Hometime Team
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Trans 1) Deck Overview Trans
2) Materials & Tools
3) Preparing Siding for Ledger Board
4) Preparing Ledger Board
5) Attaching Ledger Board
6) Digging Footings & Pouring Concrete
7) Cutting & Raising Posts
8) Installing Beams
9) Installing Joists
10) Installing Deck Boards
11) Building Stairs
12) Installing Railings

Materials & Tools



Redwood, cedar and pressure-treated pine are all popular deck board options. Each will resist moisture decay, and even though they look very different when new, they all weather to a similar shade of gray.

Wood composites ("Trex" and "Veranda" are two brand names) are also popular. These are available in different colors, although they also eventually weather towards gray.

Plastic boards are gaining popularity. These require special fasting systems and some special techniques.

One of the hottest materials right now is Ipe. This is a tropical hardwood that creates a beautiful deck surface.

If you bring them the dimensions, most home centers and lumberyards will quickly estimate the amount of lumber and other materials and arrange delivery to your home when you're ready to start building.

Lumber options are limited since the framing should all be pressure-treated pine or the heartwood of decay-resistant species such as redwood or cedar to prevent moisture decay (required by code in most areas) and the sizes are determined by the plan.

Note that columns and posts in contact with the ground or embedded in concrete must be of special pressure-treated wood approved for ground contact


Typical Lumber Dimensions:

Deck Posts (4x4 or 6x6)
Beams (4x6, double or triple 2x6, 2x8 or 2x10)
Joists (2x6, 2x8 or 2x10)
Stair Stringers (2x12)
Deck Boards/Stair Treads (2x4, 2x6 or 5/4x6)
Railing Posts (4x4)
Rails (2x4's or 2x6)
Spindles (2x2)
Skirtboards/Fascia (1x8, 1x10 or 1x12)


Other Materials Needed:

Ready-Mix Concrete (or Bagged Concrete)
Concrete Pier Blocks
Exterior Caulk
Construction Adhesive
1/2" Stainless Steel Drift Pins
Joist Hangers
Galvanized Flashing
Galvanized/Coated Common and Casing Nails (8d, 10d, 16d)
Galvanized/Coated Screws (2-1/2", 3-1/2")
Lag Screws, WashersCarriage Bolts, Washers, Nuts
The Simpson Strong-Tie Company, one of the major manufacturers of framing connectors, has a helpful document on their web site (“Deck Framing Connection Guide”) which shows almost every conceivable piece of deck hardware you might need




Here's a list of tools you'll probably need to build a deck. They're divided into 4 basic categories to help you sort through them.

Measuring and Layout Tools:
Tape Measure (25', 50')
Builder's Line (Yellow Nylon String)
Plumb Bob
Framing Square
Combination Square
Bevel Square
Level (2', 4', 6')Transparent

Power Tools:
Circular Saw
Cordless Drill (Optional)
Corded Drill Saber
Saw/Jig Saw
Miter Saw (Optional)
Power Auger (Optional)

Hand Tools:
Nail Set
Hand Saw
Pry Bar
Caulk Gun
Socket Wrench

General Equipment:
Post Hole Digger
Tool Belt
Safety Glasses
Particle Masks
Extension Cords

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