Do you want to find out how to frame a deck? Over the last few weeks Tony and I have been building a deck in our backyard. We started with a plan to extend the top deck to almost double it’s original size. The plan also included a lower deck that would be at the same height as our above ground pool.
Last week I shared how we dug the holes and poured the concrete for the footings and sonotubes. This week I’ll show you how to frame a deck, including the deck posts, beams, and joists.
1. How to install deck posts
The first step for framing a deck is to install the deck posts. After we finished pouring the concrete in the sonutubes, Tony put the steel deck post plates into the still wet cement. He made sure they were centred in the string lines, level, and parallel to the existing deck.
Then we used a level to determine the height of each deck post. We wanted the extension of the upper deck to be at the exact same height as the existing deck. Once we had the height, Tony cut down 6″ x 6″ pressure treated posts and temporarily rested them in the steel deck plates.
2. How to make a deck beam
Next we worked on the deck beam. We made a 20 foot long 3 ply beam using 2″ x 10″ pressure treated lumber, staggering the joints of all the pieces. Tony and I glued the beams together using PL premium and nailed it using galvanized nails and an air nailer. We made two of these beams. Once they were finished we hoisted them up on top of the posts, making sure it was level.
3. Screw in the posts and beams
Once you have the posts and beams temporarily in place, you can level everything. Once all the posts are straight, screw them in place. Screw the bottom of the posts into the steel deck plates, and nail the beam into the posts.
4. Install the deck joists and rim board
Next is to install the deck joists. We used 2″ x 10″ pressure treated lumber and nailed them in every 16 inches. The deck joists should be perpendicular to the beam, and run in the opposite direction that you plan to run your deck boards.
The rim board caps off the end of the joists. Nail the rim board into the end of each joist. At the same time, make sure that the entire deck is square against the house.
For the bottom deck, Tony used deck blocks instead of posts because we didn’t want to dig too close to the pool. The process for deck framing on blocks is the same – posts, beam, joists.
5. Cross bracing
Depending on how high your deck is, it might have a bit of a wobble. You can fix this by installing some cross bracing between the posts and the beam.
After deck framing comes the deck boards. That is a very satisfying part of building a deck because there is a lot of progress in a short time. And we bought a fun new tool that we got to try out. Stay tuned…
Check out more One Room Challenge room makeovers