Building Decks

Building Decks

SKU# 071334

Completely Revised and Updated

From the editors of Fine Homebuilidng


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  • Product # 071334
  • Type Paperback
  • ISBN 978-1-60085-355-5
  • Published Date 2011
  • Dimensions 8 1/2 x 10 7/8
  • Pages 240
  • Photos 300
  • Drawings 75
This essential reference for pros and passionate amateurs is back with a fresh design and new content. Written by respected builders from all over America, this completely revised and expanded edition collects 11 new deckbuilding articles from the pages of Fine Homebuilding magazine, covering every aspect of deck design and construction, from the pros and cons of the newest decking materials to recent changes to the building code. Building Decks guides the reader through the entire process from first footings to final finishes, sharing insider secrets that only the pros know.

About the Author
All contributing authors are seasoned professionals whose articles have appeared in Fine Homebuilding magazine. Since 1981 Fine Homebuilding has been providing information and inspiration to everyone who cares about quality home improvement and construction. The magazine, which has a circulation of more than 300,000, is the best source of home improvement information and helps readers build projects better, faster, and more efficiently.

Table of Contents
Part 1: Framing a Deck
A Solid Deck Begins with Concrete Piers
Get Your Deck off to a Good Start
Smart Deck-Framing Strategies
Better Ways to Frame a Deck

Part 2: Putting Down the Decking
In Pursuit of the Perfect Plank
Deck Boards Done Right
Deck Fastener Options
Putting the Fast in Fastener
An Explosion of Decking Choices
The Care and Feeding of Wooden Decks

Part 3: Railings and Stairs
Start Your Railing Right
Deck Railings Grow Up
Deck Railings That Stand Up to the Weather
Deck Railings
Railing against the Elements
Deck-Stair Basics
Durable Deck Stairs
Curved Deck Stairs
Fantail Deck Stairs

Part 4:Details and Design
Custom Details Make a Better Deck
A Comfortable Outdoor Bench
A Furniture-Grade Deck
A Balcony Deck Built to Last
An Elegant Border for Your Deck
A Grade-A Deck
Building a Curved Deck with Synthetic Decking
Is Your Deck Safe?
Accent Your Deck with Light

Part 5:Building a Deck
A Complete Guide to Building Your Own Deck



When I bought my house, a fixer-upper, the deck was relatively new. The framing, decking, and railings were all built with pressure-treated lumber. The ledger seemed to be flashed properly and showed no signs of rot. The deck stood on four, 8-in. concrete piers that seemed to be spaced appropriately. The decking was laid in a nice diagonal pattern. But the builders didn’t pull a permit for the project—the 9-in. baluster spacing was a dead giveaway. They also didn’t use any metal connectors on the project. I bought the house anyway and figured someday, when I completed the dozens of more urgent projects, I’d do some upgrades on the deck, fix the widely spaced balusters, and retrofit joist hangers and post bases and caps.

What I didn’t notice at the time was that the piers were starting to lean with the sloping grade of my backyard. But within the first couple of years that I owned the house, this situation grew more problematic. As the piers settled down-hill, the joists began to pull away from the ledger. The deck quickly rose to the top of my to-do list. After a weekend of digging, hunched over beneath my deck, I finally pulled the existing piers out of the ground and found that they were only 3 ft. deep. That’s about a foot short of the frost line and the building code where I live.

A well-built deck can be a valuable upgrade to your home and to your life, while a poorly built deck will be nothing but a headache, or worse a safety hazard. That’s why we cover this topic so often in Fine Homebuilding magazine and why the codes are so protective over this area of our homes. If you’re considering tackling a deck project this year, I highly recommend this collection of articles from some of the best builders from across the country. The first story, by Rick Arnold, on page 4 helped me get my new piers right. Now I’m getting ready to turn my attention to the chapter on railings. And if you’re wondering if you should pull a permit for your project, the answer is yes. Your building inspector can help you sort out the details, and any prospective buyer should demand to see it.

-- Brian Pontolilo, editor,
Fine Homebuilding

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excellent product Review by Massimo

excellent product of instructions for building a wooden deck in the backyard

(Posted on 5/24/14)

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