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4. Setting the deck posts


Now that the footings are complete and the back filling is done the deck posts can be prepared and installed. The posts will likely be 2x4's but 2x6 will be used if the deck is large or designed to carry a heavy load. Use pressure treated wood for the posts to prevent rotting. Cedar may also be used as an alternative.

Start off by squaring one end of each post. This will be the end that rests in the post saddles. It is good practice to re-treat the cut end with some wood preservative.

Stand the posts up in the saddles and secure with one 3-1/2" framing nail. The posts will need to be plumbed before they can be completely secured to the saddle. Using a level make the posts plumb in one direction and brace them with a 2x4 and a stake. Now plumb the posts the other way (90 degrees to the first). Brace them in position just like before.

After the posts are placed and braced plumb they can be cut to height. Using an 8' level and a straight 2x4 transfer the level of the top of the ledger board to each post. Since this mark is the top of the joists the marks will need to be lowered down first by the depth of the joists and then by the depth of the beam. In this case 9-1/2" for the joists and another 9-1/2" for the depth of the beam. Make a mark on the posts and transfer it to all four sites of the posts using a framing square.

Using a circular saw trim all the posts to their final height. If necessary finish the cuts with a hand saw.

Now it is time to prepare the beam.

Next article in the series - Deck Beams »»

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