Step 4: Install Post Bases and Side Rim Joists

installing post bases and side rim joists of an on-grade deck
Photo: David Carmack
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Place a post base atop a pier, positioning it so it will not interfere with joist hangers, and mark its location. Remove post base and bore into pier with a hammer drill equipped with a masonry bit. Reposition post base, insert an anchor bolt, and tighten with an impact wrench. Repeat for each pier.

Cut pressure-treated 2x stock for the doubled side rim joists and beams. Glue them up with construction adhesive and nail them together from both sides with 12d nails, spaced every 16 inches in a zigzag pattern.

Fit a side rim joist into a joist hanger at one end of the ledger, square the corner, and toenail through the hanger into the ledger with 16d nails. Rest the joist's opposite end on a corner pier. Repeat with the other side joist, removing mason's strings as necessary.

Cut pressure-treated 2x stock for the deck's front rim joist. Stagger any butt joints by varying board lengths, making sure joints fall in the middle of post anchors.
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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