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Monday, June 13, 2022

6 Steps to Turn a Deck Idea into a Deck Reality

Building a deck can turn an outdoor living space into a homeowner’s personalized sanctuary. But it can also be full of unexpected complications that can have DIYers spending more time driving to and from the hardware store than actually building their deck. Following the six steps below can help those new to deck construction streamline the process to ensure a straightforward project.

1. Plan and research

It might be tempting to answer, “Where should you start when building a deck?” with digging and pouring foundations, but that’s not necessarily true. Before breaking ground, homeowners should check their local building codes to make sure they are aware of all regulations. For those new to building a deck, contacting a decking professional can help clarify any confusing ordinances. After that, drawing up plans will help make how big the deck should be and what materials it needs more tangible.

2. Choose the right building materials

With plans in place, identifying what is needed to build a deck is easier. In general, decks will need framing, deck boards and railing. To choose the best materials for their project, homeowners should consider the climate they live in, any future additions (like a pergola) and what they want their deck to look like once finished. Using wood-alternative building materials can give homeowners peace of mind that their deck will remain structurally sound even after years of exposure to the elements. Plus, they can help homeowners achieve the look they want.

3. Match footers to hangers and install

Using proper deck framing techniques is essential to building a safe deck. The number of footers required for a deck largely depends on the size and materials used—so it is recommended that homeowners consult with a professional to ensure they have the right number of footers and that they are spaced correctly. Once this information is confirmed, homeowners can dig and set their footers.

4. Add joists

Deck joists are standardized to be 12 or 16 inches apart on center. Because framing is so important to the overall structural integrity of a deck, industry-leading manufacturers have developed steel framing systems that are pre-punched to make deck installation easier and the total system safer. Further, steel deck framing provides greater strength and weather resistance than traditional wood for a deck framing solution that resists rot, twisting and corrosion year in and year out.

5. Install decking boards and fascia

After the frame is built, it’s time to add the surface boards and fascia. 

6. Finish the deck with durable railing

The final step to building a deck is to install railing, which is required for decks that are more than 30 inches off the ground. These railings keep people safe while they spend time on the deck. They can also add a bit of personal flair to any deck build. The narrow profiles of aluminum railing can fade into the scenery—especially when its panels use glass or cable infills. Baluster railing, on the other hand, can create a bold statement around a deck’s perimeter. No matter the design aesthetic, pre-attached, bracketed posts from Fortress Building Products make installation quick and easy while providing code-driven strength and durability right out of the package.

Building a deck just in time for deck season

Going from a deck drawing to lounging on a dream deck can seem like a long and arduous journey, but it doesn’t have to be. By connecting with local decking professionals, following the above steps and choosing long-lasting and durable materials, any DIYer can build a deck without all the headache.


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