Wood Deck.

Installing your wood deck...

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How to build a wood deck.

Do-it-yourself deck building....

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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

 

 

Digging postholes for your wood deck.

 

This is usually the most physically demanding part of building a deck. Once the marker stakes are firmly established, remove the string lines but not the batter boards. You’ll be putting the string back in place later, so leave clear marks on the batter boards showing exactly where they should be reattached. As you dig, its easy to lose track of where the center of the hole should be and often rocks or roots cause the hole to shift to one side. So carefully dig up the circumference of each hole before you start digging so that it will always be clear exactly where the hole should be. Whether you are using the auger or a clamshell style posthole digger, if you run into a rock, you’ll need a wrecking bar to break up stones or pry them loose. If you run into roots chop at them with your posthole digger or shovel.

 

 

 

 

 

Footing without concrete

Long lasting decks have been build without any concrete support. This is usually done by setting extremely rot resistant posts directly into postholes with 3 inches of gravel in the bottom and then filling the holes with more gravel. If the deck gets rained on the gravel will allow the posts to dry out.

 

 

 

 

 

Poured- concrete footing

No frost line. In stable soil, you can simply dig a hole that will act as a concrete form. For areas with little frost, a hole that is 12 inches in diameter and 8 inches deep will yield a substantial footing. Fill the hole completely with concrete. Extend it an inch or two above grade. Below the frost line. If you live in an area subject to freezing and thawing, you can dig a cylindrical postholes that extends several inches below your area’s frost line and fill it with concrete. Flare the bottom of the hole a bit for stability.

 

 

Pre cast pier on concrete. You can also purchase a pre cast concrete pier and set it into your bed of fresh concrete.          

 

 Positioning the deck posts for your wood deck.

 

The beams will either sit on top of the posts or get lag-screwed or bolted to them. Both methods are strong. If you are an accomplished carpenter, the on top method is quicker because it avoids a lot of drilling and fastening. However, it is less forgiving of mistakes because you must cut the top of posts accurately before you install the beam.

 

 

 

 

1. Plumbing post and attaching bracing. This is definitely a two person operation, one person checks the level and, once the post is perfectly plumb, tells the other to drive in a screw attaching the brace to the stake. Do the same for the other brace. Once the post is plumb, drive in more screws for stability

 

 

Types of beams used for deck building.

 

 

  Installing a beam.

1. Marking the corner post. Use a long, straight piece of lumber, a line lever, or a water lever to mark the location of the beam on the post. Start at a corner post. First, find the spot that is level with the top of the ledger. Make a mark, this shows where the top of the joists will be as well as the top of the beam. From this mark, measure down the width of your joists.

 

 

2. Marking the rest of the deck posts. Use a chalk line to extend lines between the beam marks you made on the corner posts.

 

 

3. Cutting off the deck posts. Unless your posts will rise up to become part of the railing or a bench, use a saw to cut the deck posts flush to the top of the beam.

 

                        

 

 

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