The Essential Guide: Exploring the Parts of a Deck
Posted 26 May 2023 2:12 PM by Michelle Hendricks
Building a deck is an exciting project that adds value and functionality to your outdoor space. Whether you're a seasoned DIY enthusiast or hiring a professional, understanding the key components and best practices are crucial when building a deck. In this essential guide, we will explore the different aspects of deck anatomy and provide expert recommendations from Deckorators Certified Pro Elite Sean Collinsgru of Premier Outdoor Living, a trusted name in outdoor living solutions.
Substructure Material: Pressure-Treated Lumber
When it comes to choosing the material for the substructure of your deck, Sean recommends pressure-treated lumber. This material is an excellent choice due to its cost-effectiveness, long-lasting durability, easy availability and customizable nature. Pressure-treated lumber resists rot, decay, and insect damage, making it ideal for the structural foundation of your deck.
Posts and Beams Spacing: Tailored to Your Deck
Determining the spacing for posts and beams is a critical consideration that depends on various factors, including the deck size and layout. Sean emphasizes that there is no one-size-fits-all solution, as each deck is different. The spacing of posts and beams should be customized according to the specific requirements of your deck to ensure optimal structural integrity and support.
Joist Size and Spacing: Balancing Strength and Weight
For joists, Sean typically recommends using 2x10s. These joists strike a balance between strength and weight, providing a good span rating without being excessively heavy. Regarding spacing, Sean often opts for 12 inches on center. This spacing ensures a more solid feel for the deck, as it adds a few extra joists to evenly distribute the load.
Footing Types: Helical Piles for Stability and Efficiency
When it comes to footings, Sean relies on helical piles. These specialized footings are engineered to specific torque readings, ensuring that each footing can handle its designated load. The use of helical piles offers several advantages, including rapid installation without the need to wait for drying concrete or inspections. This allows for immediate framing and overall project efficiency.
Framing Hardware: Galvanized Metal Connectors for Sturdy Connections
To ensure robust connections between joists, Sean recommends using galvanized metal connectors. These connectors are employed at various points, such as joist to ledger, joist to beam and beam to post. By utilizing galvanized metal connectors, the deck's frame gains additional strength and durability, contributing to its overall structural integrity.
Decking Material: Deckorators for Quality and Reliability
When it comes to decking material, Sean exclusively uses Deckorators products. “Only Deckorators! We strictly use Deckorators because we can stand behind their quality products.” Sean confidently stands behind his deck installations, ensuring that his clients receive a long-lasting and aesthetically pleasing outdoor space.
Railing Type: Contemporary Cable Rail for a Modern Look
The choice of railing depends on the design and style of your deck. Sean often recommends Deckorators Contemporary Cable Rail for a modern and sleek appearance. This type of railing complements various deck designs, providing both safety and visual appeal.
Ensuring Proper Drainage: Gaps and Grading
To ensure proper drainage for your deck, Sean employs two key strategies. First creating gaps between deck boards to allow water to pass through. This prevents water accumulation and potential damage to the deck surface. Additionally, ensuring that the yard's existing grade is appropriately pitched away from the house. Proper grading prevents water from pooling around the deck, contributing to its long-term stability and durability.
Maintenance Recommendations: Low-Maintenance Materials and Visual Inspections
Sean prefers to use low-maintenance materials for decks, such a Deckorators mineral-based composite (MBC) decking, reducing the need for extensive upkeep. However, when maintenance becomes necessary, they recommend power washing the deck boards on the lowest setting to remove dirt and debris. For older decks, visual inspections of the substructure are advised to identify and address any signs of damage promptly.
Meeting Building Codes and Regulations: Compliance and Communication
To ensure that your deck meets local building codes and regulations, Sean stresses the importance of obtaining a building permit for any construction project. Submitting detailed plans and seeking guidance from local building officials can help ensure compliance and address any questions or concerns throughout the process.
By following these expert recommendations and understanding the anatomy of a deck, you can embark on your deck-building journey with confidence. Whether you're creating a peaceful retreat or an entertainment hub, a well-constructed deck will provide years of enjoyment for you and your loved ones. Locate a contractor in your area today!