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It's Deck Season!

The weather has warmed up, and we are officially into deck season. There are certainly a lot of companies and individuals out there who can tackle these projects for you, and quite a few who will do an excellent job. But what does it take to build a good deck?

With decks, it's all about the structure. There are two common ways we frame a deck. The first is a floating deck. These decks use deck foundation blocks that are dug down to the clay and sit on a layer of compacted gravel. Floating decks are not attached to any other structure. They are a great budget option and are very easy to build.

The second method we use to frame decks is with a ledger board and beam. A ledger board is usually a 2x8 or 2x10 that is structurally fastened to the wall framing or foundation of a house. It should have a metal drip-edge installed on top to protect against water intrusion into the house, and it supports one end of the deck. On the other side, we install screw piles that go down 8' underground, and use pressure treated 6x6 posts sitting atop the screwpiles to support a 3-ply beam. The joists will then be attached to the ledger board using joist hangers and to the beam using hurricane ties.

A ledger board and beam deck is far stronger than a floating deck, and it is a permanent structure attached to the house. With properly installed flashing, your house will be protected from rain and the deck should last a very long time.

Once the framing is done, the next step is to protect the top side of the joists, beam, and ledger board with joist-guard tape. Since both wood and composite deck boards will have gaps to allow for drainage, the top side of the wood will be exposed to the elements. Joist-guard tape helps to protect your deck against the weather.

After the frame is done and the joists are protected, it's time for the decking! There are many types of decking that can be used. Most commonly, we install cedar, pressure-treated, and composite deck boards. Each of these products are great in their own way and have their own drawbacks. Wood will require regular staining to protect it, while composite is a low-maintenance solution but the surface tends to reach high temperatures in the summer sun.

After the decking, the final step is railings! The common choices here are wood railings with wood balusters, wood with aluminum balusters, all aluminum, or aluminum with glass panels.

Are you ready to take the next step? Fill out a contact form and we will have someone in touch with you shortly!

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