Build Your Own Deck with Tanya Memme

Things to Consider When Planning Your Deck:
1. Consider what activities you want the deck for - Intimate - less square footage, Entertainment - larger square footage.

2. Placement - Sun, shade?

3. Consider your budget and yardage - bigger = more money, less yardage.

4. Do you want it raised, or flush with the ground? - Raised - use space underneath for storage, flush - no need for railing.

5. What kind of ground is there underneath? - You want well drained soil - may need mesh or tarp.

How we made our 18 x 22 Redwood Deck, Flush with the yard:
1. Dig out turf deep enough to make room for concrete blocks, beams and planks so that they are flush with the yard turf.
a. Measure area of your deck with a measuring tape.
b. Use spray chalk on your lawn to mark out the area of your deck. c. Use a shovel to dig, measuring the depth of your depression with the measuring tape, making sure there is room enough for your concrete blocks, support beams, and planks so that the finished product is flush with the yard.
Drop in precut and pre-bracketed concrete blocks.
3. Affix 4 x 6 Douglas fir to concrete blocks with galvanized nails.

4. Drop in 2 x 12 Redwood rails with deck screws.

5. Drop in 2x6 Redwood plank with deck screws.

6. What finished product will look like.

Material Choices:
1. Mahogany, Redwood, Oak, Douglas Fir are great for decks. The have natural grains and colors that are attractive. Most importantly, they are strong enough woods to last. One wouldn't use pine, as it is too soft.

2. Some woods come pretreated and pre-compressed. Pretreated can be great because they repel termites, but they contain arsenic. Over time, wood compressed due to normal wear and tear and weather conditions, warping your deck and causing it to shift over time. Pre-compressed ensures a level deck no matter how many years go by.

3. You can cut your own boards, or order them pre-cut to your specifications by the hardware store.

Ways to Affix:
1. Galvanized nails - Strengthens metal of nail, it won't shrink or expand with weather changes as much.

2. Zinc Screws - won't rust and the gold color is a good match for the wood.

3. Alternate choice - Deck screws, coated. They will also be rust resistant. They come in matching colors depending on your wood or stain color. The smooth surface ensures that the screw does into the wood smoothly while the grooves hold to the wood.

How to screw in your planks:
1. You'll need a screw gun and deck screws.

2. Lay planks on support beams.

3. Drive in deck screws with the screw gun.

4. Planks can go all the way across, but depending on the measurement of your deck you may find that you have a gap to fill with a shorter plank. You'll have to cut a plank to fill the gap. Just make sure that you have the two planks' seam meet on a support rail.

Get more DIY tips from Tanya Memme here:

How to Start a Garden
How to Start a Garden