5. Decking

You already know the deck boards will be located right below the threshold of the door accessing the deck.  You already know that you’re using 2x6’s for the decking.  And you already know you want a #1 grade lumber.  Okay, the last piece of business is the orientation of the deck boards. How are they to be laid out?   One way is at a 45° angle. (very beautiful but difficult due to all the angle cuts and also time consuming) This is your first deck and a simple one at that so you’ll continue that theme. 

7. Deck Stairs

You need to have a few specific dimensions at hand before building stairs.  The first is the vertical height from the deck surface to the ground where the steps will be located.  This is called the rise.   The second measurement, called the run, is how far out your steps will extend horizontally.  There will always be one LESS tread than rise.  Generally, the sum of one rise and one tread should equal 17” or 18”.  The comfort level of you and your guests ascending and descending stairs is affected by the rise and run configuration. 

6. Deck Railing

The rail system is important because it’s the first thing your guests will see.  It’s got to be cool, hip, groovy, far out, spiffy, fly, the cat’s meow, depending on your generation, pick an adjective.  There are four basic component parts.  They are the posts (aka newels), top rail (aka cap rail), bottom rail (aka shoe rail) and balusters (aka spindles).  One method of installing posts is just to extend the deck support posts up above the deck.  

8. Decking Wood

Decks may be made from dozens of different kinds and types of woods and non-woods.  Non-woods includes plastics, composites and combinations thereof.  To be sure, there are pros and cons about virtually everything, including how to build a deck.  Only a few will be discussed here.  Please don’t get wrapped up in the technical aspects.  It’s only provided to help you make an informed decision.

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