A custom deck can spruce up any backyard. It can compliment your home’s look and feel perfectly, while providing a much needed aspect of functionality. Depending on your style, a deck can be elegant, fun, or somewhere in between. There are several materials that can be used for a proper deck and the size is only limited by your yard. If you don’t have the time to build a deck from scratch, there are lots of good quality kits to assist you.
Always check with local authorities about permits and regulations. It would be a tragedy to have to tear down your beautiful deck due to a zoning technicality. If you live in an area with a homeowners association, they may also have requirements about changes to the outside of your home, so make sure to clear your plans with them before proceeding.
It’s very important to have every detail planned out before starting a project like building a deck. Measurements need to be precise so that your new deck will be the proper size to hold any furniture you want, as well as not take up desired backyard space.
It’s also crucial to have all of the required materials ahead of time. You don’t want to start your project, and then find out that your exotic boards won’t be in for another 2 weeks. All tools should be tested before hand as well. The last thing you need is a faulty nail gun or an inaccurate level.
Now that you’ve planned everything out and received approval, it’s time to build a deck! Start by marking your deck dimensions so you can build your deck within the planned dimensions. Center the placement of the deck using strings tied to wood stakes. Continually measure and adjust the stakes until the strings form a square and level representation of the deck dimensions.
Next, mark the ground by using bright spray paint and little orange flags. These markings indicate the placement of the deck’s eight concrete support posts. After everything is properly marked, it’s time to dig.
You’ll want to dig holes around 15 inches deep precisely where you marked the ground. If you’d like to make the digging process easier, you can get a hold of an auger. Place cardboard tubes, called caissons, into the holes to hold the concrete you’re about to pour. If the yard slopes slightly, the lower holes will need extra height to reach the level string. To fix this issue, you can place a longer caisson in the hole and rest the segments on the lower holes.
Next, shovel concrete into the holes and be sure to remove any excess concrete. Before allowing the concrete to dry, embed a J-bolt into each caisson.
Now you’ll need to form the perimeter of the deck and a center beam for support. Simply place your boards around the perimeter and in the center. Because the center beam remains hidden, only use pressure treated material and make sure to nail on steel bracket ties to give lateral support. Then fit the perimeter boards onto anchor plates set on the caissons. With the main boards in place, secure them together by nailing on corner brackets. Finish out the frame by installing joists. Then install steel joist hangers at 16-inch intervals, set in the joists, and nail them in.
Finish up the deck by installing whatever decking material you chose to use. Just make sure to attach it to the joists. Then you’ll want to permanently fasten the deck to the caissons by bolting down the anchor brackets and driving in nails through the perimeter.
With proper materials, planning, and some instructions, you can now spend time on a beautiful custom deck. Building decks can be complicated, but the benefits certainly make it all worthwhile.