For best results with your brand new deck, it is recommended to hire professionals to build and install your deck for you. However, if you are an experienced do-it-yourselfer, we have some deck installation tips to help you.
Follow All Local Building Codes
Local building codes are there for a reason, and should be followed exactly throughout the entire process of planning, building, and installing the deck on your property. The codes will ensure the deck is safe for use. Neglecting to follow local building codes could result in a failed inspection, which could cause difficulty with completing the project or selling your home at a later date.
Make the Necessary Screwdriver Adjustments
Make the appropriate adjustments to your speed and torque to avoid causing damage to screws and boards. Generally, the best combination to use is low torque with high speed.
When installing joists, ensure they are properly secured to the base using either a sealant or screws as a preventative measure against warping and sagging. The joists should be as dense and durable as the boards used to build the deck, and should be aligned properly to allow for the adequate space between boards for maximum support. The proper alignment will be based on the board width and strength.
Plan for extra materials
To ensure you are making the most of the material you have on hand, plan out all the spacing beforehand. If you are going to be installing a deck with hidden joints, plan for an additional 5% to 10% material. If you are doing an installation that uses a 45-degree angle cut, plan for up to an additional 20% in material.
Wooden Deck Boards and Humidity
Use a calibrated moisture probe meter to test the moisture content of the boards before installing them. This will help you ensure you are leaving adequate space between the boards to allow for expansion and contraction associated with your area’s humidity level. To help keep the boards dimensionally stable and prevent cupping, you should leave at least 10 centimeters between the joists and the ground, allowing for ventilation.
Fastening the Boards
When fastening the boards to the joists, you must use a fastener at every location where there is a bearing point and the board touches the supports. The fastener can be in the middle or at the end of the board, no matter how wide the board is. If you are using an end-to-end board installation, you must fasten the boards to the joist with a fastener at the end of each board, rather than one fastener in the middle of the two boards.
An experienced, professional team of deck installers will be familiar with these tips and use them to ensure you get the best quality, safest, deck that will last for years to come with proper care and maintenance.