The Basics of Building a Deck

Built right, a deck can be an outdoor space that lasts for decades. Here's what you need to know before you get started.



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Cantilevered framing on double girder fastened with galvanized connector.
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Joist fastened to double perimeter joist on ledger.
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Built right, a deck can be an outdoor space that's easy to live with.
PHOTO: WILLIAM WALDRON
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Rail stanchions notched and bolted to perimeter joist.
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Tongue-and-socket post in gravel bed, supporting double beams.
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Ledger beam fastened to brick-veneered band joist with parallel floor joists.
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Joise fastened to double perimeter joist on galvanized hangers.
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Ledger beam fastened to band joist with perpendicular floor joists.
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Herringbone planking: joist spacing 12"–16".
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Galvanized sheet-metal flashing on double beam.
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Straight planking: joist spacing: 16"–24".
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Diagonal planking: joist spacing 12"–16".
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Stairs with cleated stringers, no top tread.
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Stairs with notched stringers and flush top tread.
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