Cedar Decking Installation Tips

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Cedar decking is a beautiful addition to any home. It adds a natural color, as well as provide a functional space for entertaining and visiting. Creating a nice deck space is not difficult, but there is some planning involved. The best way to prepare for installing your own deck is to look at some idea books, draw out a plan of what would work best for you, and look for places that offer free samples where you can get great ideas to help make your project all that you hoped it would be.

The supplies are basic for building a deck, and can be found at any hardware store. Below is a general list of what to have ready before you begin construction.

  • Cedar decking
  • Decking screws
  • Drill
  • Miter saw or circular saw
  • Primer, stain and sealant
  • Measuring tape
  • Chalk line
  • Diagram of plan

Tip: Make sure you check with your local building code enforcer to make sure that all permits and licenses have been properly obtained.

Frame your cedar deck

Once you have acquired all of the necessary supplies, you can begin working on your deck. The first step is to frame the deck that you desire using 2 x 4 inch boards for joists that will run perpendicular to the house, 2 x 6 inch boards for cross beams, and 4 x 6 inch board for supporting beams. This will help support the weight of the deck, and the weight of those on the it.

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Place the joist beams 16 inches apart to allow for proper fastening spacing for the boards. Once the frame is complete, you are ready to attach the decking.

Lay out cedar decking planks in a dry run before cutting

Starting from the wall of the house in a parallel run the first board. You will screw this in to the joists below using galvanized or non-corrosive screws. You want to avoid using nails on your deck as they may pop up later on when the cedar decking slats flex with the different elements.

Continue running board, avoiding any cuts. You want to save cutting for last. This will save time and energy as you will be able to do all the cuts at one time. When you are running the boards together, place a nail between each one. This will provide a necessary 1/8-inch gap between each slat. This is also necessary to allow for flexing in the material.

Once all of the boards that can be placed have been set, your can see your deck coming to life. At this time you can place the butt joint board that will need cutting in place. Temporarily fasten them to the joists so that you can make chalk line markings that will guide your cutting. Once the chalk lines have been made, you can remove the boards and using a miter saw or skill saw, make the cuts. Once this has been completed, you can fasten the decking to the joists.

Sealant for cedar decks

Once the deck has been constructed you can prepare it for a sealant. This is vital in prolonging the life of your new deck, and should be done right away. You can choose to stain your deck or use a clear sealant. Either way it will be protected and beautiful.

Following these steps and taking your time is the best way to guarantee a remarkable result with your cedar deck. Make sure that you follow all of the recommended manufacturers suggestion so that you can have optimal results with all of the materials used.

And enjoy your new cedar deck!

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Cate Morgan-Harlow

Cate Morgan-Harlow is an all arounder, writing about how-to, DIY, and design with gusto. She is a shadowy figure with a mysterious past.