Crosby Home Services

Woman drinking tea and sitting on a deck overlooking the mountains.

The Most Common Mistakes To Watch Out For When Building A Deck

Are you looking for ways to build a safer, stronger deck that lasts you a lifetime? Whether you plan to do it yourself or hire professional help, it’s essential to understand factors like codes to follow, licenses to arrange, materials to choose from, and specifications to work with. Read through to know more about the most common mistakes to watch out for when building a deck.

1.  First Things First

You State or city may have specific codes for constructing decks and railings. It would be best to have all applicable codes and permits handy before planning the project.

2.  Safe Clearance

Your building may have vents for ventilation, basement egress windows, outdoor taps, switchboards, windows, wiring, and much more. It is vital to leave a 36-inch gap between these installations and your deck.

3. Footing Piers

Footing piers are what your deck essentially stands on. These piers cannot be placed on the soil just as is since they may move and cause the deck to collapse. So it’s recommended you set piers at least 1 foot into the ground to ensure they remain completely undisturbed. In case there is a backfill in the property, dig a foot beyond the point of the backfill. To avoid frost in places where it snows, go below freezing levels.

4. The Right Materials

Issues like splintering, weathering, and moisture are likely to affect your deck faster than any part of your home. So it’s best to choose well-sealed, well-treated, and durable hardwood or composites for the surface. Otherwise, the sun, weather, and temperature change may cause warping and heaving on the deck.

5. High-Quality Hardware

It would be wise to choose the highest quality hardware for all your deck-building needs. For example, you will need galvanized stainless steel or similar fasteners in the joints where the ledgers meet and the floor joists to hold them together. Sealants, silicone, and flashing are essential to cover the joints up.

6. Position Splices Accurately

The splices in support beams must always be precisely over the center of the joint where the beam meets the vertical support post.

7.  Uninterrupted Handrails

All handrails on stairs leading to the deck must have the top railing running uninterrupted from start to finish. If a support post is required, it must be integrated below the railing.

8. Where the Beams Meet the Posts

Deck support beams always go above the vertical support post. It’s essential to ensure that the support beams are not attached to the side of the vertical posts at any cost, since this could add excessive stress on both surfaces.

9.  Ensure Adequate Floor Joists

It’s crucial to find out the load-bearing capacity of your selected material when planning the flooring of the deck and the stairs. Similarly, you should also calculate and decide on an appropriate number of floor joists and a defined spacing in between each of them.

10. Guard Post Connections

Pay attention to every single guard post and deck connection. The final joint can typically take a load of at least 200lbs.



Crosby Home Services, Prescott Valley, AZ, can help you build or remodel your dream deck so you can watch our for these most common mistakes people make when building a deck. Our experts prioritize compliance with necessary codes and requirements at all stages of the project. So if you need any deck-related services, feel free to call us at 928-458-6803 or visit our website.