Free Deck Plans
Free Deck Plans
Choose from hundreds of permit ready designs. Our deck plans include a detailed framing plan, footing layout, material list and typical details. These plans are free to download as pdf files that can be printed to 1/4" - 1' scale on 11x17 paper.

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Squaring the Deck Frame

Once the perimeter boards are in place you can “square” the deck using 2 tape measurers. This will only work if the form you are testing has symmetrical geometry. In the case of a square or a rectangle you will measure diagonally from corner to corner on both sides. These measurements should be equal. In the case of an octagon you will need to select two distances from opposite sides of the polygon.

As the joists are added they should not only add strength and rigidity but should also in effect square your deck if they are cut to the appropriate lengths. Obviously the more square the frame the better. Slight tolerances can be adjusted before the joists are installed to prevent exaggeration. Compare the opposite lengths of the perimeter of squares and rectangle forms; these lengths should be the same. Using a square and a 4’ level will also help verify that your deck form is level. You can also use the 3-4-5 rule to verify right angles.


Comments, Questions and Reviews


Just want to say, the biggerthe Deck the longer the square. 3,4,5 is ok for small projects. You can also use 6,8,10 or 12,16,20 for larger projects. Always remember that a 12 foot 2x8 is not exactly straight. The more more square you do your project at the start the better it will finish!

posted by Firepit Eddy at 1/18/2015 9:03:40 PM