Deck Joist Sizing and Spacing

Step-by-step instructions and tips on how to frame. Learn how to install treated wood joists and beams to build a strong deck.


Deck Joist Cantilever Rules and Limits

Learn what factors determine the maximum joist cantilever overhang that is allowed.

How To Build A Deck - Framing

Learn where to start framing your deck. Watch our step-by-step video that explains how to set your beams on your posts and install the rim joists.

Ground Level Deck

Learn how to build a ground level deck. We advise to allow some clearance for ventilation in between the frame and ground. You may need to excavate some soil.

Reinforcing Deck Rim or Band Joists

Learn a technique to strengthen your guard rails by installing a double rim joist and adding structural blocking to reduce bounce.

Deck Blocking And Bridging

Learn how to strengthen your deck by adding blocking or bridging material at the mid-span of your joists. Blocking can be used to strengthen guardrails.

Squaring the Deck Frame

Learn some tips on how to properly square your deck frame.


Framing Parallel to the House

Learn about an alternative framing method that allows you to install your decking perpendicular to the house and makes the deck free standing.

Freestanding Decks

You may need to build a freestanding deck if you can't attach a ledger board to the house. Learn how to build a self-supporting deck.

Framing a Deck Around a Tree

Learn how to build a deck around a tree to allow the tree to grow and not damage its root system while digging footings.

Balcony Deck

Learn information about balcony decks that use cantilevered joists that attach to house floor truss systems.

Roof Top Deck Construction

Occasionally, a project is presented where a deck will be built over a flat roof of a house or a garage...

Building A Deck Over An Air Conditioner

Things to consider when building a deck near an air conditioning unit. You may want to relocate the AC unit if possible to avoid some problems.


Building a Round or Curved Deck

Learn how to build a curved deck using standard wood-framing materials. Composite decking material is more flexible for curved decks than wood.

Sistering Joists Over a Beam

Learn about how to sister deck joists over a beam for framing a large deck or adding onto an existing deck.

Deck Level Changes

Multi-level decks are very popular. Learn how to build a deck that steps up or down using shared posts and footing connections.

Deck Framing Inspections

Find out what to expect during a deck framing inspection. These type of inspections are routine for ground-level decks.

Sway Bracing

Learn how to install a diagonal brace on your deck frame to prevent racking. Check out our detailed image.

Deck Joist Waterproofing

Learn about a technique used by many pro builders for wrapping deck framing lumber with a waterproof barrier to prevent corrosion and rot.


How do I build an above-ground pool deck?

Decks constructed around above-ground pools are no different than any other free-standing deck.

What tools do I need to build a deck?

As with any professional job, having the right tools can make all the difference.

Deck Anatomy

Anatomy of a deck.

Hot Tub Deck Design and Framing Platform

Learn how to build a deck to properly support a hot tub or spa. Hot tubs are very heavy. Never place a hot tub on a deck that wasn't designed for the additional load.

Leveling the Deck

Install shims or notch joist bottom across uneven joists to level your deck surface.

Hexagon Deck Framing

Learn some tips on how to build a six-sided hexagon-shaped deck.

Access to Recessed Hot Tub Decks

How will you access the controls of your hot tub on your deck? Make sure you have space to open and operate control panels when designing your deck.

Octagon Deck Framing

Learn how to build an octagon-shaped deck. Octagon decks can be used as the floor for a gazebo roof.

Adding onto a Deck

Learn about the pros and cons of adding onto your existing deck. First, make sure your existing deck frame and footings can support additional loads.

Angled Corners In A Deck Frame

Learn how to frame a deck with angled or clipped 45-degree corners using a cantilever beam.

Building A Deck Over Concrete Steps

What are your options for building a deck over concrete stairs? You can demolish the stairs or build the frame around it.

Notched Wood Post Beam Connection

Learn how to install a notched wood support post to cantilevered beam connection using lag bolts, through bolts with washers or structural screws.

Wood Support Post

What size support posts should I use for my deck? We recommend using 6x6 posts instead of 4x4's because they are stronger and provide more surface area to support beams.

Deck Bracing

Learn how to install knee bracing in-between your deck support posts to provide extra strength against high winds and to prevent racking forces for tall decks.

Post Base Attachment

Follow our step-by-step instructions on how to install a support post to a concrete deck footing using a post base connector and anchor.

Steel Support Deck Post / Columns

Steel deck posts with base plates can be used as an alternative to wood posts for supporting your deck.

Shared Load Deck Support Posts

Learn how to support an upper and lower deck using one support post and a larger footing by bolting the lower deck into the side of the post.

Wrapping Deck Posts

Learn how to install trim or post sleeves over your pressure-treated support posts for a cleaner finish and to protect the material from checking.

Concrete support deck columns

Learn how to install concrete deck piers to support your deck frame. Use cardboard form tubes to extend your footings above grade.

Sloping your Deck

Learn why it is important to slope your deck away from the house to shed water off the end of the deck.

Decorative Support Columns

Browse some examples of decorative deck support posts for tall decks.

Beam Span Chart Table

Learn how to size your deck beam using this easy-to-use span table. Just cross-reference the post spacing and joist length to determine the beam size.

Deck Girder, Cantilever or Drop Beam

Learn about the pros and cons of installing a cantilever, girder or drop beam to support your deck joists. This method allows for a notched post-to-beam connection.

Sizing a Deck Beam

Learn about how to choose the correct size beam for your deck. We discuss engineered beams and "sandwiched" style beams.

Nailing a Beam

Learn how to nail a beam together. How many nails should you use? What type of nails should you use?

Determining Deck Beam Height

Learn how to measure in order to set your posts to properly position your deck beam to the correct height. We recommend sloping your deck to shed water away from the house.

Splitting a Beam Over a Post

Follow our step by step tutorial for splicing a deck beam over a support post. Never split a beam in the center of a span.

Deck Header and Flush Beams

Flush beams are a great solution when building a ground level deck because you may not have enough clearance for a cantilevered beam.

Post Beam Connections

Learn how to create a positive structural connection for your post to beam connections. Use lag bolts, through bolts with washers, support cleats and hardware connectors.

Understanding Point Loads (Beam to Beam Framing)

Learn why it is important to install your deck beam to beam connections over a support post and footing.

Supporting Angled Flush Beams

Learn how to support the angled beams of a ground level deck with your support posts.

Engineered Deck Beam

Use treated engineered deck beams for long spans with fewer posts and footings. Engineered beams can be designed and specially ordered from your lumberyard.

Triple Deck Beam to 6x6 Post Connection

Learn how to use a post beam connector to attach a 3-2x10 beam to a support post for a deck when there isn't enough material on the post to create a notched connection.