Picture Perfect
This inviting oasis was built alongside a kidney-shaped in-ground pool. A 7-foot-square whirlpool spa sits in the middle of the 16x16-foot deck. The spa rests diagonally on a 4-inch-thick x 8-foot-square concrete slab poured before the redwood deck was built. The meticulously built deck boasts two levels and an L-shaped wraparound bench made up of redwood 2x4s. But perhaps its most interesting feature is the way the 2x6 deck boards are trimmed — a technique known as picture framing. On most decks, deck boards are cut flush with the outer edge of the perimeter band joists. With picture framing, the ends of the deck boards are set back from the edge of the band joists and then trimmed with a picture frame perimeter border. The border — usually a 2x6 or 2x8 — hides the ends of the deck boards and gives the finished deck a neat, clean appearance. As the illustration shows, picture framing requires a double band joist. Two 2x8 pressure-treated joists were separated by 2x4 spacers, with one spacer placed every 24 inches. The result is a 4 1/2-inch-wide beam that supports the 2x6 border and the deck board ends. A 1x10 redwood fascia trim board was nailed to the 2x8 band joists around the perimeter to hide the understructure. When building a picture-frame deck, be sure a liberal coat of stain or clear wood preservative is applied to the ends of all the deck boards before the border is nailed or screwed down. This extra step is crucial for blocking out moisture and preventing the end grain of the decking from rotting. It can't be done after the border is installed.
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