6 Common Deck Building Errors and How to Avoid Them

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A deck is a perfect outdoor space to relax and unwind with your loved ones. It’s an extension of your home that provides the ideal spot for entertainment, barbecue, and family gatherings.

However, poor deck-building practices can turn this enjoyable space into a dangerous one in no time. As such, it’s essential to know how decks should be done.

In this post, we’ll share six common deck building errors and provide practical tips on how you can avoid them – so let’s dive right in!

1. Insufficient Foundation Support

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Insufficient foundation support can lead to an unstable and unsafe deck that may collapse, causing serious injury or even death. The minimum depth requirement for footings varies depending on factors such as soil type and frost line depth. That’s why it’s important to research these requirements before beginning your project.

Some builders also opt for cheaper alternatives like gravel or sand. These of which do not provide adequate support in the long run. Concrete is one of the strongest and most durable of all deck building supplies you can use for foundations because it has excellent compressive strength and resists moisture damage well.

2. Improper Ledger Attachment

The ledger board is the piece of lumber that attaches the deck to your home, and if it isn’t attached properly, it can cause the entire structure to collapse.

To avoid these issues, make sure you have proper flashing installed between your house’s sheathing and the ledger board. Use lag screws or carriage bolts made from high-quality materials like stainless steel for secure attachment.

3. Inadequate Structural Connections

This happens when builders fail to use the proper fasteners or do not connect deck members securely enough. To avoid this error when working with different types of decks, always make sure that you are using the right type of fastener for each connection point on your deck. Nails alone are not enough – they can pull out or loosen over time. Instead, opt for screws or bolts that will provide better holding power.

4. Incorrect Spacing Between Deck Boards

Incorrect spacing between deck boards can lead to a host of problems, including poor water drainage and premature rotting. When it comes to spacing your deck boards, it’s important to follow manufacturer guidelines and local building codes. Most manufacturers provide specific instructions for how far apart their boards should be installed.

5. Lack of Proper Railing and Baluster Installation

Proper railing and baluster installation is crucial to ensure the safety of everyone on your deck. However, many homeowners overlook this important aspect of their deck’s construction.

Railings should be at least 36 inches high to prevent falls and must be firmly secured with appropriate hardware. Balusters also need to be spaced close enough together so that children cannot fit through them.

6. Neglecting Proper Finishing and Maintenance

Neglecting proper finishing and maintenance can lead to long-term structural damage, weathering, and pests. To avoid this error, decks should be stained and sealed with a quality, water-resistant finish before use. Finishes should then be reapplied yearly or replaced as needed.

Avoid These Common Deck Building Errors

Common deck building errors can be easily avoided with knowledge and patience. Consult design manuals and follow building codes during construction to ensure a safe and structurally sound deck.

Take help from professionals to assess deck safety if in doubt. Ask your contractor if your deck can pass inspection to ensure safety. For questions, seek help from an experienced deck builder or your local building department

For more articles aside from learning this deck building process, visit our blog.