With basic carpentry skills, you can build a deck for your home. The construction is simple and the actual work is very easy: A typical deck consists of a deck, railings and steps. With these three elements, you can tackle any deck design.
1. Plan your deck
Consider your family, planned usage and home style. Find your dream deck in a magazine and determine if it will suit your home. Make a list of the things you want for a stack. What kind of living space do you want? What kind of storage space, if any, do you want?
2. Develop a plan
Purchase a set of building plans or do it yourself using a computer program. With DIY decking templates available, you can create a deck with all the details you need. You need a set of work plans that you can refer to when building the deck. Take the plan to the community inspector who issues permits if needed and submit the plan for approval. It’s usually a simple matter of speaking to an inspector who will check your DIY decking plans against building code requirements and ask questions to make sure you have a general knowledge of the process.
3. Solving design problems on site
Design problems to solve included attaching the deck to the house and keeping it level as it moved away from the house. This involves walking around the site and taking measurements such as setting the height of a ledger board at the back of the house.
Corner the porch at the edge of the house and attach the rope four feet beyond the planned porch depth. Run the crossing ropes which will represent the ends of the porch beams. Calculate the right angle of the deck from the house. Basic math includes calculating the length of the hypotenuse on a string four feet from the house. Measure three feet along the house and use a tape measure to find the mark on the rope four feet from the house. That length must equal five feet to form a 90 degree right angle.
If it’s not five feet, move the string placement four feet until it is. This will align your deck with the house. Where two stringers cross, push studs or spray paint the first cement pier location. Refer to your plan for the number of cement poles, then measure and mark each one on the back of the house.
4. Develop a Foundation
If you live in a northern climate, it’s important to dig the cement post holes deeper than the frost line to keep your porch stable through the changing seasons. On the other hand, in warm climates, simply dig the hole 18 inches deep. A cement dock is cement poured into an 18-inch round or square shape.
Referring to the piers locations you marked with paint or stakes in the yard, dig a hole at each location large enough to hold the cement molding. Set the form in the hole. Line the bottom with rocks. With a cement mixer, combine the dry cement and water and pour the fresh cement into the mould. After a week, the cement will be dry enough to attach the metal hangers with cobblestone screws. Metal hangers attach to the deck posts.
5. Build the deck frame
Bolt and screw the deck posts to the metal hangers attached to each cement pier. Use whatever bracing method works to straighten the posts. As you work, keep it level and check before anything gets permanently installed.
Notch the top of the post or drill holes for the bolts and attach the bearing bars. If you are building a two-story porch, use the notch method. Next, place the floor joists on top of the joists and attach the end joists. Working from the outside in towards the house, install the decking material.
6. Railing and Stairs
Next, make corner posts for the railing, and using your plan, calculate the number of balusters you need for the length of the railing. Attach the top and bottom rails and nails in the balusters, using loose wood to hold the railings in place before installing.
A ladder is necessary when the patio sits higher than eight inches off the ground. Depending on how high the porch steps are climbed, you may have to dig cement piers for the stairs. The number of runs and runs is determined by your community code, so check the code for requirements. The total rise is the height from the ground to the terrace deck. The total run is the length from the end of the terrace to the furthest rung of the terrace. Generally, you want a sole run of about a foot and a riser of about six or seven inches. With the climb number and run number, you can calculate the distance from the porch where the stairs start. Use framing squares and cut stringers, run pieces, and rise pieces if your plan calls for riser pieces.
Deck, rail and ladder construction are basic elements of DIY decking. When you know how to make these elements, you can add different levels, connect them with stairs, and install complex railings to make your outdoor deck simple or sophisticated.
WA Wood DeckPerth-based Timber Decking specialists supply decking lumber and decking supplies for builders, DIYers, and builders.