Three Durable Deck Tips

July 24, 2015


How to stop rot in structural members

When you build a deck designed by a great architect covered with a tropical hardwood that should last 30 — 40 years (such as Massaranduba), it is a good Idea to make sure that the craftsmanship holds up to the design and materials. 

If not done properly, the structure under the deck won’t last as long as the deck boards. 

Matt has three tips for durable deck framing using a deck built around a swimming pool as an example—because all three tips relate to water.

Moisture is public enemy number 1 in home construction, but especially outdoor construction.


1/ Seal the tops of the joist 

A membrane on top of the joists seals fasteners that penetrate and it protects joints in doubled framing members.
Matt's product picks: Use a peel-and-stick product, such as Grace Vycor Plus or Grace Deck Protector.


2/ Separate posts from the ground.

Use post bases to keep the post bottoms off the ground. Posts sunk in concrete break 
Matt's product picks: Simpson Post Base


3/ Seal all cut ends and endgrain of posts.

Even though the framing lumber is pressure treated, end grain is where water gets in, so it is important to do all you can to help it achieve its full life span. Unless you like expensive callbacks.
Matt's product pick: SealKrete

Next time you're asked to price out a deck, make sure to include these details and talk to your prospect about them. Chances are the other bidders don't know this stuff.


—Matt Risinger is a custom builder, remodeler, and YouTuber in Austin, Texas