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Building a Code-Compliant Deck

Construction How-To, Decks, Decks, Outdoor Living July 13, 2015 Sonia


Mid-Span Support

Mid-span blocking can be used for a variety of purposes in deck building. Probably the most commonly used technique is to install small pieces of material in between the joists to help prevent deck bounce and also to increases the strength of the rail post attachment.

Often times scrap materials from your framing lumber may be used for blocking; we often use joist cut-offs.

We snap a chalk lines across the joists to lay out blocking. Install blocking in each joist bay, alternating the block along the chalk line to allow direct nailing.    Install the blocking flush with the top of the deck frame.

Flashing and Trim

We install a metal or PVC flashing cap over the ledger board using roofing nails, and only place fasteners high up on the flashing.

We also like to install protective flashing to the joist tops. We accomplish this by using tar paper and staples on the joist tops, or a rubber membrane.

We then install all of our perimeter trim on the rim boards prior to applying decking.

Decking

A deck should complement its environment, your landscape, and enhance your outdoor living space. Your deck, therefore, should ideally complement you and your lifestyle. Whatever your reason for building a deck—for entertaining, relaxing or outdoor living, you will need to consider materials for your decking.

Granite steps provide access to the finished deck.

Granite steps provide access to the finished deck.

On some of our decks we use composite deck boards. Composite decking has the beauty of wood without the concerns of splintering, rotting, maintenance or weather damage. Composite decking is simple to maintain and offers superior stain, fade, scratch and mold resistance. The decking surface is also easier to clean, which equates to less maintenance.

Some brands come with matching, colored plugs to conceal fasteners. Once installed the plugs almost disappear. Also available are colored screws to match the decking, as well as various hidden-fastener systems that are concealed beneath the deck boards.

Although the deck shown in this article was low to the ground, any deck higher than 30 inches requires a handrail/guardrail system. The posts of the railing system should be connected to the rim and joists or blocking using through-bolts and metal tension ties, such as the Advanced Lateral Anchor System available from DeckLok (www.deck-lok.com).

Although the deck shown in this article was low to the ground, any deck higher than 30 inches requires a handrail/guardrail system. The posts of the railing system should be connected to the rim and joists or blocking using through-bolts and metal tension ties, such as the Advanced Lateral Anchor System available from DeckLok (www.deck-lok.com).

To achieve a 3/4-in. overhang on the deck surface, we first temporarily face-nail a 3/4-in. board flush to one side rim joist. We then square one end of the first deck board and install it flush over the 3/4-in. temporary board. The temporary board gauges our 3/4-in. overhang. We let the end of the decking run long, off the deck, and cut it later with a track saw. This is faster than trying to measure each board and get the ends to match up.