Building Your Deck This Summer

building your deckA deck is a great addition to your home – affordable and doable for an enthusiastic amateur woodworker! But before starting on your DIY construction plans, here are a few tips to remember for a successful completion of your deck.

Plan Your Project for Building Your Deck

The most important of all DIY tips in residential construction is planning for, indeed, when you fail to plan, you plan to fail.

• Determine the size of the deck in relation to the main structure. Use a tape measure to measure the area for the deck itself as well as for the railings and stairways, thus, providing the basis for materials computation (i.e., quantity, type, and quality)

• Draw up a deck plan, which can be downloaded from many DIY construction websites. Study the plan so that it addresses your needs and wants in the addition; adjust as necessary.

Prepare for the Installation

Yet another of the important DIY tips in deck construction is preparing for its installation particularly where the main structure is concerned.

• Protect the house specifically its siding by installing flashing around its entire perimeter (i.e., the areas where the house will meet the deck).

• Prepare the box sill by installing furring board to the side of the house.

• Position the center beam by placing a mark in the box sill’s center.

• Prepare the footers. Check with an engineer to determine the best size and weights for your DIY deck just to be on the safe side.

• Install the outer support beams.

• Cut and then seat the joists.

In most of these steps, be sure to level the frame lest the deck become uneven. Use a longer level to get more accurate readings.

Building the Deck

With the framework in place, you can start building the deck. The tasks involved here should be easier and faster to accomplish with an assistant on hand – truly, one of the best DIY tips many enthusiastic amateurs fail to acknowledge.

• Fix the boards to the beam while making sure that the latter is level.

• Cut and place the anchor posts.

• Assemble the anchor bolt.

• Hang the double joists, which should allow for secure nailing and which should be done with double joist hangers. Add the blocking.

• Cut the deck flooring, lay the decking, and finish the decking.

• Install the support posts and replace the anchor cap.

Admittedly, these DIY tips are just the basics of building your own deck. You can always learn more by watching instructional videos, reading resource materials with greater detail on each step, and practicing your new-found knowledge and skills on building your DIY addition.

Here comes the fun part: Decorating your deck with planter boxes, furniture and fixtures, and storage options.