Deck building and framing comes with a number of hard and fast rules that must be followed in order to create a solid structure that will last for years to come. Even the smallest missed detail can cost you hundreds if not thousands of dollars, so before you mount this popular home improvement project you should be aware of the essentials that must be carefully considered.
Most Augusta deck builders will tell you that all of these fundamental factors play a critical role in the design and construction of your deck and the overall lifespan of the structure in the face of all of the most impactful exterior elements that are likely to age your deck over time.
So, let’s take a look at all of those factors to help you preserve your deck and ensure that it remains in excellent condition for as long as you own it.
Deck Framing Basics
The framing of your deck must be done properly to fortify the structural integrity. Durability is paramount here as you do not want your deck to collapse out of the blue while you and your family are enjoying themselves on it. Deck framing helps you avoid such issues because it allows for you to remain in compliance with all the building codes in your city. That way you won’t have a problem passing inspection when the building inspector assesses every aspect of the work.
Deck Framing Materials
First things first, you want to select the best materials for the job starting with the lumber. Your deck’s two biggest enemies are rot and decay and you can fight back against these destructive elements by selecting pressure-treated wood or species that bring a natural resistance to the hazards.
Some homeowners avoid using wood entirely opting instead for metal framing due its high durability and improved strength thresholds. Metal is going to be stronger than most wood species.
Don’t Forget the Deck Flashing
Deck flashing is a waterproof material that is applied to your deck’s ledger board as a way to resist corrosion and prevent moisture from creeping into the exterior walls of your home. This material is used to cover any gaps or crevices that may occur during the installation of your deck’s ledger board. Your flashing material should be made from stainless steel, copper, or vinyl.
The Ledger Board
Here is the component that will connect your deck framing to your home. This is where your deck joists will be installed in perpendicular position to the multiple brackets that make up the width of the deck surface. As you may have guessed, the ledger board is going to be made of the same material as your deck framing.
Your Deck Surface
This is the prime living space of the deck, the place where you and your family and friends will be hanging out on the structure once it’s fully built. The selection of this component is critical to the resilience and durability of the deck.
You have a wide range of options for this component of the structure. For those homeowners who prefer the traditional look and feel of wood, opt for a pressure-treated lumber. It brings that added protection against moisture and holds up a long time. You can also go with composite materials, which combines wood fibers with a variety of polymers. Many homeowners choose composite because it is often stronger and more resistant to the elements, especially in regions that see higher than average levels of precipitation and high winds. These materials are also a lot more resilient against stains, scratches and dents, and fading from the sun’s direct light and heat.
If you do go with natural wood over composite for your deck surface, you should take every precaution possible against the development of rot. A good solution is to apply flashing tape to your deck joists, this will keep moisture from penetrating these crucial areas of the deck and safeguard against rot setting in.
Keep aesthetics in mind when you choose your flashing tape. Black is usually best as it blends in much better than lighter options that will stick out like a sore thumb with even a passing glance.
Your Deck Railing
Your deck won’t be usable nor pass inspection if it does not have a solid and secure railing surrounding the edge of the surface and running along the stairwell. So, choose your railing with safety and appearance in mind. You want your deck to be completely safe but you also want it to look great.