Anatomy Of A Deck

Anatomy of a Deck

ANATOMY OF A DECK (Numbered parts shown in diagram)

  1. Baluster: Railing member that divides space between posts.
  2. Beam: Horizontal framing member that supports joists.
  3. Blocking: Short lengths of lumber installed between joists to stabilize them.
  4. Butt joint: Joint between square-cut ends of lumber.
  5. Cap rail: Horizontal railing member laid spanning balusters.
  6. Connectors: Metal fasteners attaching joists to each other and to ledger.
  7. Decking: Lumber comprising the covering, or floor of the deck.
  8. Fascia: Decorative lengths of lumber, usually cedar or redwood, installed over framing members.
  9. Flashing: Metal used to protect a joint from moisture.
  10. Floor level: Height of interior house floor (behind outer wall where deck is attached). Siding will usually end below this point. Deck floor should be installed lower than this to prevent rainwater/snowmelt seepage into house.
  11. Footing: Concrete foundation that supports a structure.
  12. Grade: The surface of the ground.
  13. Header joist: Structural member parallel to the ledger attached across the ends of joists.
  14. Joist: 2× lumber set on edge that supports decking.
  15. Ledger: Horizontal framing member made from 2× lumber attached to structural framing of the house.
  16. Pad: Concrete slab footing that supports bottom of stairs or heavy accessory such as a spa.
  17. Perimeter joists: Joists that form the outer edges of a deck; includes rim joists. (Rim joist: 2× lumber set on edge at the outer edge of a deck.)
  18. Post: Vertical framing member supporting beams or railing.
  19. Riser: Vertical section of a step, installed behind the tread below and under the one above.
  20. Siding: Metal or fiberglass sheathing covering surfaces of outer house walls.
  21. Stringer: 2× lumber installed diagonally that supports steps on each side.
  22. Structural framing: Studs, beams and other wood supporting house.
  23. Tread: Horizontal portion of a step, installed flat atop stringers.

OTHER TERMS (Not shown in diagram)

  • Cure: Process where concrete fully dries and hardens.

  • Flush: At the same level as the surrounding or adjoining surface.

  • Kerf: Space created by the cutting path of a saw blade.

  • Load: Amount of weight a deck supports. Also known as live load.

  • Miter: (verb) To crosscut a board at an angle other than 90 degrees. (noun) The crosscut end of a board.

  • On center: The distance between the center of one piece of lumber to the center of another.

  • Plumb: (adjective) Exactly vertical. (verb) To make exactly vertical.

  • Tack: Temporarily attach a piece of lumber in position.

  • Through post: Post that passes from a footing through the deck platform to form a support for railing, bench, or arbor.

  • Toenail: To drive a fastener at an angle.


Building A Deck: Easy As 1-2-3

Decks 1-2-3 cover

The information on this page is taken directly from our printed book, Decks 1-2-3, which shows you how to design, construct and maintain your own outdoor deck. Like all our 1-2-3 series books, this handy volume contains all the knowledge you need to do the job quickly...and get it right the first time. Detailed photos and diagrams, helpful tips from the pros, and step-by-step instructions let you learn and work at your own pace—and help you avoid common mistakes in do-it-yourself projects. Pick up your own copy at your local Home Depot store or order it online.

[an error occurred while processing this directive]

Your Projects

Log In to Access Your Projects

  *Required Fields
  Forget Your Password? Click here
  Create an Account