Deck Building Tips

Deck Building Tips

Deck Building Tips

For best results with your brand new deck, it is recommended to hire professionals to build and install your deck for you. However, if you are an experienced do-it-yourselfer, we have some deck installation tips to help you.


One of the main causes of decay in a deck structure comes from the penetration of water into the deck joists via the screw holes. Water works its way through or underneath deck boards into the screw holes, eventually forcing rot to occur (treated lumber or not). Treated lumber is certainly not foolproof and the chemicals in treated lumber do not penetrate 100% of the material, which leaves much of the core of any piece vulnerable. We’ve found that the best product to minimize and deflect water infiltration these points is a product called Grace Vycor Plus Flexible Flashing. This is a self-healing peel and stick product that comes in rolls 75′ long and various widths (4″ 6″ 9″ & 12″), and is an easy, efficient install. A 4″ roll is mostly what you’ll need.


Just as you do not want any of your deck joists in contact with the grade below it, neither do you want you post bases positioned similarly. This means not encasing it in the concrete, nor allowing it to sit directly in contact with the concrete where it can wick moisture or find itself encased in silt and topsoil after a few good downpours. The goal is to raise the bottom of the post just a couple of inches from the concrete and the soil to reduce it’s contact with organic material and moisture. Fortunately, there are plenty of good products for this important precautionary measure, which is easily and often neglected. On our last project, we used Simpson Strong Tie Z-Max 4×4 Adjustable post base and you can fasten these to your concrete footing with an anchor bolt, Tapcon fastener or a combination of a bolt with an appropriately chosen construction eDeck Building Tipspoxy. This is again, a fairly economical and efficient implementation that can have a far reaching impact on your deck. As you are probably aware of, the endgrain of any wood species is like a bundle of straws and that bundle of cells will literally suck moisture right up and in, which leads us to Tip #3.


Some might think this is over-the-top, but again, it’s a relatively simple and affordable addition to the installation of your treated lumber posts with long-term payoff. This process is a simple brush on application of a product called Seal Krete Multi Surface Acrylic Water Repellent, which should be available from your local building supply store (Home Depot in Austin carries it). When dried this product acts like a cap to your post ends and helps ensure a resistance to water wicking and infiltration. You can think of this as the equivalent of Scotch Guard for you posts. When you follow this tip in conjunction with Tip#2, your posts will be solid and reliable for a very long time.

For best results with your brand new deck, it is recommended to hire professionals to build and install your deck for you. However, if you are an experienced do-it-yourselfer, we have some deck installation tips to help you.

Deck Building Tips – Follow All Local Building Codes

Local building codes are there for a reason, and should be followed exactly throughout the entire process of planning, building, and installing the deck on your property. The codes will ensure the deck is safe for use. Neglecting to follow local building codes could result in a failed inspection, which could cause difficulty with completing the project or selling your home at a later date.

Make the Necessary Screwdriver Adjustments

Make the appropriate adjustments to your speed and torque to avoid causing damage to screws and boards. Generally, the best combination to use is low torque with high speed.


When installing joists, ensure they are properly secured to the base using either a sealant or screws as a preventative measure against warping and sagging. The joists should be as dense and durable as the boards used to build the deck, and should be aligned properly to allow for the adequate space betDeck Building Tipsween boards for maximum support. The proper alignment will be based on the board width and strength.

Deck Building Tips – Plan for extra materials

To ensure you are making the most of the material you have on hand, plan out all the spacing beforehand. If you are going to be installing a deck with hidden joints, plan for an additional 5% to 10% material. If you are doing an installation that uses a 45-degree angle cut, plan for up to an additional 20% in material.

Wooden Deck Boards and Humidity

Use a calibrated moisture probe meter to test the moisture content of the boards before installing them. This will help you ensure you are leaving adequate space between the boards to allow for expansion and contraction associated with your area’s humidity level. To help keep the boards dimensionally stable and prevent cupping, you should leave at least 10 centimeters between the joists and the ground, allowing for ventilation.

Fastening the Boards

When fastening the boards to the joists, you must use a fastener at every location where there is a bearing point and the board touches the supports. The fastener can be in the middle or at the end of the board, no matter how wide the board is. If you are using an end-to-end board installation, you must fasten the boards to the joist with a fastener at the end of each board, rather than one fastener in the middle of the two boards.

An experienced, professional team of deck installers will be familiar with these tips and use them to ensure you get the best quality, safest, deck that will last for years to come with proper care and maintenance.

Anvil Construction also offers:
Check Out Anvil Construction for Your New Deck
Give us a call today at Anvil Construction to learn more. We can’t wait to hear from you, and are ready to get started on your new deck, so don’t wait. Give us a call today.  (612)-955-8632
deck installation

Deck Installation

Deck Installation

Deck installation is a premier twin cities Minnesota custom deck builder specializes in custom decks, new deck construction, refurbished decks and rebuilt decks. Our custom deck solutions offer our customers long lasting, enjoyable and structurally sound custom decks that are sure to add value and functionality to any home.  We utilize a full line of construction materials and techniques to provide our customers with the best possible custom decking solutions.

During the design process, we will provide you with several layout options for your deck, taking into consideration the functionality, space requirements and building code requirements. Upon choosing the layout that best suits your needs, we will help guide you through the many choices of both wood and composite decking products, railings and LED lighting  to personalize your space.



Deck Installation Options

We offer our customers custom decking made from composite decking,  cedar decks, PVC decking and press treated decking for any kind of Minnesota deck design you can imagine.  Our custom decks are built to the highest of standards complete with railing options like vinyl railing, iron railing, fortress spindling, glass pickets, glass deck railing, colonial spindles, rail caps and even rail lighting. Our custom decks will hold up to most any weather condition and are definitely built to impress. Please visit our custom deck & new deck photo gallery for a first hand look at some of our work, as well as the refurbished & rebuilt photo gallery for more examples of our custom quality work. Please click here to visit our services page for a more complete list of the types of solutions Perry & Horton Construction can offer you as a homeowner.

When you contract with Perry & Horton Construction, you can expect a clean cut friendly crew of craftsmen who take pride in their work and will make every effort to complete your job as quickly and skillfully as possible. Together, we can design and build the project of your dreams.  During the design phase, we will quote all material and size variations that interest you, as well as providing project photos and material samples.

Nothing adds enjoyment to a home like a new deck, and with today’s technology, composite decks are the way to go. Not only do they add beauty and functionality to your home, they are long lasting and durable. At Perry & Horton Construction we have been building composite decks like Trex Decking for over 20 years.
Whether you enjoy entertaining friends and family or its just a close family gathering, a custom deck from Perry & Horton Construction can provide the space and beauty you’ve been looking for. From custom lighting to a single or multi-level composite deck, you can express your personality and that of your family.
Perry & Horton Construction also offers:

Deck Installation: Composite Decking

A composite deck is made out of a combination of reclaimed wood and plastic. This gives your deck the look and feel of natural wood, but, at the same time, increases durability and eliminates issues such as splintering and wood rot.
All composite decking is resistant to fading, scratches, and mold, so your deck will look good for years to come.
When you combine some of the best composite decking in the world with a company that specializes in decking, you end up with a powerful combination. Here at Anvil Construction, we can help you realize the deck you’ve always dreamed of. Large or small, we can guide you through the deck building process from concept to completion.
Check Out Perry & Horton Construction for Your New Deck
Give us a call today at Perry & Horton Construction to learn more. We can’t wait to hear from you, and are ready to get started on your new deck, so don’t wait. Give us a call today.  (612) 351-1459