By Building Blox on Jun 25, 2012
As you have seen we are building a new home and part of that includes a deck. Now the first thing that I do is run a band of Grace Ice and Water Shield where the deck will go. You can see in the photo that the board (ledger) is actually lower but what I am trying to do is protect the wood behind from any water infiltration in years to come.
Here the footings for the posts are dug down 4' and the reason for this is -frost. They will be back filled with sand vs ordinary soil because the soil would also freeze to the posts potentially lifting and dropping them with the seasonal changes. The frozen dirt grabs the post and as it does it rises in the ground. In the spring as the frost thaws the post is released and drops but it's far better to have no movement and thus the sand which will drain away the moisture.
Another thing that I always do is to provide a space behind the ledger board so that water can easily drain away and not be trapped between the ledger board and the Ice and Water Shield. In this case there are 3 washers behind every bolt providing the spacing.
I also use joist hangers as an added support for the joists on both ends. Thus helps with twisting and also adds and strength. These are from Simpson Strong tie and they provide many other additional support products for an array of uses- http://www.strongtie.com/
And a deck is built. The edge still has to be trimmed and the posts back filled. The decking is pressure treated southern yellow pine but there are many decking boards options that are available according to your taste and budget.
A further note about pressure treated decks and fasteners. Make sure that you know the chemical that was used to treat the wood you are using as some have a high concentration of copper for example. When using this type you need to use only hot dip galvanized bolts, nails/screws/hardware that is rated for use with it and not ordinary nails and screws.
Ordinary steel and copper are dis similar metals and when they touch, the corrosion process is incredible. I've seem regular steel nails that were almost dissolved within a few years. So please make sure you or your contractor is aware . Many are not.
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