Citra FL has the finest residential properties in the country. In fact, you’ll see numerous homes sporting gallant decks with a modern touch. True enough, decks have been a part of Western residential designs since time immemorial. Residents have amazing deck framing techniques as their results illustrate.

If you’re planning to build your own deck similar to those beautiful properties, it pays to avoid these deck framing techniques. In fact, this deck framing guide will not teach you about building a deck frame, but rather improving your future deck beam construction.

We won’t use any deck framing diagrams. However, we may refer on how to build a deck step by step guides to help make sure your deck framing plans build the finest, durable, and safest deck possible.

Avoid These Errors to Create a Professional Residential Deck

  1. Handrail Installation Error
  2. Improper Hardware Usage
  3. Bolting Beam Error
  4. Stair Riser Height Mis-measurement
  5. Ignoring Emergency Exit Measurements (+5 more)

Improper Deck Framing Techniques to Avoid

Not Installing Handrails Continuously

Building codes differ in Citra FL than other cities. Even so, installing continuous handrails are extremely important for the safety and stability of your deck.

If your deck has four or more steps, you’ll need to install a continuous handrail. We describe the latter as a handrail that extends end to end from the top angle to the low-endpoint newel post. Some homeowners and even contractors tend to add a newel post between these two.

While it looks beautiful, it can cause safety hazards because it reduces the grasp capability of the handrail. In contrast, a continuous handrail maximizes the deck’s safety potential.

residential deck overlooking the river

Handrails must always be continuous to guarantee safety.

Improper Hardware Installation

The number one deck framing techniques to remember all the time: never take shortcuts. Always do as the manufacturer instructed and never deviate. The slightest error can result into a massive problem.

Some Citra FL DIY decks have incorrect fasteners in their hangers. They may have used fasteners with poor corrosion resistance especially in the city’s sometimes high salt air levels.

In fact, pressure-treated lumber will accelerate bare steel fastener, which makes it important to use stainless-steel or galvanized fasteners instead.

Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions to the dot to avoid detrimental damage to your deck in the future. It might look amazing and ease you up a bit now, but it can cause major problems later.

Wrong Way In Bolting Beams

Improper deck framing techniques will definitely result to structural instability and detrimental damage over time. If you’re bolting beams to the side of posts instead of using post-to-beam connects with fasteners for added security, your deck will become unstable.

Bolting beams to the post sides causes overloading to the bolts. While they can hold out for months or a year, they can get crushed and distorted, which can collapse your deck in seconds, cause detrimental residential damage, and possible injuries too.

It requires extra work and money, but attaching beams to your support posts allows your deck to handle load bearing the best way possible.

Incorrect Stair Riser Height

You definitely feel the difference between steps if they’re really unequal. During the deck construction phase, it seems ignorable and a small problem. However, the human body attunes to patterns. Therefore, an error in riser height measurements will cause trips and falls to happen frequently on your deck staircases.

True enough, you know you cut each stairs in the equal size. However, this isn’t the solution. You’re using stair treads, which adds an additional inch atop your stair height. Therefore, the bottom step should always have a one-inch allowance to make sure your stairs are equal in height.

Ignoring Emergency Exits from Basements

When fires happen, you’ll be thankful you have a basement that has an exit behind the house. If you’re placing an elevated roof deck on top of that exit, you need to give it enough egress space in terms of height.

Sometimes, it’s faster to just ignore small details like this during the time because it is a measurement error that won’t affect the deck’s built quality. However, you’ll be thankful you have an emergency egress room from the basement exit to the outside of the house during emergencies.

Don’t ignore this — rebuild and make new measurements for your decks if you have to.

Poor Deck Ledger Attachment

Attaching deck ledgers to your residential property’s siding is a big no-no. Doing so does give it the coherence that looks aesthetically pleasing, but it will cause deck instability and shorten its lifespan later on.

Therefore, you may need to remove the siding instead before putting up the deck ledgers to ensure a secure installation to the concrete foundations of your property. In this way, you can bolt and flash your new ledgers without fear of instability in the future.

Related: Know How Long Will Your Residential Siding Last

building deck foundations

Add addtional joists and ledgers to support your deck overspans.

Deck Material Overspanning

Installing deck materials diagonally improves span tolerance and load distribution across your deck. However, even if they have great span tolerance, make sure to install joists and hangers where needed to support the deck framing.

In doing so, you prolong the lifespan of your deck. You want a long-lasting deck (who doesn’t?), it is vital to make sure all your bases are covered, and you have beneficial non-financial insurance too.

Bad Deck Footing

True enough, you can install concrete footings on angled soil when it comes to deck foundations. However, make sure the footings go beyond the floor’s frost line, which means more than half the second layer beneath the topsoil.

In doing so, you give your deck better footing and stability. Remember, deck building is all about proper load bearing. Its footing sustains the most load bearing of them all, which makes this error extremely important to avoid.

short-height deck with proper foundation footing

Even with shorter decks, its foundations must be dug beyond the topsoil for improved stability.

Not Doing Guardrail Block and Screw

Guardrails give the edges of your deck better tension support and improve stability especially when people want to hang out in these areas. However, some builders tend to use nails to fasten railing points to deck framing. True enough, long nails might do the job right, but it does so only for a limited time.

Aside from using a good screw piece, you’ll need high-tension nuts and an additional wooden block to provide excellent support for your guardrails. In doing so, you maximize its load-bearing capabilities with just a simple yet important step.

Related: How to Build Two-Storey Decks

The Best Way to Avoid All These Problems

Deck framing techniques are something you learn and never an innate talent. It takes dedication, skill, and time to perfect the proper deck building installation.

You’ll be sacrificing many weekends building your brand new Citra FL residential deck. In fact, errors along the way will stretch your deadlines further making it a nightmare for some first-time DIYers.

Working with an experienced contractor will definitely deliver the results you need. If you have yet to find a reliable deck builder in your area, you can count on Kilburn Construction Company to build it for you. With decades of experience handling deck building for dozens of residences, we are confident we can give you the deck of your dreams — contact us today!