This is the first instalment of a three-part series that will walk you through the process of building a deck that is elevated and attached. Although we won't be focusing specifically on floating decks, the procedures involved are fundamentally the same. This guide is not applicable to decks that are grounded or covered, such as front porches or patio decks. This intricate matter has been divided into three sections by us. This first section provides an overview of the process in addition to providing specific instructions for planning and layout.
Building a deck made of warm and inviting wood is the best improvement you can make to your country home and active indoor/outdoor lifestyle. You can use the deck for family cookouts, parties, the close supervision of children and pets, or simply for someplace to sit back in the sun and watch the tomatoes ripen. And it doesn't have to be the kind of architect-designed, multimillion-dollar extravaganza that you find in glossy magazines and so-called "ideabooks." If you design a straightforward four-square deck and perform the fundamental masonry and carpentry work on it yourself, you can add one hundred percent of every dollar you spend directly to the value of your home. In point of fact, if you shop wisely, you might even end up with a profit!
To begin, go in person to the local building inspector rather than calling them to enquire about whether or not you require a building permit and inspection(s). You will be able to in the vast majority of populated areas. Decks are permanent structures if they are built correctly, and whether we like it or not, society has legislated itself a say in the appearance and durability of structures that will outlive their builders. Decks fall under this category.
Communities determine setbacks, which is the distance that buildings must be from the property lines, and interpret regional building codes to specify the size and spacing of structural members, as well as the depth and size of foundations, the dimensions of stairs and railings, and other aspects of construction. Looking for home deck services? Look no further! Hitch Property Constructions has you covered.
Some departments of inspection actively encourage owner-builders and provide them with deck plans and guidance on how to comply with the code. Some people have an inherent bias towards those who work in the building trades and can be extremely detail-oriented. If a deck does not pass inspection, any or all of these factors may require that it be torn down. On the other hand, in the words of a former town assessor: "Do not obtain a permit if doing so will not be required of you. If you file it, we will be notified, and it is possible that your property tax will increase." Even if a permit is not necessary, you should still familiarise yourself with the requirements of the building code before beginning construction on a deck in your region.
Building A Ground Level Step-By-Step
The lack of complexity that characterises a ground-level deck is one of its most appealing features. You may want to construct your deck in a particularly attractive part of your yard so that you can make the most of the surrounding scenery. If you want it to have a more refined and sophisticated appearance, you can also spruce it up with pavers that lead back to your house. The decision is left up to you and the aesthetic that you envision for your backyard. Hitch Property Constructions has a wide range of decking services Melbourne services.
Step 1: Planning and Design
Think about where you'd like to put your platform deck by evaluating the terrain and imagining how you'll use it. This will help you decide where to put it. Because you are not going to attach the deck to the house, you do not need to be concerned about how much door clearance you will have. You will, however, need to give some thought to the drainage below your deck. Does the terrain have a slope that allows water to run off? If you build the deck so that it has plenty of ventilation, it will last much longer.
- Create a Full design. Make room for all of the features on the list that you will want to have included.
- Make a plan and put it in writing. The creation of a blueprint can be assisted in by experienced landscapers, general contractors, and even home improvement stores. Before getting started, you will be able to address design and space concerns thanks to this.
- Take measurements of the area. Place stakes around the perimeter of the area. This is just a rough draught to help determine the general location of where the batter boards should go. You'll make fine adjustments next.
- Make batter boards out of furring strips by following the instructions. This is merely a frame made out of three pieces of furring that have been nailed together to form a support for string. Put them in the empty space outside the corners of the area you have planned. Decks that are larger in size will require additional posts, which should be marked with additional batter boards and placed at regular intervals along the deck's perimeter. For more specifics, check both your design and the local building code.
- String should be used to mark the outer layout. To denote the perimeter of your deck, you can mark the batter boards by tying strings to them. Check that the string's volume is as close to the level as you can get it.
- Make any necessary adjustments to the strings in order to get the area perfectly square. When the diagonal measurements that run between the corners of the string are equal, you can consider your area to be square. Put a mark on the batter boards to indicate where the final strings will go.
- If the code requires it, remove all of the sod. If you want the job done more quickly, you should rent a sod cutter.
- Figure out the arrangement of your posts along the strings. The building code in your area as well as the dimensions will determine the layout.
- Marking paint should be sprayed for footer locations. This indicates where your footers and posts should be dug out.
Step 2: What Kind of Material Are You Going to Use?
Because a ground level deck is intended to be low, you will want to give some thought to the kind of wood or composite material that you will use for the deck's framing. If the bottom of your deck frame is less than six inches above the ground or is partially buried, you should use pressure-treated wood that is rated for ground contact. This will ensure that your deck remains in good condition. This particular kind of wood contains a higher concentration of a preservative, which protects the wood from rot and decay.
Are you interested in adding one or two steps to your platform deck? If this is the case, you should think about how you will attach the steps, because if you attach them using stringers, you will be burying metal in the ground, which can cause corrosion over time.
Step 3: Consider Ground Level Deck Ventilation
When a platform deck is present, the ground beneath it will become wet. A ground level deck's worst enemy is prolonged exposure to dampness, which can result in the growth of mould, rot, and decay. Make sure the ground below your deck has adequate ventilation by building it at a height that is at least this high. Your deck will be more durable as a result of this. In most cases, the perimeter of a deck that is less than 12 inches above the ground must be open in order to allow free air flow beneath the deck. This is required in order to comply with building codes.
Step 4: Plan the Foundation and Leveling
By positioning concrete blocks at the four corners of the deck, a straightforward foundation can be fashioned. If you want to improve drainage even further, you can set your structure on top of gravel. Following this step, you will need to drive stakes into the ground, string the perimeter using the stakes, and hang a line level. After you have determined that the outline of your deck is even, you are prepared to move on to the next step.
Step 5: Lay the Beams
As was mentioned earlier, position the deck beams on top of the concrete blocks while ensuring that they are elevated to a level that will permit adequate ventilation. The ground level deck that you are building will be framed with these beams. After that, take a diagonal measurement, and then tap the beams to align them.
To keep the beams from moving while they are being held in place, it is recommended that temporary stretchers, which are temporary wooden frameworks that prop the beams up, be used. In the event that it is necessary, you can maintain the beams' level by inserting pressure-treated shims between them. In order to make the ground more even, you might want to add some more gravel.
Step 6: Attach Anchors / Joists
After you have ensured that your beams are perfectly horizontal, you should fasten angle brackets to the four corners of the deck where the joists and beams meet. These will provide your ground level deck with an additional layer of support at the four corners. Once more, consult your string level in order to evaluate how evenly your deck and terrain are distributed.
Step 7: Attach Inner Joists
Install joist hangers at predetermined intervals, and then secure the joists to the beam faces at those intervals. It is imperative that you use the recommended spacing that the decking manufacturer provides. This not only gives you a good idea of how the decking will lay, but it also makes the structure more stable. If you intend to instal new steps, the location of those new stairs should be carefully considered.
Step 8: Lay the Decking
At long last, the decking you've been working on is beginning to take form and resemble the finished product you had envisioned. You should begin by aligning the first length of decking with the outside edge so that it is even. The next step is to ensure that your decking boards are installed perpendicular to the joists and that they are properly secured.
Be sure to leave the appropriate amount of space between the boards to ensure adequate ventilation, and check with the manufacturer for gapping recommendations.
Step 9: Trim the Edges
After you have installed your decking, use a circular saw to cut off any overhanging pieces. This will ensure that your deck is nice and even. Gather the discarded ends of the wood and clean them up. You can now admire your brand new deck that is ground level.
Step 10: Add Steps or Stairs
If you want steps leading up to your ground level deck, you will first need to determine how many you want and how you intend to construct them. You can choose to have your deck built with additional footings on the ground or stringers that hang from the deck itself. Either metal angle brackets or 2 by 4s could be used to attach the stringers to the platform deck joists. Both options are viable.
Step 11: Enjoy Your Deck
After all of your hard work is done, you deserve to kick back, relax, and take advantage of your brand-new deck. A well-earned break would be improved by the addition of seating, friends, a grill, and refreshments.
A Contractor's DIY Deck Building Advice
Considering that spring is just around the corner, you might be thinking about constructing a deck. Building a deck is a great do-it-yourself project that isn't nearly as challenging as you might think it is, provided you stick to a few fundamental building principles.
Advice #1: Build Your DIY Deck Level
Decks are constructed to increase the amount of usable space in a home, and each and every one of them ought to be built in an attractive and level manner. This may be a fairly simple task for some home sites, as many back yards and other areas around the home are relatively flat. Some deck begins at ground level near the entrance to a home, but the opposite side of the deck is elevated by approximately 15 feet above the ground. Check out our Melbourne decking services services here.
Advice #2: Get a Permit before Attempting to Build Your Own Deck
The majorities of building departments that must give their stamp of approval before decks can be constructed. Decks that are low and freestanding may not require full permitting, whereas decks that are two stories tall and complex may require fully engineered plans. It is always in your best interest to check with the local permit office before you get started with anything.
Advice #3: Build Your DIY Deck on a Firm Foundation
Throughout my life, I have been fortunate enough to experience a wide variety of magnificent deck configurations, any one of which I would be proud to call my own. On the other hand, the majority of deck repairs in the Denver area that fall under my purview as a contractor are brought on by the initial builder's decision to cut corners during the construction of the deck. The vast majority of situations fit into this category. During the course of my career, I have had the opportunity to perform demos on some decks where the support columns consisted of nothing more than being placed on the ground below the deck. The remaining ones were positioned atop rocks, blocks, and a few shaky footers that had been poured earlier.
As is the case with the vast majority of building endeavours, laying a solid foundation is essential to the process of constructing a sturdy house. Having a solid foundation is necessary in order to get off to a good start. After digging a hole to a depth that is at least as deep as the frost level, a cardboard tube form is placed inside the hole. Following the mixing of the concrete and the pouring of it into the tube, an anchor bolt is then inserted into the wet concrete and allowed to dry for a period of time. After the allotted time for the concrete to cure has passed, the mould is removed, the hole is filled in, and a post bracket is fastened to it.
The combination of the anchor bolt and the post base delivers both compressive and uplift resistance to the structure. This process is carried out for each of the support columns that are located on the deck. Do you feel that this could possibly frighten you? You always have the option of hiring a concrete contractor to lay the foundation for your structure, and this is something you should consider doing even if you intend to build the deck on your own.
Advice #4: Choose the Right Framing Material
The term "decking" refers to the material that is mounted to the framing of a deck, which serves as the "skeleton" of the overall design. The framing is what gives the deck its structure. When installing certain types of decking, the joists need to be spaced more closely together than when installing other types.
However, there are types of decking that are suitable for covering expansive areas. The weather that prevails in the vicinity of where you are will also have an impact on particular aspects of these parameters. The snow and wind loads vary from location to location, and the selection of materials will also have an effect on how the structure is designed. Because, in people's experiences, pressure-treated wood offers the best durability over the long term, some people choose to construct all of the framing out of it. The reason for this preference is that pressure treatment makes the wood more resistant to decay.
Advice #5: Hardwood Decking Stands the Test of Time
Up until this point, the vast majority of decks have been fairly comparable to one another... Concrete and pressure-treated lumber, in addition to framing joists that have also been pressure treated, are materials that are considered to be fairly standard. Because of the decking material and railing system that you choose, your deck has the potential to stand out from those of other people. Back in the day, consumers had a limited number of options to choose from, and the most common materials used to construct decks were pine, cedar, or redwood. These options are still accessible in modern times; however, in addition to these, there are now dozens of choices available to select from in terms of synthetic materials and hardwood.
Ipe is a dense hardwood that is resistant to fire and is used in the construction of the deck that surrounds my home. Pronounced "ee-pay," this deck is approximately 650 square feet in size and is made of ipe. Use Ipe wood to rebuild my deck 15 years ago because of its exceptional durability and longevity; as a result, it still appears to be brand new today. Ipe is still my material of choice, but there are many synthetic materials that have a good appearance and require significantly less maintenance than Ipe does. About the environment, tend to favour the utilisation of natural products rather than those that are derived from petroleum.
A deck made of hardwood that has a lifespan of at least sixty years would be an excellent investment opportunity. If they are cared for properly, decks made of hardwood have the potential to outlast those made of composite materials, even those that aren't considered to be as desirable. When one considers the natural beauty of hardwoods in addition to the fact that they are a material that does not deplete natural resources, it is easy to understand why hardwoods are so widely used for decking.
A Guide on How to Construct a Deck
This is the first of a three-part series that will walk you through the process of building an elevated and attached deck. Although we won't be focusing on floating decks specifically, the procedures are fundamentally the same. This guide does not apply to grounded or covered decks, such as front porches or patio decks. We have divided this complex subject into three sections. This first section provides an overview of the process as well as detailed instructions for planning and layout.
The best improvement you can make to your country home and active indoor/outdoor lifestyle is to build a deck made of warm and inviting wood. You can use the deck for family cookouts, parties, child and pet supervision, or simply to sit back in the sun and watch the tomatoes ripen. And it doesn't have to be the kind of multimillion-dollar extravaganza you see in glossy magazines and so-called "ideabooks." If you design a simple four-square deck and do the basic masonry and carpentry work yourself, you can add 100% of every dollar you spend directly to the value of your home. In fact, if you shop wisely, you may even end up making a profit!
To begin, rather than calling the local building inspector, go in person to enquire about whether or not you need a building permit and inspection (s). In the vast majority of populated areas, you will be able to. Decks, if built properly, are permanent structures, and whether we like it or not, society has legislated itself a say in the appearance and durability of structures that will outlive their builders. This category includes decks. Communities set setbacks, or the distance between buildings and property lines, and interpret regional building codes to specify the size and spacing of structural members, as well as the depth and size of foundations, the dimensions of stairs and railings, and other aspects of construction. Looking for home deck services? Look no further! Hitch Property Constructions has you covered.
Some inspection departments actively encourage owner-builders by providing deck plans and guidance on how to comply with the code. Some people are naturally drawn to those who work in the building trades and are extremely detail-oriented. If a deck fails inspection, any or all of these factors may necessitate its demolition. On the other hand, as one former town assessor put it: "Do not obtain a permit if it is not required of you. If you file it, we will be notified, and your property tax may rise as a result." Even if a permit is not required, you should still familiarise yourself with the building code requirements before beginning construction on a deck in your area. Hitch Property Constructions has a wide range of decking services Melbourne services.