Common DIY Deck Building Errors

Posted June 7, 2021 to Before You Buy: Tips, Advice, Checklists.

Tags: Decks

At Sierra Structures, we get it. Many people love to get their hands just as dirty as we do and build their own decks. We don’t blame them. There’s a lot of pride in completing a job fully on your own. But, sometimes, that job gets very difficult, and there are critical mistakes that can be made. We’ve seen it happen quite a few times.

Here is a list of common mistakes and errors that people who build their own decks frequently make:

  • Not knowing local building codes: Often times, DIY’ers are not aware that local areas have different building codes based on climate, flood zones and other needs. This is something to always keep in mind.
  • Using inferior materials: Homeowners may choose to build themselves to avoid the cost of a contractor. In saving costs, they may also purchase substandard materials for the deck boards, deck post footers, girder and joist. They also could use inferior carriage bolts. All of these factors could lead to poor results in the end.
  • Not placing deck post footers deep enough into the ground: To support a deck’s weight, vertical support posts must sit on unmovable footers. These footers must extend at least 12 inches below grade and the tops must elevate at least one inch above grade.
  • Blocking access to other essential items: DIY’ers may not be aware their deck can end up covering or blocking items such as dryer vents, AC units or a basement window egress.
  • Not immediately waterproofing wood: Waterproof coating needs to be applied immediately before weather can affect the deck’s wood.
  • Not properly attaching the ledger board: The ledger connects non-freestanding decks to your home, and it provides much of the deck’s strength. Building codes have specific rules about how to install the ledger.
  • Not installing a continuous handrail on stairs: Building codes require that a continuous handrail be installed on any set of stairs that has four or more steps.
  • Bolting beams to the sides of support posts: Once again, this is a building code violation. Failing to comply could result in a poor connection and weakened deck support.

For assistance, please contact the experts at Sierra Solution to avoid making costly mistakes. Not only do we know all building codes, but we will obtain all permits and have your deck inspected to make sure it is in compliance. Call us today.

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