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Avoid Common Deck Building Mistakes

Posted 19 February 2018 9:35 PM by Jase DeBoer

When adding a deck to your home, it’s important to take your time and get it right. Avoid these common building mistakes to ensure your outdoor living space is built to last.

Footings and Posts
Footings are crucial to the structural integrity of your deck. This is no place for shortcuts as properly installed footings prevent your deck from sinking. First things first: Call 811 before digging to avoid underground utilities. Holes should be dug below the frost line to avoid the effects of contraction and expansion. In most cases, holes should be at least 36 to 48 inches deep. We recommended securing the post to the top of the concrete footer using an appropriate post base mount.

Footings Chart

Deck Material
Choose the right treated lumber for your project. Using the incorrect treatment type for your decking can cause your deck to deteriorate at a faster rate. Make sure deck joists, beams and ledgers are installed using wood treated for ground contact use.

ProWood Ground Contact Applications

The Ledger
One of the most common reasons why decks fail is the ledger board has been improperly attached to a house. If your deck will use a ledger (free-standing decks don’t), the ledger board must be bolted directly to the structure of the house. It’s imperative you remove the siding and flash this area correctly to prevent water damage. For more detail on proper ledger installation, check out:

Ledger Installation Chart

Taking the time to properly install footers, choosing the appropriate treated lumber, and correctly attaching the ledger are three important ways to ensure your deck will be built to last. As always, consult local building codes before building. If you need more information, check out the ProWood Building Code Standards.



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