Beginners Guide To Building A Deck
Few things can add beauty, value and enjoyment to your home like a deck can. It's one of those things that a lot of homeowners never give much thought to unless they've owned one or have one at their current home. But take your average home owner and once they've enjoyed a deck, they'll want one at every home they ever own.
Sadly, with the cost of lumber and labor skyrocketing, many homeowners dismiss the chance at having a deck built. With the cost of a multilevel deck of an unusual shape costing into the five figures, is it any reason why?
But this does not have to be. Nearly any homeowner with basic carpentry skills can build their own deck. Even if you do not have these basic carpentry skills, I'm betting that there is someone you know who does. Most decks can be built in a weekend and once you see how easy it is, you'll wonder why you waited so long!
The very first thing you'll need to do is figure out where you want your new deck and what size you want. Make sure there will be no obstructions such as overhead power lines and such. Then take your measurements.
Once you have those measurements, you can visit your local lumber yard and ask them if they can create a deck plan and materials list. Many lumber yards have people on hand who do this. If they can not produce a plan, then go online and search for free deck plans. You'll find several sites that can create a deck plan for you based on the measurements you type in.
Now that you have a plan, get that material list made. The website that produced your plan should also produce a materials list. Take this to the lumber yard or a Big Box store and have the estimate the cost of your deck.
Your foundation and the frame of your deck are the two most important parts of your whole structure. If you do not get them square and level, it will throw off your entire deck and things will not turn out like they should. This is why you must double and triple check everything at this stage!
Before beginning, you'll also have to determine what type of lumber you'll want to use on your deck. 5/4 pressure treated lumber is probably the most popular but many others do use a full 2×6 treated lumber. The 5/4 lumber is about 1 1 / 16th thick while a full 2×6 is about 1 1/2 inches. The advantage that the 5/4 lumber has is that it is generally smoother and the edges are rounded, giving it a more finished look when completed. I prefer the 5/4, but many builders do not. It's your deck, you'll have to decide.
Finally, only use screws on the deck hangers. Deck screws should be used everywhere else. Nails have a tendency to pull out after several months. This can create a trip hazard and is dangerous to anyone walking barefooted on the deck. Deck screws do not do this. Just be careful not to over drive the deck screws. The head should be flush with the surface of the lumber, not driven below.
Once you learn how easy it is to build a deck, you'll want to build one at every house you own, and why not, it's easy!