Top Deck Building Tips That Help You Build Your Deck

Here are some additional suggestions that may help you in building your deck.Visit the Woodworking Plans Website pages for more woodworking articles.

Drive nails at a slight angle toward each other for greater holding power.
Always nail a thinner member to a thicker member.
When toenailing, stagger opposing nails so they pass each other.
Nails and other hardware should be hot-dipped zinc-coated (galvanized) or equally well-protected material. Otherwise, weather may cause them to rust, leaving streaks on your deck.
For maximum holding power, use ring- or spiral-shank nails. They can help reduce warping of lumber.
To reduce splitting, when nailing close the the edge of a board, drill a pilot hole about three quarters the diameter of the nail. For dense or brittle wood, blunt the points by striking them carefully with a hammer. Blunt nails cut through; sharp ones pry apart.
Place nails no close to the edge than about half the board thickness and no closer to the end than the thickness of the board. When nailing closer to the edge, pre-drill holes.
Use 16d nails on nominal two-inch decking. Use two at each joint with 2 x 4’s laid flat; use three for 2 x 6’s laid flat.
Mill ends may not be square. Resquare and trim the ends. Take this step into consideration when figuring lengths and finished deck size. IT is a good idea to leave all the deck boards slightly longer than the finished size and cut them all to the final dimension after they are all nailed down.
With lag screws, use flat washer under head.
Use washers under nut and head of machine bolts and just under nut of carriage bolts.
Wear gloves to help avoid splinters.
Tops of upright structurals and joist ends should be beveled to a 30 to 45 degree angle for drainage to minimize moisture. While pressure-treated wood resists end rot, it remains subject to splitting, checking and chipping caused by moisture-induced swelling and subsequent shrinkage, therefore sealing the deck is a good idea to protect the surface.
When staining wood, follow the manufacturers’ instructions. Wood should be dry for best results.
Remember, you are about to do finish work, not rough framing. The results will be visible for years to come. There is no substitute for good construction techniques and workmanship. (This is not intended to scare you, just remind you.)

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