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The first section of this free deck plan includes a tool and supply list, planning and construction tips, as well as advice on designing and estimating your deck needs. Knowing how the pieces fit together goes a long way towards understanding how everything works. What direction do you want the deck building boards to run, parallel to the house or perpendicular? If you use a header joist to attach the joists to, you can place the posts at the outside edge and use them to support the railing or even a roof. If you use girder beams in your deck building (as in the below drawing), the post will be under the deck and not as visible. My personal preference is to have the post at the edge as this gives the most support to the railing. Attach the joist to the header joist using joist hangers if you are unable to get to the backside or use nails through the header joist into the end of the joist. Another point during your deck building process, make sure every joist is the correct length so that any trimming will not be required when you attach the other end. Attach the other end of the joist you attached at the house side to a header-joist board at the outside edge of the new deck. At this point in our deck building, it is the time to place the stair stringer for the steps. After the stringers are in place, we are in the part of the deck building process when itA’s time to place the steps.
Take a scrap piece of wood, typically 1 inch thick ( use two pieces of A? inch plywood ), lay on the deck and lay the 2x2 pieces on them. Below are pictures of the progression of our son Rob's deck building project, which he built with the help of a couple of his friends. If you do not want to do-it-yourself, check here for contractors in your area for just about anything from fixing your water heater to a whole house remodel. All projects should comply with your local building code regulations, permits and inspections. Decks were not in the plans when many homes were built, so the framing was not designed to permit easy deck ledger attachment.
While there are work-arounds you can employ to mount a deck ledger to a house with a challenging situation, it may not be worth the effort.
Free-standing doesn't mean the deck can't be attached to the house, it just means that the deck frame must be self-supporting.
A free-standing deck needs a beam, support posts and footings along both the outside and the house side.
Catch the latest on how to design and build a deck from the editors of Fine Homebuilding magazine. Before starting the actual construction you should study attentively the local building codes, to find out whether you need a building permit and if there are some restrictions for your project. Top Tip: Building a ground level deck is a great project for your backyard, especially if you like to add a small leisure area to your property.

Make sure you follow us on Facebook to be the first that gets our latest plans and for some other exclusive content. Also, follow us on Pinterest to get many ideas for your backyard from all the internet! Top Tip: Install the rest of the components into place and check if they are perfectly level. As you can see in the image, we recommend you to use joists hangers when fitting the beams to the frame. Installing the decking is a straight forward job is the  support surface is rigid and perfectly level. Place a nails between the slats to get consistent gaps. Snap a chalk line before adjusting the boards at the proper size, using a circular saw.
Fitting 2×2 trims to the end of the slats is not compulsory, but it will definitely enhance the look of your deck and hide the cut edges. Rather than overwhelm you with a fancy deck, letA’s start with a basic square deck - say a 10ft X 12ft rectangle. Your local big box or the internet can provide span charts to help ensure you use the correct size materials.
Take some long smooth deck boards and place on top of the post and the railings and nail into place.
Click below to read ourreview of these great paint color cheat sheets.They take the guestworkout of choosing paint colors. Sign me up for free emails from Fine Homebuilding with the latest news, tips, and techniques. In these cases, I often opt for a free-standing deck, which can be simpler to build and more cost-efficient when compared to the cost to cure a challenging ledger situation. Often, those footings near the house will have to be dug to the depth of the house foundation  footings to reach undisturbed earth. If you are looking for a straight forward project for your backyard, in order to create a small place where to take your coffee every morning or where to read a good book, you should consider building a nice deck.
Choosing the right location for your deck is essential, so make sure you check if there will get enough light or if it will add character to your property.
This project doesn’t require a large investments and you can even get the job done by yourself.
In order to get a professional and accurate result, we recommend you to use batter boards and string. As you can notice in the plans, you should leave 16″ OC between the joists, in order to enhance the rigidity of the frame.
In addition, you need to align the 2×6 beams at both ends before inserting the screws, if you want to build the ground level deck in a professional manner. Therefore, we recommend you to fill the holes with wood filler, if necessary and let it dry out for several hours.
If you want to see more outdoor plans, we recommend you to check out the rest of the projects.
If you are using synthetic decking and it is to be run at a 45 degree angle, the spacing should be 12 inches.

Nail the balusters starting from the center every 3 A? inches apart toward the ends of the 2x4A’s.
Then there are cladding challenges: EIFS, stucco, veneer brick, stone, synthetic stone and other thick and non-structural siding materials don't lend themselves to easy ledger installation. As you will see in this project, this light construction doesn’t require complex tools or carpentry techniques, so any person with basic skills can get the job done in just a weekend. Using weather-resistant materials is also important, so buy at least pressure-treated lumber. You can build the deck near your house or in the middle of your garden, surrounded by grass and flowers. Check if the corners are right angles by applying the 3-4-5 rule and make sure the diagonals are equal. Secure the beams to the metal anchors with appropriate screws, after aligning them at both ends. If you countersink the head of the screws, you can fill them with wood filler and get a smooth surface. Don’t forget to share our projects with your friends, by using the social media widgets. A few zones require a license for any development whatsoever; others don't interest allowing for structures not appended to the house. By not attaching to the house during your deck building, you have greatly reduced any possible damage and intrusion by water and insects. Provided that the structure is to be makeshift, you likely won't require a grant, however it doesn't damage to check.A free standing deck could be inherent either arrangement. A perpetual establishment might require an establishment and footings, all in all as with building a house. For a brief deck, wood is the material of decision, and a poured solid establishment is not required. This might be a structure that you could leave up for expanded periods, additionally dismantle for space or moving to another area. In any case, as noted above, don't start such an undertaking without the landowner's former support, rather in composing.You have to investigate your yard and choose what would sensibly work. Provided that you are a fledgling, the best arrange is to stay with a straightforward square or rectangular shape, low to the ground. In the event that you are at a transitional level, you can attempt your hand at different shapes, and whether to include a top or trellis top.Given that each area is distinctive, and diverse individuals will need distinctive sizes, it is difficult to quote free standing deck amounts, so I incorporate just a general rundown of the sorts of materials.
You will do estimations and figuring to confirm the measure of material you will require; there are numerous variables.
Allude to the sidebar for connections to the American Wood Council and different assets to assist with these calculations.

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