If you have a high water table or it has just rained, you may find that your footing holes have flooded with water. This is not usually a problem. Water can be bailed or pumped out, and the soil at the base of the hole can be compacted. The concrete you pour into the hole will displace […]

How to Install Wood Deck Support Posts

In the past, many decks were built with 4×4 support posts (also called structural posts). But these can bow seriously, even if a deck is only 3 feet off the ground. For that reason, we strongly recommend that you use 6x6s instead, even if your building department does not demand them. And if a deck […]

How to Attach Deck Post Bases to Concrete Footers

The footings of your deck are exactly what they sound like – the feet of the deck. They’re the concrete foundations that support your deck. In order for posts to properly resist varying degrees of weight, posts must rest on and be anchored to concrete footings. It’s important to note that patios and pre-cast concrete piers do not qualify as proper footings for deck construction. To anchor posts to concrete footings, you need to use a post base connector. Whether you’re using natural, decay-resistant or preservative-treated wood, it’s recommended that posts be elevated off the concrete by 1 inch to help prevent decay at the end of the post due to moisture.

Best Pool Decking Options and Materials

You need to walk across your pool deck before you get in the water and more importantly you walk across it after getting out of the pool dripping wet. So, the pool deck material needs to be good looking, it needs to be slip resistant, and it needs to be cool on your feet on […]

How to Connect a Notched Wood Post to a Beam

Using a notched post and beam connection will lock the beam in place, secure it from rotating and resist wind uplift.  Notching a post does not weaken the structural integrity of the wood support post because the load for the deck is transferred down through the post to the footings.  The upright notched section of the post acts stabilizes the beam.  Most deck builders use a reciprocating saw to cut an L shaped seat in the top of the post large enough to hold the beam. Another building method to consider if you don’t have a reciprocating saw involves using circular saw to score the top of the post to remove the weakened sections with a chisel.  A 2-2×10 beam will require a notch 3” wide by 9-1/4 inches tall.  To hold the beam in place you will then need to predrill and run two ½” threaded carriage bolts through the beam and the top of the notch.

Types of Wood Decking Materials

Choosing your materials can be difficult. Often, it comes down to price or availability. You don’t have to rely on the big box stores for your deck products. There are specialty lumberyards in most cities that carry species of lumber that you cannot find at the big box stores.

How to Use Steel Metal Deck Support Posts and Columns

Round steel structural columns with base plates welded to the top and bottom are another option.  The most cost effective steel post is 4.5” diameter with 1/8” thick walls.  Many of these are part of an assembly for a decorative columns.  Steel is rarely used in residential deck construction because it is expensive, not readily available and more complicated to install.  If you do choose to use steel be sure to check it out with your building inspections department and follow the manufacturer’s installation instructions.    

Different Types of Joist Hangers

Joist hangers can be used anywhere you need to strengthen a load bearing connection. Joist hangers use face mount attachments to fasten joists to ledger boards and beams. You can buy joist hangers for different sized lumber. Single, double, triple, right and left orientation hangers are available for various applications. Many builders underestimate the extreme importance of selecting and properly installing the appropriate joist hangers. Make sure to fill all of the required nail holes with the appropriate nail type. Remember that your deck will be only as strong as its weakest connection. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions and never try to cut corners when considering hardware and fasteners for your deck project.

How to Install Concrete Support Deck Posts & Columns

Save This type of footing basically continues the pier vertically to the deck frame eliminating the need for any wood support posts.  We recommend that you do not exceed 36” in height above grade.  If properly installed this would definitely be the most durable choice, however it is rarely built because it involves using more […]

Pressure Treated Wood: Types, Grading Standards & More

What is Pressure Treated Wood? Pressure treated wood is lumber impregnated with a variety of preservative chemicals to prevent rot and insect infestation in exterior applications like decks and fences. Several species of wood can be treated, but a regionally available species usually predominates in any particular locale. Pressure treated lumber is ideal for outdoor construction […]