Steps for Deck Construction
Before starting a deck construction project, it’s important to select the right material. While most people think of dimensional lumber when they think of deck construction, there are other choices as well. You can choose pressure-treated lumber, engineered wood, or steel. Treated lumber is the most traditional choice, but you may also choose aluminum or engineered wood. These materials tend to be more expensive than treated dimensional lumber, but they are more resistant to movement due to moisture.
First, determine the height of your deck. The height should be approximately two to four inches higher than the top of the house and doorway. Measure from each of these points and use a string level to create a level line. Make sure that the second corner stake is equal to the first one. If the two joists are not square, they won’t line up. If you’re unsure of the exact height, use the first corner as your guide.
Next, research the costs of materials and labor. You can ask friends who have recently completed a deck construction project. This way, you’ll be able to get a more accurate estimate than you’d get from a calculator that relies on average national costs. You should also check if there are any underground utilities. If they’re not, you may need to dig out the footings of a ground-level deck first.
If you’re building a deck in a cold region, it’s important to know whether your ground is frost-proof. Make sure the base of the deck is four to five feet below ground level. A foundation that is four or five feet below ground level will keep it stable, even if it shifts a bit over time. The ground will expand and contract in different seasons. So, the more you know, the better off you’ll be.
The next step in the process is to choose the proper material for fastening the deck to the house. Depending on the style and size of the deck, you may need to use a ledger board made of two-by-ten or two-by-twelve-inch wood. Ledger boards should be flush with the house’s siding. Ledger board should be attached to the house with lag bolts that are at least three-eighth-inch long. In masonry walls, the use of appropriate masonry anchors should be used.
A railing is also an important component of the deck. Many code jurisdictions require that elevated decks be designed by a registered engineer. However, this can add a bit of cost to the project. In addition to a railing, consider installing railings. Usually, railings extend 30 inches above the ground. If the railings aren’t installed, they’ll become guard rails. However, if you have a narrow deck, you can skip this step entirely.
Posts are the next step in deck construction. They must be level and in the proper place, but screw piles don’t have the wiggle room of Sonotubes. They are available at building supply stores or online. Beams are fastened to the posts using a few different methods. Some contractors even use machines to drive them into the ground. While screw piles are a great option for a DIY project, there are a few things you should keep in mind before starting a deck construction project.