How to build a deck

Great free instruction book 20 pages on building a deck.


Very timely!!!
I’ve been researching this very subject for a good part of the day.
Thank you:D

It looks like another good reference is “Manual for the Inspection of Wood Decks and Balconies” done by some people at Virginia Tech University in 2003. I just found a partial copy of it which was distributed at a deck seminar I attended.
If anyone has a PDF of that, it might also be a good resource.

Will this do …Cookie

Here it is …Cookie

When does a deck require diagonal bracing if it has a direct attachment to the house?

I recently inspected a deck where the owner had done the work.
All clear cedar, very nice.
Sitting on a plylam beam…hmmm, plylam in the weather? It was severely deteriorating.
It was supported on the metal spikes they sell for fencing.
And the steps were just 2x6 nailed on a couple of oddly hand cut “stringers” and no fastened to the deck. They rolled forward as you stepped on them. (Maybe to keep burglars off the deck?)
No rim board, and several of the joists ran out about two to three feet past teh outer edge of the deck randomly.

$10.000 worth of cedar, $10 worth of labour.


Couldn’t find anything about diagonal bracing for decks connected to house. However I have seen diagonal bracing used in this manner even though this diagram is for freestanding.

Freestanding Decks
Freestanding decks regardless of height above ground shall resist vertical loading, lateral loading and movement by providing 6x6 inches posts inches and diagonal bracing as illustrated in Figure p10. It is recommended to embed the posts into soil to resist lateral loads and uplift. One set of diagonal bracing shall be located between posts and beams or parallel to the house. Another set of diagonal bracing shall be located perpendicular to beams and house in the end spans. This bracing shall be bolted to the post and joist above the post location. If the joist spacing is such that a joist does not align over a post location an extra joist shall be added to facilitate connection of the diagonal bracing.

I would think that at some point diagonal bracing would be required, even if the deck is attached, but I can’t find any references for it. I have seen a few decks that looked like they could use it to me, but what do I know.:slight_smile:

I have seen diagonal bracing particularly on second story decks.