DIY Home Flooring Improvement - Building a Floor Deck

By: Moses Wright

All you need to build your own deck is a few dozen deck screws, lag screws, galvanized nails, bolts, joists, posts, braces, flashing, concrete bags, gravel, stain, thinner, drill, level, plumb bob, hammer and measuring tape. At this point, you're probably saying, 'are you kidding me?'. Although it is impossible to learn how to build a deck by reading one article, there are some tips that can improve the quality of your deck by making it stronger and longer lasting.

Home Design Software - First, take advantage of the latest technology, and utilize one of the home design software packages that are available. You have choices that can help with the materials and equipment needed, in the calculation of costs and the designs and even local building codes.

Material - Once the design of your deck is set, you'll need to consider materials. Pressure treated 2 x 4's, 2 x 6's and 4 x 4's in cedar, redwood and pine are all popular choices. There are also several newer options. Many materials in the market today look like wood, in texture as well. Such materials will seem more costly in the beginning but it can give years to your deck's life span and is worth the initial outlay. Also, they will not warp over time like wood does, and there is no staining or painting required.

Foundation - The basics for a lasting deck. If you are uncertain about how to go about preparing the ground and pouring concrete, or making vertical anchors, you can look for professional help for this stage. Besides this, it should not be too difficult to build your own deck with just some help.

Pier Spacing - Check the building codes in your area to find out the recommended support pier spacing. Make your support distances equal to or less than the 8 or 12 foot length that most lumber is available in. It will be simpler for you as it reduces the number of cuts needed.

Sealing - Usually there are ledger boards that lay up against the house to support the beams (joists) under the walking surface. Sometimes they have a Z-shaped flashing that lays on the ledger board top and side surfaces, up against the house.

Metal flashing can twist out of shape in due time as temperature fluctuates even when it was set up properly. Do cover up screw holes to lessen the chances of moisture causing damage.

Using metal washers, set the ledger board a distance away from the wall. This way, you may not have to remove siding, and it will also cut down on moisture that will cause mold and corrosion.

Use Screws and Bolts - Instead of nails, use screws and bolts wherever you can. Most nails will corrode over time and the stains do not stay long on them. Although they will also rust over time, screws will not become loose like most nails will.

But, it can be more tedious utilizing screws compared to hammering in nails. You can make your job faster utilizing a power screwdriver attachment on the hand drill.

The most important thing to note when building your deck is to pay attention to detail and having a good design to give great results. It will also keep you from having to spend hundreds of dollars on repair bills down the road.

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