Which side of deck board goes down?
The debate about whether deck boards should be placed "Bark Side Up" (growth rings curving down) or "Bark Side Down" (growth rings curving up) has raged for years. Bottom Line: The hype that "bark side up" is always the answer is not accurate.
Overall, conventional decking profiles should be installed such that when seasoned, will have gaps between 1/8 and 1/4 of an inch. Look at the ends of the boards and install the decking "barkside" up to prevent cupping. Install decking with 3" pressure treated compatible deck screws instead of nails.
- Wet treated wood: The most common kind is still wet when you buy it. It'll be noticeably heavier than kiln-dried lumber. It may even “spit” at you when you nail it down. Let this lumber dry out (from a few weeks to six months, depending on the weather and the condition of the lumber) before applying any stain.
- Once you know the lineal meterage of decking required it is quite easy to approximate how many screws you will need. Say you need 500lm of decking, divide that by .450 which is your standard joist spacing. Then times it by 2 because each decking board need 2 screw to fix it to each joist.
- It's true that hot-dipped galvanized box nails aren't as thick as common nails, but they are the acknowledged choice for outdoor work. Indoors or out, for standard-type single joist hangers, use only 1-1/2 in. The manufacturers agree: Never use galvanized deck screws or drywall screws to install joist hangers.
In general terms, joists spaced 16 inches on center can span 1.5 times in feet their depth in inches. A 2x8 up to 12 feet; 2x10 to 15 feet and 2x12 to 18 feet. The larger the deck, the larger the joists.
- If you're planning to replace old wood decking with PVC or composite, measure the joist spacing first. Most deck joists are centered 16 in. apart, which is the maximum span for most low-maintenance decking. If you plan to install your decking at a 45-degree angle, your joists may need to be 12 in.
- When you build a wall, the studs should be spaced equidistant from each other. Here's why the standard is 16 inches "on center", and an easy way to mark them. "16 inches on center" means the center of each 2x4 wall stud is 16 inches apart from the next one.
- In general terms, joists spaced 16 inches on center can span 1.5 times in feet their depth in inches. A 2x8 up to 12 feet; 2x10 to 15 feet and 2x12 to 18 feet. The larger the deck, the larger the joists.
In general, posts should be spaced no more than 8 feet apart. Some builders position them every 4 feet for a completely rigid frame. The maximum distance between footings is determined by the size of your joist material.
- The specifics vary depending on your location, so study the details carefully. Even if you have experience with constructing stairs and consider a gap of 4 inches between balusters to be the standard, a code specific to the area could state that 3.5 inches is the largest space allowed.
- There are building code requirements for a porch: In the USA, if your porch floor is less than 30 inches high from the ground, a porch railing is NOT required by code. In Canada the maximum height from the ground is 24 inches.
- Cut stringers can be spaced no more than 18 inches on center, so a 3-foot-wide staircase needs three stringers, and a set of slightly wider stairs (say 3 feet 6 inches) needs four stringers. The maximum 18-inch spacing presumes treads of 5/4-inch wood decking or 2-by stock.
Updated: 6th October 2018