Now that we’ve decided what the deck should look like, we should decide how to hold it up. Even though the framing isn’t something you look at, it is just as important as the rest.
The biggest question is really how long you want the deck to last. As homeowners start investing in longer lasting decking, it is becoming increasingly important that the frame last just as long.
Right now there is really a standard way and the lifetime way.
Currently, the vast majority of decks use treated lumber for the frame. It is very affordable, the material is easy to get, and it is pretty easy to work with.
Unfortunately, all the same disadvantages of using treated lumber for decking also apply to using it for framing. Since it is less dimensionally stable, it has a tendency to shrink, warp, and bow, which can lead to uneven surfaces on the deck above.
Over the past few years there has been a growing trend to move to a far superior framing option–steel. Trex makes a product called Trex Elevations.
It is a system of steel posts, beams, joists and tracks that provide a longer lasting, straighter and more dimensionally stable option than treated.
Only downside? It takes some practice to know how to install, and it is more expensive.
And with the Deck Framing comes Drainage–the option to create even more living space underneath the deck. If you have standing room, there are now plenty of options for keeping the water out and keeping the love in under a deck. We can explore how it works and what to use.