Decks & Porches

Sketchup for Beginners: How to Build A Pergola

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Seven-part sketchup tutorial with 17 videos covering ground zero (gravel) to final finish. Design on 'paper'—before making sawdust.

 

Trowel and Error: How to Lay BIG Tile

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Sloppy mortar application means sloppy tile that #Fails

How to Attach a Patio Roof to an Existing House

A video about patio roof plans

Two videos cover the design questions and construction process of a post and beam patio roof structure

 

2015 IRC Deck Ledger Bolt Placement

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The days of staggering bolts every 16 inches or so are over—especially if you want to step down to the deck

 

Courtyards in Latin America

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Your own private Idaho—or Argentina—inside the house​

Deck Flashing Code Requirements

The IRC is a thick book, but there is relatively little aimed at decks. A few sections have a few sentences dedicated to construction of safe and durable decks.

Weaving a Deck Ledger into a Wall With Thick ZIP Panels

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Peel and stick Z-flashing and some padding pushes a ledger flush with the face of the thick panels. A cover sheet of peel and stick completely waterproof the ledger before the deck is framed 

Cutting Perfect Decorative Ends to Pergola Joists

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Make a pattern using elliptical sticks, and then use a router with flush-cut bit to replicate onto the big stock

 

Draw Perfect Arcs for Big Gates

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A couple of sticks are all you need to scribe smooth arcs that cover wide work pieces

Notching a Post for A Deck or Pergola

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Score and whack is the basic method, but whacking with a sharp block gets cleaner results

Framing Tips for Walls with Thick ZIPs

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Exterior insulation can create transition problems. Here are a few solutions

A Deck Screw Jig for Straight Lines

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Consistent deck screw placement and spacing between deck boards comes from a system of jigs and spacers