Overview

Building a Simple Deck «»
ANATOMY

An on-grade deck—one built just above the ground—doesn't require posts, steps, or railings. But it has the same structural elements as any deck—ledger, joists, beams and piers. Building one begins with determining the sizes of the framing material. Tom Silva uses these rules fo thumb: for rim joists or beams made of doubled-up 2x lumber, the boards' nominal width (in inches) should match the span (in feet). So a rim joist spanning 10 feet requires two 2x10s. The ledger is made from a single board of the same width. For interior joists, Tom halves the span then adds two—a joist spanning 8 feet warrants a 2x6. (In all cases, round up odd numbers or fractions to the next even number.)
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    Tools List

    • hammer drill
      Hammer-drill with masonry bit
    • drill
      1/2-inch drill with 3/8-inch bit
    • socket wrench
      Socket wrench
    • plumb bob
      Plumb bob and string
    • circular saw
      Circular saw
    • two-foot level
      Level
    • chalk line
      Chalk line
    • concrete mixer
      Concrete mixer,
      or mixing trough and hoe
    • hammer
      Hammer
    • impact wrench
      Impact wrench
    • flat blade shovel
      Shovel
    • 16-foot tape measure
      Tape measure
    • utility knife
      Utility knife

    Shopping List

    1. 5X4-INCH DECKING LUMBER

    2. 2X8 PRESSURE-TREATED LUMBER for the joists

    3. 2X10 PRESSURE-TREATED LUMBER for the ledger, beams and rim joists

    4. FIBERBOARD PIER FORM

    5. PLASTIC FOOTING FORM

    6. CONCRETE

    7. LEDGER FASTENERS lag screws and/or carriage bolts

    8. POLYURETHANE MARINE SEALANT

    9. FACE-MOUNTED JOIST HANGERS

    10. POST BASES

    11. MASONRY EXPANSION BOLTSto fasten post bases to concrete piers

    12. SILICONIZED ACRYLIC CAULK

    13. METAL FLASHING

    14. 6D, 12D, AND 16D GALVANIZED OR STAINLESS STEEL COMMON NAILS

    15. 8D GALVANIZED OR STAINLESS STEEL FINISH NAILS

    16. 5/8-INCH ROOFING NAILS

    17. SELF-ADHERING WATERPROOF MEMBRANE

    18. CONCEALED-FLANGE AND FACE-MOUNTED DOUBLE JOIST HANGERS AND HANGER NAILS

    19. CONSTRUCTION ADHESIVE