Q:

How do you build a raised deck?

A:

Quick Answer

To build a raised deck, sink the concrete footings under the frost line, attach the posts to them, and use a ledger board to join the deck and the house. Use 2-by-6 boards and joists to make the frame of the deck, and attach the deck surface made of PVC or hardwood boards to it. Finally, install the railing and stairs as per the International Residential Code.

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Full Answer

Begin building a raised deck by sinking its concrete footing to 48 inches or more under the frost line. Mount the posts to the footings using post holders. When installing the ledger board, attach it to the framing of the house using carriage bolts or lag screws.

When making the framing of the deck, attach boards of the appropriate size to the posts using steel connectors. To support the boards, space the joists at 16 inches from one another. Install wider rim joists along the deck's perimeter.

If using PVC decking boards for the deck's surface, install them using the fasteners and hooks provided in the material. If using hardwood such as cedar, ipe or redwood, secure the boards using 3-inch long decking screws. Place two screws per board at all the joist intersections. Leave a gap of approximately 1/4 inches between the boards to allow for water drainage.

The International Residential Code requires that raised deck stairs be at least 36 inches wide with a tread depth of at least 10 inches and risers measuring 4 to 7 3/4 inches. Make all the steps of a uniform size. If the deck stands 30 inches above the ground, make a railing with a height of 36 inches. If installing balusters on the railing, maintain a maximum gap of 4 inches between them.

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