The Right (and Wrong) Way to Splice Beams
There’s no sense installing a beam that’s not supported by a post. But that’s what this deck builder did. Maybe the builder assumed that attaching the beam
How NOT to Splice Beams
This floating beam is so wrong! There’s no sense installing a beam that’s not supported by a post. But that’s what this deck builder did. Maybe the builder assumed that attaching the beam to the end of another beam would do the trick. NOPE!
The Right Way
Splices in beams should be supported by a post or structural column of some sort. The post or column should rest on a foot-ing that meets local building code requirements. And the beams should be connected to the post with an approved metal connector. Beams should be supported by at least 1 in. of solid wood over posts. Plus: Learn how to make structural repairs by sistering floor joists.
Deck Board SpacersThese yellow deck board spacers can be used to space boards either 1/8 in. or 3/16 in. apart. Large spacers work well because they're easy to grab and pull out, and less likely to fall down between the boards. They're also highly visible, which makes them less of a trip hazard. You can find deck spacers at some home centers or online.
Choosing Deck MaterialsIn addition to selecting the color of deck boards, you'll also have to decide on the color of the fascia boards, railings, spindles, hardware, posts and caps. And those aren't easy decisions, especially when all you have to go on is a brochure with tiny color swatches. Azek has a new, free app for the iPad that can help. Check it out at Azek.com or the App Store on iTunes. The app allows you to change the color and texture on several different stock deck scenes, and once you find the combination that suits you best, there's a place to keep notes so you won't forget and have to start all over. Visualizers like this are super handy, but nothing beats a trip to the supplier to check out samples of the actual products. Feel the texture of the materials and if there's a display, take off your shoes and walk around on it. Photo provided by Azek
Best Way to Flash a Ledger BoardDeck ledger boards are a common source of water infiltration, and it can be years before you discover the damage caused by water finding its way behind the ledger and into your home. The process below may seem a little excessive, but the extra time spent following these steps may save you thousands of dollars in repairs.
- Install house wrap on the wall several inches higher than where the top of the ledger board will be.
- Install Z-flashing approved for pressure-treated lumber where the bottom of the ledger will be.
- Cover the top of the Z-flashing with house wrap tape.
- Fasten the ledger board over the Z-flashing.
- Install flashing approved for pressure-treated lumber on top of the ledger.
- Cover the top of the flashing with window/door flashing tape.
- Install house wrap over the flashing.
- Fasten the house wrap to the wall with house wrap tape.
- Install the siding.