, and pressure-treated pine are all suitable for this application. You will want to select lumber that looks good, provides a long life, and has a low maintenance requirement.

One of the most important details when it comes to building a deck is its foundation. A strong foundation will make the deck much safer. The foundation is typically constructed with concrete piers or posts. For a large deck, it may also require two support beams.

It is also necessary to make sure that the ledger and the decking boards are attached in a secure manner. These should be fastened with lag screws or bolts. Once the board is secured, the tops should be caulked. This will prevent water from getting behind the framing. Also, ensure that the area under the deck is level. If the bottom of the foundation is not level, the deck can move.

In addition, you should use metal joist hangers and screws on the joists. To ensure that the joists are securely fixed, it is a good idea to use hot-dipped galvanized hardware. Be sure to use through-bolts that have washers under the head of the bolt.

It’s also a good idea to use baffles to keep the joists from flexing. Generally, the baffles are installed at 4 foot and 6 foot intervals. Make sure that the baffles are in-plane across the top.

Aside from joists, you should install railings on your deck. The best type of railing for a deck is one that uses membrane-type flashing. However, if you are worried about the chemicals leaching into the ground, you can coat the wood with an oil-based penetrating stain.

The American Wood Council publishes a deck construction guide that provides information on joist span tables and other key details. This document is a great resource for anyone planning to build a deck. However, it is subject to local code variations, so be sure to check with your building inspector before building your new deck.

There are many other considerations when it comes to the construction of a deck. However, there are two basic principles that should always be followed. Those are the proper materials and the correct installation. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions and you’ll have a solid foundation for a beautiful deck. Using the right materials and installing them in the right way will help you avoid future problems.

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