In the last article, you learned the first 5 steps to know before you build a deck. Just to recap, those first five things were:
- Selecting the Right Decking Material
- Find Out Whether or Not You Need a Permit
- Decide the Design and Location
- Make Sure to Build a Solid Base
- Prepare for the Ledger
Here are the next 5 things you should know before building a deck.
- Take All of Your Measurements in Advance
- Selecting and Placing the Right Boards
- Select the Right Type of Fastener
- Spacing the Boards
- The Protective Finish
This is extremely important. After the ledger is set, you must double check that all the joists are squarely attached and set properly. The deck is pretty much built on this framework, so even an inch here and inch there can lead to catastrophic results. Just remember to take accurate measurements and then double-check them.
Most wood decking boards are usually full of different imperfections. Be sure that you select only the best quality available from the very beginning. Do your best to avoid any boards that are cupped or curved. And if there are any knots on the edges (either big or small), be sure that you stay away. For whatever reason you do end up with some boards that are cupped (boards that are curved across their face when looked at from an end), be sure to place the board with the top of the curve facing up.
This is an important part for the end look of your new deck. While you can opt to use either screws or nails, what's important is if you decide to use a hidden fastening system, or a visible one. For a look that is seamless, one of the best fastening options is to attach the screws from an angle at the edge or from below the deck altogether. Either way, be sure to double check that the fasteners you do decide to use are exterior use rated. You can do so by making sure that they are labeled as deck nails or screws.
When dealing with any wood deck, you have to factor in time and weather. Over time and through different types of weather, your wooden boards will move. This is due to expansion and contraction. That is why it's super important to space your boards apart. The general rule of thumb for a deck is to use 1/8 inch spacing between boards. To make it easy, spacers are available and specifically designed for building a deck.
No matter what type of wood deck you build, it will require some type of protective coat to complete it. This protective coat will help to maintain it's look, as well as last a lot longer. When it comes to the protective finish, there are tons of different stains, sealers, opacity and colors available. Each different coat will have different application instructions, but will all yield the same result. However, if you decided to use treated lumber for your deck, you may have to wait several months before you are able to apply any type of finish. Contact us today for more info.