Quick Build an Awesome Deck


Make your deck building project go faster. Here are seven simple steps from the pros.

Quick and clever tricks like these allow professional builders to build a deck quickly and accurately. Building decks is not for everyone. If you are doing something simple, move ahead, follow the steps. If you are looking at a magnificent one, talk to the experts.

Step 1: Simplify joist hanging

Construct a simple jig, with a 5 x 12-in. piece of plywood and a scrap 2×4 cut to the width of your joists. With the joist hanger around the 2×4, nail it into the ledger board through all the holes. This is the easiest way to get the deck joists. Ensure as you set your joists to chisel out a notch on the bottom, if the joist sits too high or shim it if it’s too low.

Step 2: Accurate notching

Now, that the joist is hanging, you need nail the notching. The most precise way to cut a deck board around a post is to position it against the post and mark the post location directly onto it. While measuring the depth of the notch, check for both sides of the post. Often a twist in the post will cause measuring issues. Now using a jigsaw, cut out the notch.

Step 3: Space balusters with a jig

Start working from the center of the rail and move toward the ends. Space each baluster with a jig. Support the ends of the balusters with a 1-inch-thick board. Through the stinger with 3-inch deck screws, screw in the balusters.

Step 4: Hanging stronger stair stringers

Of the half-dozen deck stair hanging methods I’ve tried for 2×8 framing, this method works the best. Cut the 2×12 stringers extra-long and secure them to blocking between the joists or to the joists themselves if they run parallel to the stringers. If possible, set your stair rise to 7-1/4 in. and tread to 11 in. (two 2x6s). Always leave a minimum of 3-1/2 in. of wood perpendicular to the back of the stringer and the deepest cutout.

Step 5: Straighten a bowed deck board

Set the board, bow in, and nail one end. Work toward the other end, nailing as you go.

No matter how good your lumber supplier, a good share of your decking is sure to be bowed. Straightening bowed boards is a routine part of deck construction.

Step 6: Trim deck boards dead straight

Beauty is in the details. Using a board to guide your saw as you trim your decking leaves an edge crisper than the steadiest hand can make. Set your guide board up as shown. If you use a 2×2 like we did, sight down it from one end to make sure you get it perfectly straight. You’ll have to cut the last two boards off freehand. Mark the entire cut with a chalk line and keep your saw going in a straight, steady motion.

Step 7: Craft a beveled post cap

Placing a cap over your rail posts not only looks good but also protects the vulnerable end grain of the post from the weather. Caps for 6x6s usually must be special-ordered, but you can make your own from 2×10 material and save the wait and money. This jig is made from 16-in. pieces of 2×8 framing and 1/2-in. plywood (see illustration). Setting the plywood guide on the jig to your circular saw requires some trial and error. Adjust it so the blade leaves a slight reveal on the top of the cap. Secure the cap to the posts with construction adhesive and 3-in. galvanized finish nails.

Deck Railings: Designs and Selections

A deck is the first feature of the house that grabs attention, hence choosing a rail that complements the decking material along with the style and color scheme of the house. With a wide range of choices choosing the right one is an art. Many rails are built from metal or composite or something is built as a combination of both.

Prepare for the Winter

In the mist of winter, it’s hard not to look forward to spring, when the snow will melt and it will be time pull out the patio set, fire up the grill and relax with a cold beverage.

Michigan Deck Building Trends – Pressure Treated Decks

With a parade of new homes coming up, there is huge demand there are various decks being built. Here we the deck experts have given you tips and suggestions on building decks. This article is a special mention of the trending pressure treated decks and the benefits.

Building Decks Safer in Oakland County Michigan

As you prepare for the arrival of spring, you are probably looking forward to spending time outside – and if you already have a deck, the time to enjoy it is coming right up. But have you considered the safety of your deck? Cedar Works Custom Deck Builder has, and we are excited to share some of what we’ve learned.