When a deck falters, or collapses, its cause is a typicall reaction to an action. Removing siding, flashing the header, securing the header to the house, amount of framing members and proper size of those members, and lastly, the fastening systems that are required and needed, all go hand in hand to help ensure longevity of the project, and more importantly, the safety of those who enjoy the luxury of a back yard retreat.
Faulty Deck Frame
Faulty Deck Header
Improper Deck Frame
- Stellar Construction can service the client from start to finish. If a homeowner does not have a specific design; Stellar Construction, being a design / build contractor, can assist the client with the design of the project.
- Submitting plans / drawings to the local building department helps ensures the project is designed and built to code.
- Typically, the use of notched 4" x 6" treated support posts, and all 2" x 10" treated framing products is the preference. In addition to, the use of dry framing products (KDAT) lessens the stress on fasteners.
Rail Post Blocking
Blocking is also an important part in the framing process of an outdoor retreat. The addition of blocking to the floor joist to any project that is 10’ and over out from the house. This helps tie the entire project together, but also helps keep the floor joist from turning under, which in turn stresses the decking fastener. Blocking is also installed on all rail post. All beams get bolted to the support post as do the rail post to the floor joist, and the ledger board (or header) gets lag bolted to the house with the appropriate flashing.
- When a homeowner selects treated wood as a decking choice, each facial cut that will be seen is “rounded over” for a more preferred appearance. If 5/4" decking is selected, 2 1/2" deck screws are used to fasten the decking to the frame. If a 2" x 6"decking is selected, the top side of the plank is selected, and both top side outer edges are rounded over slightly to give an appearance of a softer feel to the plank. In addition to, 3” deck screws are used to fasten 2 x 6 decking to frame. Typically, #1 grade decking is the homeowners preferred choice for 5/4" and 2" x 6" treated decking.
- Since the inception of “hidden fasteners” for composite and vinyl decking products, this has been the only concept Stellar Construction has utilized for securing the decking to the frame. The use of a hidden fastener system gives the ultimate clean install look of hard wood flooring.
- Each deck board that uses a hidden fastener, is grooved on each side to accept this fastener. When a solid deck board requires a “groove”, a biscuit joiner is used to obtain the groove. This is a practice that was first started by Decks Limited, which is now Stellar Construction, long before the decking manufactures recommended this tool & practice. The grooves on a factory deck board leave a somewhat unwanted appearance on the end grain. There are a few options to finish these endgrains that Decks Limited pioneered long before any other builder started utilizing; 1) Bullnosing; applying a 1” solid piece of decking to cover the endgrains 2) Another option is to picture frame the entire deck project with one or 2 deck boards of the same color, or a contrasting color. 3) The other option is to round over the endgrains and use paint of a matching deck board color. The decking manufacturers have a limited paint color section for the deck products. Stellar has paint custom color matched for each deck board.
Rounded over and painted endgrains on
Timbertech teak stair treads
Timbertech Teak facia board w rounded
over and painted edges
- Railing is obviously an essential item on any deck project. Many manufacturers have established a “cafeteria style” of products. Essentially, the products have been designed to be interchanged with one another to integrate colors and styles.
- One of the last items that is a popular item to add to the outdoor retreat is low volt accent lighting. The main reason for selecting this feature is because of the enhancement of the project during the nighttime hours. Another reason for the low volt accent lighting is safety. Low volt lighting has been perfected for cost savings with maximum lighting to operate the system from dusk to dawn. Lighting pathways, stair systems, or even a “dark corner” can be very feasible. Again, a cafeteria approach to these lighting products.
- When planning for a deck project, timing is essential as to when you first contact Stellar Construction. If you are wanting to maximize your deck project usage to the fullest extent of the season, then the planning should start in February and March. If there is an event, such as a graduation party that you would like to incorporate within the party, then contacting Stellar Construction 6-8 weeks prior to the event can help optimize the completion date in time for the event.
Beautiful Decks. No Limits.