Design a Deck

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Designing a Deck: Part 2

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Concrete Patio

» Grade-level Decks

As the before-and-after photos show, a redwood deck can be the best thing that ever happened to a cracked, aging concrete patio. It's also a great makeover for a poured concrete pool surround.

If the concrete is basically sound, your decking boards can go down over sleepers— 2-by lumber laid facedown on 16-inch or 24-inch centers.

Grade-level DeckMost grade-level decks are actually a step above grade (ground level). This allows the deck to drain easily and resist rot. If you don't have a concrete patio to deck over, a simple foundation of posts or concrete pads can provide support. Grade-level decks are the easiest decks to build.

One important design detail to remember, especially for grade-level decks with doors opening onto them: make sure the deck is lower than the door. Putting a deck at doorsill level invites snow and rain accumulations to leak into the house. If you must have the deck and doorsill at the same level (for wheelchair access, for example), consider sheltering this intersection with an awning or a small roof. ... Next


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