Everything You Need to Know About Deck Parts: from Framing to Finishing

If you’re anything like me, you love spending time outdoors in the summertime. There’s nothing quite like relaxing on a deck and enjoying the fresh air. Decks are a great way to add extra living space to your home, and they can be enjoyed by people of all ages.

In this blog post, we will discuss the different parts of a deck and what goes into building one. We’ll also talk about deck finishing and some popular decking materials. So whether you’re planning to build a deck yourself or just want to learn more about them, read on!

Parts of a deck

The deck is made up of several different parts, including the framing, decking, railing, and stairs. Let’s take a closer look at each of these components.

Footings and Posts

The decking is attached to the framing, which is made up of footings and posts. The footings are concrete blocks that are buried in the ground and provide stability for the deck. The posts are then attached to the footings and support the decking.

Beams 

Beams are a necessary part of your deck’s framing. They provide support for the decking and railing, and without them your deck would be unsafe. There are several different types of beams available, so you can choose the one that best suits your needs.

There are three main types of beams: solid lumber, engineered lumber, and metal. Solid lumber is made from a single piece of wood, while engineered lumber is made from several smaller pieces of wood that are glued and pressed together. Metal beams are made from steel or aluminum and are the most durable type of beam.

Beams come in different sizes and shapes, so you can choose the one that best fits your deck. You also need to choose the correct beam for your deck’s load rating. The load rating is the maximum weight that the beam can support.

Beams are attached to the deck’s joists with screws or nails. They should be spaced no more than 16 inches apart, and you should use a minimum of two beams per deck section.

If you’re not sure which type of beam to use, or if you need help sizing a beam, consult a deck builder or engineer. They can help you choose the right beam for your deck and ensure that it is properly installed.

Bridging/blocking 

Bridging and blocking are essential for a safe deck. They provide support for the decking and railing, and help prevent the deck from sagging.

There are two types of bridging: horizontal and diagonal. Horizontal bridging is installed perpendicular to the deck’s joists, while diagonal bridging is installed at a 45-degree angle. Blocking is a type of horizontal bridging that is installed between the deck’s joists.

Bridging and blocking should be installed every 12 inches, and you should use a minimum of two pieces per deck section.

If you’re not sure which type of bridging or blocking to use, or if you need help sizing them, consult a deck builder or engineer. They can help you choose the right bridging and blocking for your deck and ensure that it is properly installed.

Joists or Noggin

Joists are the horizontal members that support the decking and railing. They are attached to the deck’s beams with screws or nails, and should be spaced no more than 16 inches apart.

There are several different types of joists available, so you can choose the one that best suits your needs. The most common types of joists are decking joists, roofing joists, and floor joists.

Decking joists are made from lumber and are the most common type of joist. They are typically made from either pine or cedar, and they come in different sizes and shapes to fit your deck’s needs. Roofing joists are made from metal and are used to support roofing systems. Floor joists are made from lumber and are used to support flooring systems.

Hardware 

Deck hardware includes all the deck screws, nails, bolts, washers and other metal parts that hold your deck together. Deck hardware is essential for a safe deck and should be chosen based on the weight of the deck.

There are three main types of deck hardware: tension-based systems, compression-based systems and through-bolt systems. Tension-based deck hardware uses metal tension wires to hold the deck together, compression-based deck hardware uses metal plates that are bolted through the deck boards, and through-bolt systems use bolts that go all the way through the deck boards.

Ledger board 

The ledger board is the part of the deck that attaches to your house. The ledger board should be made of pressure-treated wood and should be attached to your house with lag screws or bolts. Make sure the ledger board is level and attach it to a solid, vertical surface like a wall or post.

Flashing

Deck flashing is a thin piece of metal or plastic that is installed at the junction where the deck ledger meets the house. Its main purpose is to keep water from seeping behind the decking and into the home.

Deck flashing should be used any time you are attaching a deck to another structure, such as a porch or shed.

Decking  

Decking is the material that is installed on top of the deck frame. It can be made from a variety of materials, including wood, plastic, or composite lumber. Decking should be chosen based on its durability and weather resistance.

Railing posts 

Railings posts are the vertical supports that hold up the deck railing. They are typically made from wood, metal, or plastic. Posts should be chosen based on their strength and weather resistance.

Railing balusters

Railings balusters are the small pieces that make up the deck railing. They can be made from a variety of materials, including wood, metal, or plastic. Balusters should be chosen based on their durability and weather resistance.

Top rail

Rhe top rail is the horizontal piece that forms the top of the deck railing. It can be made from a variety of materials, including wood, metal, or plastic. Railings should be chosen based on their strength and weather resistance.

Bottom rail

the bottom rail is the horizontal piece that forms the bottom of the deck railing. It can be made from a variety of materials, including wood, metal, or plastic. Railings should be chosen based on their strength and weather resistance.

Balustrade

A deck’s balustrade is a critical safety feature, so it’s important to choose the right type and install it correctly. There are many different types of balustrades available, from traditional wrought iron to modern glass panels. Choose the one that best suits your style and needs.

Newel Posts

Newel posts are the vertical supports that hold up the handrail. They come in many different shapes and sizes, so choose the one that best fits your deck’s design. Make sure to install them securely so they can withstand heavy use.

Base rail

The base rail is the bottommost rail on a deck. It’s important to choose a strong, durable material that can stand up to weather and wear and tear. Make sure the base rail is installed securely so it won’t wobble or sag over time.

Stairs

If your deck has stairs, make sure to choose a safe and sturdy design. The stairs should have a handrail on both sides for safety, and the treads and risers should be evenly spaced and securely attached. Make sure the entire structure is properly anchored to the deck frame for safety.

Rim joist

The rim joist is the outermost frame member of a deck. It’s important to use a strong, durable material for this part of the deck, since it bears the weight of the decking and railing. Make sure the rim joist is properly attached to the deck framing for safety.

Intermediate joist

The intermediate joist is the decking between the rim joist and the deck boards. It’s important to use a strong, durable material for this part of the deck, since it bears the weight of the decking and railing. Make sure the intermediate joist is properly attached to the deck framing for safety.

Deck board

deck boards are the visible part of a deck. They come in many different shapes, sizes, and colors, so choose the ones that best fit your style and needs. Make sure to install them securely so they won’t wobble or sag over time.

Riser

A deck’s riser is the part that connects the deck board to the stair tread. Choose a strong, durable material that can stand up to weather and wear and tear. Make sure the risers are evenly spaced and securely attached.

Tread/run

The tread is the part of the stair that you walk on, and the run is the distance between two consecutive treads. Choose a strong, durable material that can stand up to weather and wear and tear. Make sure the treads and risers are evenly spaced and securely attached.

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FAQs

What are headers on a deck?

Headers are the horizontal members that support the deck’s balustrade. They come in many different shapes and sizes, so choose the one that best fits your deck’s design. Make sure to install them securely so they can withstand heavy use.

How do you structure a deck?

To structure a deck, you need to install the deck framing first. The deck framing consists of the rim joist, intermediate joists, and deck boards. Make sure to use a strong, durable material for these parts so they can withstand weather and wear and tear.

Conclusion

Deck anatomy is an important part of deck construction. Make sure to choose the right parts and install them securely so your deck will be safe and sturdy. Thanks for reading!