Planning a Backyard Deck

Written by Dave Markel

Continued from page 1

A home owner can buy computer programs that will enable them to design their own deck. This can be daunting for those with very little experience but if you work at it you can have something that you can build with.

Building Codes and local by-laws

When building you deck it is important to work with your local building department. In most areas you will need to have your deck plan approved and a building permit issued before you can start construction.

Your local building department will likely look forrepparttar following information.

•Overall deck size •Height offrepparttar 100102 ground •Position relative to property lines •Size and location of framing •Species of wood being used •Soil type •Method of connecting framing

Once your local building department is satisfied your plans meet code and local bylaws. They will then issue you a building permit, likely for a fee.

At certain stages ofrepparttar 100103 construction you will need to get a building inspector to do a site inspection. You will likely be informed of these inspections when you building permit is issued.

Now it is time to start building your deck.

Dave Markel is the author of "The All Wood Working Journal". He has helped hundreds of individuals improve their wood working skills. Visit his site at

Building wood stairs

Written by Dave Markel

Continued from page 1

Continue to do this until you haverepparttar required number of steps, 8 in this case. This first riser is always shorter byrepparttar 100101 thickness ofrepparttar 100102 steps, for us that is 1.5". This makesrepparttar 100103 first riser 5-5/8".

Cut 'em out Now use you circular saw to cut outrepparttar 100104 stringers (technical name for 2x12 with stair marks on it) being sure to cut onrepparttar 100105 waste side ofrepparttar 100106 line. When you cut intorepparttar 100107 corner with a circular sawrepparttar 100108 blade misses some ofrepparttar 100109 wood onrepparttar 100110 bottom side ofrepparttar 100111 board. This is fine, simply cut up torepparttar 100112 line and stop, then finishrepparttar 100113 cut with your hand saw.

Now userepparttar 100114 first stringer as a template forrepparttar 100115 other two. Layrepparttar 100116 stringer ontorepparttar 100117 2x12's and trace around it. Then cut outrepparttar 100118 other stringersrepparttar 100119 same asrepparttar 100120 first.

Reinforcerepparttar 100121 stringers Align one ofrepparttar 100122 8' 2x4's alongrepparttar 100123 bottom edge ofrepparttar 100124 string and mark it to fitrepparttar 100125 profile ofrepparttar 100126 ends ofrepparttar 100127 stringers. Cutrepparttar 100128 2x4 and secure it torepparttar 100129 bottom edge ofrepparttar 100130 stringer. Repeat this for one other stringer. These help to strengthenrepparttar 100131 stringers and reduce "bounce" inrepparttar 100132 stairs. Userepparttar 100133 framing nails to secure them.

Assemblerepparttar 100134 stairs The plywood is used to attachrepparttar 100135 stairs torepparttar 100136 deck. Securerepparttar 100137 sheet of plywood torepparttar 100138 top end ofrepparttar 100139 stringers. The two outside stringers are nailed flush withrepparttar 100140 edge ofrepparttar 100141 plywood whilerepparttar 100142 third stringer is centered onrepparttar 100143 sheet. Simply nail throughrepparttar 100144 plywood intorepparttar 100145 face ofrepparttar 100146 stringers using framing nails. 4 into each stringer will be enough.

Now takerepparttar 100147 45" 2x6 and nail it in betweenrepparttar 100148 bottom ofrepparttar 100149 outside stringers. The 2x6 will fit intorepparttar 100150 notch cut intorepparttar 100151 center stringer. This providesrepparttar 100152 right spacing forrepparttar 100153 bottom ofrepparttar 100154 stairs and secures them torepparttar 100155 pad.

Attach them torepparttar 100156 deck Moverepparttar 100157 stairs into their final position. make sure they are level acrossrepparttar 100158 stringers and thatrepparttar 100159 risers are plumb. Whenrepparttar 100160 stairs are positioned correctly nail throughrepparttar 100161 plywood intorepparttar 100162 side ofrepparttar 100163 deck. Use some 3" concrete nails to securerepparttar 100164 2x6 spacer torepparttar 100165 concrete pad.

Installrepparttar 100166 treads Cutrepparttar 100167 8 - 8' 2x6's in half, be sure to cut them square. Starting atrepparttar 100168 bottom ofrepparttar 100169 stairs, start placingrepparttar 100170 2x6 stair treads. Simply center them onrepparttar 100171 stringers and use some 3"deck nails to attach them. You can also use an exterior adhesive to assure that they don't move.

Continue to work your way uprepparttar 100172 stairs until you reachrepparttar 100173 top.

You are done... well, almost Railings. You need to install a railing to keep people from falling off.

Dave Markel is the author of "The All Wood Working Journal". He has helped hundreds of individuals improve their wood working skills. Visit his site at

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