Deck Construction

Written by Donald Sparacin
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Depending on the design, deck construction can be an easy backyard project for the weekend warrior or a serious challenge for even the seasoned professional. We've all seen those incredible decks that they feature in the ads for wood preservative products, and the ones that show up in most home magazines. We see them and think that we can have the same thing for our own homes. Then we find out how much it will cost to build them, and we end up with something else.

Deck Construction Can Actually Be Easy

One person with basic skills can complete a low level deck in a weekend, really! Deck construction for the basic deck isn't as hard as many people believe. Set a few posts in quick drying cement, attach 2X8s to the posts using prefabricated fasteners, attach 2X6 joists to the 2X8s in 2-foot intervals, then lay out and attach the decking. That's it!

If you decide to design your deck to feature a nice decorative railing, simply leave the outside posts a bit longer to support the rails. Then it's a simple, albeit time-consuming issue to add the balusters in-between the rails. Now, if you want a fancier look to the decking, try lying the decking at a 45-degree angle. It's more cutting and will create more waste, but the finished look will be worth it.

The decks that we see that have a large curve to them will take more skill to achieve than most homeowners possess. Those will probably require a skilled craftsman. Similarly, multi-tiered decks that feature angled decking and other ornate design elements may be out of reach for most do-it-yourself projects. But if you find some good detailed plans and read the instructions, even they can be accomplished by most of us if we give it a try and don't expect it to be finished in a weekend.


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