There are a variety of components that go into the construction of a deck. These include framing, decking, railings, and post caps. Each has a distinct purpose, and the right components make a deck more attractive and durable. Here’s a brief look at these components.
The framework of your deck is an integral part of the construction. It holds up the decking boards and includes posts and a column base. These are made of steel or pressure-treated wood. The outermost joist, known as the rim joist, serves the same function as the other joists.
Beams are essential to the structure of a deck. Beams can be as thick as one to four pieces of dimensional lumber and vary in thickness. They may also be made of steel or solid timber. Beam planks should be secured with 10d nails every sixteen inches. Beams are also necessary for supporting the substructure.
Posts are vertically set timbers that support the framing of a deck. They can either be cut off at the ground surface to provide extra support or installed at a higher height to support the railing. Often, a deck builder installs posts in a zig-zag or straight-line pattern. Although blocking is required by code only at the ends of joists, additional blocking is used between end joists and rim joists to provide extra support for railing posts.
Several components will help you complete the project when constructing a deck. These include a variety of hand and base rails, spindles, newels, and decking joists in various sizes and timbers. Here are some tips to ensure that your decking components are correctly installed.
Joists are horizontal framing members attached to posts. The joists, in turn, support the subfloor. They can be made of pressure-treated or untreated wood. Ledgers are often installed outside of posts. Another component of a deck is the pier, which is a vertical support column. It is often made of steel or concrete but can be made of wood. It is attached to footings for weight distribution and may be attached directly to the ground.
Composite lumber is a composite material whose ingredients vary significantly from brand to brand. Often recycled materials are used in the production of composite lumber. In addition, most composites are designed to hold up better than traditional lumber.
Railings are one of the various deck-building components that can make a deck look more appealing. They can be made of wood, metal, or plastic. Typically, the railing comprises two pieces – a top rail and a bottom rail. The rails are placed by railing posts attached to the deck’s rim joists or end joists.
Balusters usually support the top rail, and vertical posts are spaced evenly along the deck. The balusters help create a physical barrier between the decking and the railing, preventing people and pets from falling off the deck or balcony. Because railings are a crucial safety component, they must meet local building codes.
Post caps are the finishing touches on decks and are available in various materials. They can be made from copper, aluminum, and even glass. They can also help protect balusters from moisture.
Wooden post caps are a popular option because they are resistant to moisture. This will prevent water damage and prevent termites from chewing up the wood. Wooden post caps are also typically more affordable than other materials.
The first thing you need to determine is the depth of the decking. A deck is built using various components that vary in thickness, from the joists and floor beams to the stringers. The risers and treads must have a minimum height of 7-3/4 inches, while the tread depth should be at least 10 inches. The thickness of the stringers will depend on the size of the treads and risers and how much of each one is used.
When it comes to stringers, the two-span type is often preferred over the simple span, as it is stiffer and better able to disperse the deflections of a live load. However, it is essential to note that alternating floor beams must also be used to support two-span stringers.