the first board
The first deck board sets
the path for the remainder of the deck. Start
with the board closest to the house.
Position the board
tight to the house and measure from the board to
the outside of the header joist. Adjust the first deck
so it is parallel with the header joist. You also
want the first deck board to be about an 1/8" away
siding so water can still drain away.
Secure the first deck board to every joist with two
2-1/2" deck screws. Pre-drill holes for the screws
at the end of the boards to avoid splitting.
Continue to lay the rest of the decking being
careful to stagger the joints between boards. Rather
the ends of the boards to length let them run out over
the edge of the deck. They will be trimmed to length
It is important to space the boards about an 1/8" apart.
Tap a framing nail into 3 or 4 of the joists against
the edge of the last deck board. When the next board
is installed the nails will provide the space needed.
Like the first board use two 2-1/2" deck screws
to secure the boards to the joists.
The last board
Ideally the last deck board should be a full piece.
This is usually not the case though. When we installed
the first board we made certain that it was parallel
with the header joist. This means the last board will
be a consistent width.
It is a good idea to measure
the distance between the header joist and the deck
boards as you go. This way you can correct any variations
before getting to the last board. Install the last board
like all the others.
Trimming off the decking is the final step. Snap a
chalk line on the deck flush with the outside of the
joists. Trim the decking flush with your circular saw.
This completes the deck framing. Now it is time to
build stairs and install a railing.
in the series - Building Stairs »»