Now that the footings
are complete and the back filling is done the deck
can be prepared and installed. The posts will likely
be 2x4's but 2x6 will be used if the deck is large
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
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.
article in the series - Deck Beams »»