Planning a Backyard Deck

Written by Dave Markel

Planning your deck

Asrepparttar homeowner it is up to you to makerepparttar 100102 initial decision about your decks look and feel. Only you know what you know what you want from your deck. It is likely that you want to entertain on it, barbeque on it even have a hot tub.

Make a list of features you want.

•Barbeque •Patio table •Hot tub •Planter boxes

Knowing what you plan to put onrepparttar 100103 deck will help you determinerepparttar 100104 size of deck you need.

Magazines are also great place to look for ideas. Cut out pictures of railings, decking material, lights or patio seats. Keep allrepparttar 100105 pictures. Once you have a few variations ofrepparttar 100106 different components you can narrow down your choices.

Books are also a great resource. Books will usually have a series of deck projects that you can follow along. Some are plan books that contain a series of plans. Any generic plan will need to be brought to local codes.

Drive around new subdivisions and see what is being built. If anything, this will give you a bit of an idea onrepparttar 100107 framing ofrepparttar 100108 deck.

Watch home improvement shows on TV to see whatrepparttar 100109 new trends are. You can also get a list of good websites that can provide information about new products.

The availability of materials will also be a factor in what you use to build your deck. Using materials that are native to your area will be less expensive then if you have to special order materials.

Once you decide on allrepparttar 100110 features and styles you want to include in your deck you are ready to have a deck plan drawn. Hiring a designer or builder to design your deck isrepparttar 100111 most common way but is alsorepparttar 100112 most expensive. Finding a set of pre drawn plans will save you some money but you will still need to haverepparttar 100113 plans updated to meetrepparttar 100114 local building codes.

Building wood stairs

Written by Dave Markel

Building a set of wood stairs is not nearly as hard as you may think. With some basic wood tools and a bit of algebra you can easily build your own. Of course this can get a bit tricky for stairs with several landings butrepparttar method is stillrepparttar 100101 same.

This article will coverrepparttar 100102 steps for building a straight set of stairs. Chances are if you are reading this then you are still learning and won't be taking on a complex stair anyway.

Now, we will assume that it is from a deck to a concrete pad. The deck is going to be 48" wide and at eye level fromrepparttar 100103 ground.

Tools you will need: 1. Circular saw 2. Framing square 3. Hand saw 4. Carpenters pencil 5. Measuring tape 6. 4' Level 7. Masking tape

You will also need: 1. 3 @ 10' / 2" x 12" boards - Chooserepparttar 100104 best only, make sure they are straight with no check (cracks). Very Important! 2. 2 @ 8' / 2" x 4" boards 3. 8 @ 8' / 2" x 6" boards - Once again chooserepparttar 100105 good ones. These are going to berepparttar 100106 steps so... 4. 1 @ 45" / 2" x 6" boards 5. 1 sheet of plywood @ 1/2" / 8" x 48" 6. Of course, 3-1/2" framing nails and deck screws or nails forrepparttar 100107 steps.

Findrepparttar 100108 overall rise We want to knowrepparttar 100109 exact vertical distance fromrepparttar 100110 top ofrepparttar 100111 concrete pad torepparttar 100112 top ofrepparttar 100113 deck. Take one ofrepparttar 100114 8' 2x4's and rest one end onrepparttar 100115 deck and holdrepparttar 100116 other overrepparttar 100117 pad, Placerepparttar 100118 level onrepparttar 100119 2x4 and levelrepparttar 100120 board. Then simply measure fromrepparttar 100121 bottom ofrepparttar 100122 2x4 torepparttar 100123 pad. Lets say it is 64". This isrepparttar 100124 overall rise.

Now determinerepparttar 100125 overall run Before we can do this we have to determine how many steps we need. So first..

Takerepparttar 100126 overall rise, 64", and divide it by 7.25", which isrepparttar 100127 typical height of 1 riser (step). This gives us 8.83, which rounds up to 9, So we will go with 9 risers.

Important: There is always 1 less tread then risers. Whether you go up or downrepparttar 100128 last step is ontorepparttar 100129 deck orrepparttar 100130 pad. So 1 less tread.

Now we take 10.5",repparttar 100131 width of a typical step, and multiply it by 8. This gives us 84". This isrepparttar 100132 overall run.

While we are doingrepparttar 100133 math we need to figure outrepparttar 100134 exact rise of each step. We simply takerepparttar 100135 overall rise of 64" and divide it by 9 and we get 7.111" or 7-1/8", or close enough to it. So each riser will be 7-1/8".

Time for some layout First thing. Grab your framing square. The long leg isrepparttar 100136 tread (step) leg andrepparttar 100137 short leg isrepparttar 100138 riser leg. Also, userepparttar 100139 numbers onrepparttar 100140 outside ofrepparttar 100141 square only.

Take some masking tape and wrap a piece aroundrepparttar 100142 framing square to establish you rise and run. Mark 10.5" onrepparttar 100143 outside ofrepparttar 100144 long leg and 7-1/8" onrepparttar 100145 outside ofrepparttar 100146 short leg.

Layout one ofrepparttar 100147 2x12's on your saw horses or work bench. WIthrepparttar 100148 long leg of your framing square towardsrepparttar 100149 end ofrepparttar 100150 board start to line uprepparttar 100151 tape marks torepparttar 100152 edge ofrepparttar 100153 board facing you. Once you haverepparttar 100154 square in position markrepparttar 100155 outside edge of it with your pencil.

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