Wood Deck.

Do-it-yourself building your own wood deck...

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How to build a wood deck.

Step by step instructions on building a wood deck....

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Outdoor Lighting

Installing Low Voltage Lighting

Here is a way to provide pleasant illumination to outdoor areas for a small amount of money. You can purchase most of the components in a kit. Some kits come with a timer or a photovoltaic sensor to turn lights on at night and off during the day. Installing low voltage lighting is a good do-it-yourself project.

Wood Decks

How to build a deck

 

A deck may be one of the best single investments you can make in your house. It gives you added space, opens the house up to the yard, and ties indoor activities with outdoor activities. You can entertain on it, eat on it cook on it or just lounge around on it. Start planning your deck today. Its a great do-it-yourself project.

 

Log Homes

Modular Log Home

 

Pictures of a Blue Ridge Modular log home being install by a large crane. This modular log home sets on a full basement and was install in a day

 

 

 How to build  a wood deck

 

Checking with your building inspector before any deck building.

 

Local codes may require different solutions for your deck to even the most common situations. Check

with your inspector in advance to avoid problems that may be expensive to fix. Among the things you

should ask:

1. How close can your deck be to your property line ?

2. What are the span and lumber requirements for posts, beams, joists, and decking?

3. How deep must your footings be to support your deck. In areas where the ground freezes, this will

depend at least partly on what your frost line is.

4. If your wood deck will be raised above the ground, will deck bracing be required ?

5. What are the codes for deck railings ? These include how high the deck railing must be, how the

deck railing is fastened, and how big any gaps in the deck railing can be.

6. If flashing is required, which type and method of installation is preferred ? Must the joist be

slipped under the flashing or can they be butted against it ?

 

 

How to build a wood deck.

 

Laying out the footings for your wood deck.

 

The footings will be the least visible element of your wood deck, so there is a temptation to build

them quickly. But if the footings aren’t set accurately, the rest of the job could be a colossal pain. So

take the time to check and recheck every step of the way.

 

 

 

 

1. Locating the deck ledger

The ledger board is usually the primary reference point for the whole deck. You may even want to install it first. In any case, to lay out the deck you first need to mark the ends of the ledger. For the time being all you should be worried about is its position from side to side. Once you have marked the ends of the ledger on your house. Use a level to bring the line down to a place on the house near the ground so that you can use it for laying out the deck. If your yard slopes appreciably downward from the house, place this mark near the ground, If the yard is fairly level, make the mark a foot or so off the ground. Attach a screw or nail to this spot so that you can tie a string line to it. If your house is masonry at this point, drive a stake firmly into the ground and attach a screw or nail to it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. Assembling batter boards.

For each outside deck corner you will be locating, construct two batter boards. Make the boards from 2 +4 by attaching a 36 inch crosspiece squarely across two stakes. Although they are temporary and will be used only to hold string lines, the batter boards must be sturdy.

 

 

 

 

3. Laying out posts for your deck.

Measure from the ledger to determine where your posts will be, and roughly mark lines using a string. You want this line to run through the center of the posts, meaning that you have to take into account thickness of beams and outside joists; a two-by is 1 ½ inches thick, and the center of a 4=4 is 1 ¾ inches from each edge. The drawing shows the most common situations. Pound a stake into the ground at the (again, rough) intersections of the lines.

 

 

4. Establishing corner footing for your deck post.

Firmly pound two batter boards into the ground 16 inches or so beyond the stake in each direction. Run string lines from the ledger to the batter boards and from batter board to batter board in the other direction. On the ledger, the string line will usually be run 1 ¾ inches in from the outside edge of the ledger. Pull the string taut, and wrap them around the crosspieces several times so they will not move. Check the post line again to make sure it runs through where you want to locate the center of the post. Pull up the stakes from the ground. Now check for square using the 3-4-5- method, measure along your house or ledger board, if you’ve already installed it, and mark a point 3 feet in from the nail holding the string. Now measure along the string and use a piece of tape to mark a spot 4 feet from the house. Make sure you remember which edge of the tape is the right one. Finally, measure the distance between the two marks. If this is exactly 5 feet, then you have a square corner. If not adjust the string line until it comes out right. Repeat this on the other corners. If you have the room you can be more accurate by using multiples of 3,4, and 5; 9,12, and 15 feet, or even 12,16,and 20 feet.

 

 

5. Checking lengths and diagonals.

Double check for square by taking three pairs of measurements; the two lengths of your rectangle should be equal to each other, as should the two widths and the two diagonals. All this measuring may seem bothersome, but it is an effective way to double check for something that is extremely important. Once you have established that your lines are square, attack them securely to the batter boards, using a screw or nail to make sure they cannot slip sideways when someone bumps into the string.

 

 

 

 

6. Marking for deck post holes.

Use a plumb bob to mark the spot on the ground that will be the center of each post. For the corner posts, bring a plumb line down from the intersection of your lines. Hold the lines until the bob stops swaying, and mark the spot with a small stake. For postholes not located at corners, measure along the string, taking care that you do not move the string as you measure. Use pieces of tape to mark the string line.

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