Deck Build | Part Four - Building Up

After the concrete foundations were cured, (about 24 hours later), the next step was to add the posts.  Since I was a major part in this construction I apologize for the lack of progress photos ahead of time.  The design of a deck is pretty basic, and pretty much all decks are built the same.  The foundations are poured, then the posts are screwed to the foundations, then the beams are attached to the posts, then the framing, then stairs, then the decking, and finally the handrails and all the pretty stuff.

Over the weekend we plowed through a couple of those steps and barely had time to take a break.  Plus, it was in the nineties so if we had taken a break, we probably would have just drowned in our sweat and died with 2 x 8's in our hands.

We actually started on the top level of the deck which is the level you walk out onto from the kitchen door.

Since we raced through a bunch of the steps and the pictures aren't that clear unless you're down in the dirt with us, I found this cutaway diagram to show all the steps to building the deck.  To date, we've done all of the foundations, posts, all of the beams, some joists, and some of the decking. 

(Via eHow)

So, here are the pictures of our weekend's progress.  Most are taken from the kitchen door, since that's how we're going to get to the deck and it's the prospective that's changing the most, not to mention being in the kitchen = air conditioning.

Here's looking directly out the back door and you can see the posts are up and the top layer of decking is already in.  We did the top layer first since it was so close to the house it was easier to get the tools in the tight spots without having to work around framing below, (excuse the lunch mess).

To the left you can see the continuation of the top level, with the extension starting to take place that will eventually house the grill full-time.  We made it a little wider on the end so our grill can sit against the railing and have enough room on either side.  This will be the grilling corner. 

Below the grill corner, you can see Mike measuring for the beams that we've started.  Just like the top level, the beams will continue across and connect all of the posts.  Here's a view from the garage looking at the house.

Finally, all of the beams were attached and the outline of the deck was starting to take shape.  To complete the beam construction, all of the tops of the posts had to be cut down level with the beams so that the framing could sit on them.  Since our sawzall's blade was dull, Mike wasted no time and grabbed the chainsaw to cut them off.

Since the start of writing this post and now, we've already finished most of the framing for the bottom level, so look out for an update soon, because we're cruising right along!

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