Are there certain publications that show requirements for deck construction?
Is it a requirement that the deck be fastened to the house?
Try doing a search regarding Deck discussions on the site, and you will find alot of answers to your questions.
Atlantic is right -
You probably will find most will tell you that it is best not to attach it and that you better find out what the local code requirements are. Most areas have some very good standard complying designs/details that give many options.
Knowing what I know today and having the opportunity to design & build many decks from scratch, I'd:
- If only 1 deck level that is less then 5 feet off the ground, I would NOT connect the deck to the house. It would be a free standing / free floating deck. Frost will lift it and frost will sent it down. Each leg distance is spaced as a house connected "per code" deck. Its railings would be spaced as if attached to house "per code" deck and so would its stairs would be code as well. The bottom of each leg would have 1ft of gravel (below ground level), it would have a 24"x24" patio flat stone under each leg and there were be a deck block between the flat patio stone and each leg. Thus, ensuring each deck wood leg remains 3"-4" off the ground. In my area, any deck NOT connected to the house doesn't need a building permit. Thus, saved dollars can pay for its lighting or other upgrades.
- Each section of deck would be module - horizontal bolts holding it together. If you need to disassemble or replace a section, one can easily do it.
- Always apply stain to each board (both sides) before attaching to the deck. Yes, it takes much longer to stain and attach boards but by staining on both sides, the boards don't twist / curl. Especially if using wet wood.
- For deck skirt, use white lattice. Privacy lattice (smaller hole type) works the best for both allowing air flow but still keep the sunlight out. Thus, grass / weeds won't grow under the deck. And yes, do allow some air flow ventilation under the deck. If you stop air flow under your deck, its under boards will rot out much faster.
- Buy the estimated boards and let store in a shady / covered place for a few weeks. I stored my purchased deck boards in my attached garage. Its always best to let boards "slowly" dry out for a few weeks. Thus, less cracks and in the long run, they "take stain" much better.
For a few pictures of the deck I built at my seasonal camp site, surf:
Hope this helps as well....
go to awc.org you can download the new deck building guidlines.
That appears to be a useful PDF, however, property owners still need to check with their local building dept and codes, to see what is required for their town/state/region. Codes do vary.
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