July 6, 2016
A no-nonsense approach to efficient deck building
Prep the space, pour the footings
- Step 1: Remove the concrete pad
- Holes are marked with orange paint and laid out 10-12 in diameter
- Dig holes with a spud bar and a post hole digger, to below the frost line
- 40 lbs to 60 lbs of dry concrete mix is added to the bottom of each hole, and a half gallon of water added to that.
- Mix concrete with post hole diggers, let cure overnight.
Establish the height and outside perimeter
- Use a builders level to establish post heights
- 2x8 treated lumber is used for the floor framing and nailed to align flush with the top of the posts to establish a perimeter frame and central beam.
- Temporarily nail the ledger to the house, lag screws will be added later for extra support.
- Fill and tamp the holes with dirt, not concrete.
- Lay landscape fabric under the deck to prevent plant growth below.
- Dig a sloping trench for downspout from roof gutter, if applicable.
- Fill the floor frame with 2x8s spaced 16 inches on center.
- Add joist hangers at each end of each joist
Beef up the structure
- Add 3/8 inch lag screws with washers to each rim/post connection and to the ledger/house connection.
- Cut the stair stringers (7 inch rise, 16 inch run)
- Add a lower level stair made with ground contact lumber supported by five more posts.
- Scribe and cut (3) 2x6s for the lower tread. The tread envelops the side of the deck
Cover the deck with 5/4 x 6 in premium-treated wood, beginning with the border.
- Use a router to round-over the ripped edges
- Install entire perimeter border
- Cut decking to stagger the layout. Each course consists of a long board and a short one. Reverse the pattern for each course.
- Because decking has a lot of moisture when purchased. they will shrink. Install them, tight to allow for shrinkage.
- A built-in bench acts as a safety rail for the back of the deck.
- The deck surface is sanded with an orbital sander and stained with appropriate outdoor deck stain.
—Heffernan Construction Company in Eerie, PAowns