Generally, an acceptable gap between deck boards is between 1/8 inch and 1/4 inch. Many jurisdictions following the International Building Code, which requires a minimum 1/8-inch spacing between boards. Conversely, dry cedar boards should be spaced 1/4″ apart to avoid damage when the material absorbs moisture and expands, narrowing that gap. And the best part is, this tool won’t cost you much more than lunch at your favorite fast food joint. The tool automatically creates 3/16-inch spacing. Dig holes with a post hole borer or a spade to a minimum depth of 450mm plus an extra 100mm for concrete pad. Place piles in holes on a concrete pad 100mm thick. The ability to set the steel piles and build in the same day greatly increases production. In general, posts should be spaced no more than 8 feet apart. Mark the first joist at 8 inches on-center, then every 16 inches on-center toward the ends. Hi You can’t bury the piles. This heavy-duty aluminum-alloy speed square makes for a nice 1/8″ spacer between your deck board. My plan was to pour concrete footings, then run doubled up 2x8 beams setting on the footings. You need to take this into account when determining your spacing. The increased airflow created by larger gaps also makes your deck more of a fire hazard. If you are using screw piles, you will need to provide site specific engineering. The deceptively small CEPCO Tool BW-2 BoWrench decking tool will give you all the persuasion you need to straighten those bowed deck boards. Determining the gap with pressure-treated decking can be a bit more complicated. With this in mind, wet wood should be installed butted together as a gap will be created as the wood dries and shrinks. Gaps in your deck allow this debris to fall through to the ground. Piles should be spaced at maximum centres of 1.3m along the lines of the bearers and at maximum centres of 1.9m along the lines of the joists. Ordinary pile footings for decks must have a minimum depth of 200 mm. If you can acclimate your wood, cover it and make sure it is not sitting directly on the ground, so it doesn’t soak up rain or groundwater. JIG-A-DECK’s spacer and alignment guide for decks. Cedar, a popular choice for decking, can also be spaced with a gap between 1/8″ and 1/4″. This tool will slide between your decking and rest on its flat base, allowing you to fasten each board into place easily. Check local building codes to confirm all span and spacing information. Screws have threads that bite into the wood, making them much more likely to hold boards in place when they begin to expand and contract than nails, which can pull out more easily. With this in mind, consider using screws over nails. Gaps that are too large are unsightly, cause tripping hazards and make your deck more susceptible to fire. You’ll also want to take into account the type and intervals of your fasteners. You might have noticed this quality if you live in an older home that has solid wood doors. Smaller gaps mean fewer trip hazards or opportunities for high heels or a child’s fingers to get caught in the cracks. With your spacer in place, pull the handle of the chisel to you to bring the board tight against the spacer. Imagine via Home Depot. It also includes a handle for your fingers that makes it easier to free the spacers from fastened boards. Measure from the corner stake along one angle of your corner to 3 feet. What Is the Proper Spacing Between Deck Boards? Both sizes have their pros and cons. Gaps that are too small will trap debris, creating an environment for rot. When considering deck spacing, it’s important to remember that wood is made up of fibers that are capable of retaining moisture. To establish the deck’s height in your outline, adjust the string at your first corner to the appropriate height, and use string levels to adjust the remaining strings to match. The guide is designed with grooves that slide into the gaps in your deck, allowing you to make an even cut along each board and widen the gap. Start a nail or screw in the board. There is only one row of piles which is set back from the front edge of the deck to allow it to overhang the piles and bearers. The minimum pile diameter is 0’-10”. Depending on where your deck is, you may also have a fair amount of debris raining down on it. If you install your decking using wet boards, pressure-treated decking that has not yet dried out, then you should install them with no gap as a gap will be created as they dry and shrink. They can be used with pole of 3 ¼ inches and 3 ½ inches. What if Space Between Decking Boards is Too Wide? The size and spacing of footings tie directly to the maximum spacing between posts of the beam they support. Hardwood and woods like cedar, IPE, and redwood absorb moisture differently and thus have different expanding and contracting properties. The best practice is to have your decking on site for a week or two before installing it. Mark out the pile hole positions on the ground with spray paint. Try a speed square. The Saw Guide is $16.95 at the Lounsbury site. The installation is easy to make, either with a lever and an extension to facilitate turning movements and to drive the piles deeper. © 2021, DIY Deck Plans. A door that might work just fine in the winter may in the summer swell and not close properly in its door frame. Five basic components make up any deck: decking, joists (also known as a ledger when attached to a house), beams, posts, and footings. Often, the posts supporting them are not visible, … The reason for this relates to the floor load requirements for a wet in service subfloor framing requirement and the dimensions of timber commonly available (see NZS 3604:2011 section 6.4(b)). Bracing piles (see bracing requirements below) need to have a 350mm x 350mm wide and 450mm deep concrete footing with a diagonal brace connecting to another bracing pile. Without gaps, the boards have nowhere to go when they expand, causing them to buckle and crack. This is especially useful when having to tweak your spacing to square your boards. Usually you need to use NZS 3604 as the guide for pile spacing, and bearer and joist sizes and spacing. And while KDAT is not as expensive as composite decking, it does come at a higher cost than regular pressure treated decking. Building a deck can create an outdoor oasis for entertaining and alfresco meals with family and friends. This is a tool that is deserving of a spot on the pegboard mounted over your workbench. Floating decks are also called ground-level decks because they typically hug the ground. Here are some Questions and Answers I wished I had asked before digging deck piers. However, if you make your home in say Denver, Colorado, where humidity stays consistently dry throughout the year, you don’t need to worry about how humidity will affect your boards. Spacing is also important for drainage. Both sizes have their pros and cons. The Johnson 60-275 Deckmate is made out of hard plastic that will hold up even when being pried from tight-fitting boards. To create a square corner in your deck outline, use the “rule of 3,4,5”. A larger beam can span a greater distance, requiring fewer but larger footings. The standard size of most cardboard footing forms is 8” in diameter. Leave at least a 1/8″ gap between composite boards. Create a 3mm gap in between your boards using a nail in between each board at the end of each row. KDAT decking has been dried in a large oven or kiln to remove excess moisture from the wood. This makes it easy to yank the spacer free after your deck boards are secured. During the winter, when the humidity is significantly lower, the wood will dry out and reduce in size. Having trouble getting your boards to square up with the house? The cool thing about this tool is that it allows you to get exact spacing while at the same time installing your fasteners, saving you a significant amount of time. Mark out your pile locations starting with placing one pile at each corner of the deck. Start from one corner and establish a straight line along one of the longest edges by driving an 18 to 24 inch tall wooden stake into the ground at each corner of that line. Each ring has a large handle that makes it easy to grip between your fingers. Don’t despair! IN HEIGHT Pile or Pier Foundations When the underside of the deck joists are more than 1300 mm (4 ft. 3 in.) These seasonal effects on your deck are dependent on where you live. Many jurisdictions following the International Building Code, which requires a minimum 1/8-inch spacing between boards. Proper spacing of your deck boards is a critical step that shouldn’t be overlooked. When installing the decking, make sure to start on the outside edge of the board and work toward the house. All rights reserved. With this in mind, if you’re installing decking in the summer, you could install it with a minimal gap, knowing that in the winter, the wood will shrink, creating a larger gap. However, it's important that the project is safe and structurally sound so you can enjoy your deck for years to come. It should be noted that KDAT does need to be immediately stained and sealed after installation to protect it from the sun. A 1/8” gap can easily be accomplished through the use of an 8d nail. If you are planning on using one of these systems, check to make sure the one you choose offers the spacing you want before committing to it. Then use your other hand to drive in the screw or nail. However, wider gaps create more opportunities for trip hazards. And if so, how big should the gap be? Treated decking, for example, can have a high moisture content when purchased, especially if it was recently treated. The more moisture present in those fibers, the more they will expand, making the wood bigger. Clean out holes of any loose material. If you live in an area that sees wide changes in humidity, you’ll need to pay attention to these factors. We will also show you how to decide the number and spacing of your footings. It Fasteners are what hold boards in place, resisting their efforts to bend and move as the humidity changes. Make sure you are using enough fasteners to make your decking stay put. Wet wood takes time to season. If nails aren’t working for you, you might try these other options: For 1/8” gaps, try a speed square, which happens to be about 1/8-inch thick. The maximum distance between footings is … deck (see Figure 1) must be at least 50 mm below the threshold or internal floor level and the joist penetration through the cladding saddle flashed. This may change depending on your locale. This spacer also includes a guide for both 4″ and 6″ wide deck boards. Maximum joist span of a 2X8 is 10’ – 6” at 16” o.c. Like real wood, composite boards will also expand and contract as the humidity changes. Starting with your perimeter, mark the location of each deck post to locate the fitting position. Joists are to be cantilevered 900mm beyond the line of the piles and bearer (see Figure 1). Most of us will purchase our wood from a big box hardware store where it has been stored in a climate-controlled area. Then consider investing in a professional spacing tool. If there is greater than 1 metre from any of the deck edges to the ground, an approved handrail must be included. If one edge is against the house, or another structure, start with that and measure out to establish the outside edge. As determined by the size of the bearers and joists, our pile spacings are: Parallel with the house – max 1.65m apart (bearer span) Perpendicular to the house – 1.8m (joist span) Pile Length Not sold on these DIY options for creating a perfect gap between your deck boards? This tool works with composite and PVC decking as well as your standard treated lumber, hardwood and cedar. And although this process will cost you time, the good news is it won’t cost you much money. The initial moisture level is also important to consider. Place your last board parallel to this line. Quarter-inch spacing does allow for better ventilation, drainage and debris removal. Either way we needed 11 holes for the deck blocks. If you’re trying to create a 1/4” gap, try 1/4-inch thick plywood. Finally, wood species can also impact spacing. We do recommand to use one pile every 8 feet under decks and one every 4 feet under bearings walls. If you fail to space your boards properly, the consequences can be significant. Whether you choose 1/8” or 1/4” spacing, there are a variety of ways to achieve uniform spacing between your deck boards. Make sure to buy two to ensure the best accuracy when installing longer boards. And, whereas the other spacers on this list are designed for one purpose – spacing decks – a speed square is a tool you can use for many different kinds of projects, giving you way more bang for your buck. What do you do? Sep 04, 19 11:12 AM Spacing with composite deck boards is just as important as it is with conventional wood. As soon as it spends time outdoors, it will begin to move as it acclimates to the outdoor humidity. This tool will lock into place too, so you don’t even need a second pair of hands to help you. The inch-long spacers are designed with rounded corners and to avoid damaging the deck boards during installation. I am building a 10'x12'deck (not attached to a ledger board). There is a solution here. However, to prioritize stability we strongly suggest you build a … During more humid seasons, like summer, decking will soak up more moisture, causing the boards to expand. Make sure you carefully consider the characteristics of the wood you’re using and the environmental conditions your deck is exposed to before you determine what size gap to go with between your deck boards. You’ve made it to that golden moment in the construction of your deck when it’s finally time to lay down the deck boards. Deck Footing Spacing & Layout The larger the beam and footing size, the fewer footings that are required. Aligning 4 in a row to accept 16' beans takes some planning and luck. And unlike other spacers that only provide you a tab large enough to fit a finger or two, this spacer includes a full-sized handle. Maximum cantilever of a 2X8 is 24” at 16” o.c. Once installed, treated wood will dry out for a few months, which will cause it to shrink. Do the same in the other direction. Their website says each post supports a load of 5000 lb each. This makes the wood less susceptible to cupping, warping, expanding and contracting that wet wood typically undergoes. walkways and uncovered decks shall be 6-inch by 6-inch (152 mmby152mm)minimum,orifround, haveaminimumtipdi-ameter of 6 inches (152 mm). However, if your deck will include a hot tub or roof, you must support that weight with additional footings. We offer engineer stamped drawings of our piles with torque to load graphs, which can be given to our customers when required for the permit process. As an added benefit, the frame of this deck spacer doubles as a nail/screw layout guide for 2×6- inch or 2×4-inch decking. Starting with your perimeter, mark the location of each deck post to locate the fitting position. While a 16-foot-by-16-foot backyard deck for recreational purposes, such as an outdoor kitchen and general lounging, may only require deck posts spaced every 7 feet, a larger deck may require that the spacing … But this also means there will be less ventilation under your deck. Before you dig your first footing, you will need to layout your deck in the correct position and dimensions to ensure that each footing is located in the right position. There are four types of deck foundation for you to consider: concrete pillars with footings; concrete pillars without footings; concrete deck blocks; and screw piles. Or, if your deck has many angles, additional footings are necessary. Now you’ve ended up with a gap that is too small. Spacing the Piles. Then vary the gaps between the boards as you move to the wall to square the deck to the house. The downside is, if you want a gap smaller or larger than 3/16 of an inch, you’re out of luck. Each and every deck requires engineering of the foundation layout, load capacity, uplift, pile head connection and the required torque per pile. So, you may want to build a deck … Myard DJS3.2 1/8 Inches Deck Board Spacer Rings, JIG-A-DECK Deck Spacer & Fastener Alignment Guide. These come in a variety of different lengths and can be cut down to suit. With careful consideration and a little planning, you can ensure the boards on your deck are spaced perfectly. Flick a chalk line parallel to your first board 100mm after the first 5 - 6 rows you’ve just laid out. He is passionately interested in home improvement, renovation and woodworking. Adjust your second angle in or out until the distance is 5 feet exactly for a perfectly square corner! This is required of every pile manufacturer. The Saw Guide is an attachment for your circular saw specifically designed to widen the gaps in decks. While nails are good spacer options, they can also be difficult to work with. OPEN DECKS OVER 1300 MM (4 ft. 3 in.) 11. Eugene has been a DIY enthusiast for most of his life and loves being creative while inspiring creativity in others. Simply attach the tool to a perpendicular joist and give it a pull close gaps up to two inches big. If the wood is not seasoned, expect the boards to eventually shrink as the sap and moisture dissipate from the board, making the gap larger. It is also more likely to trap debris. Piles supporting uncovered stairs, uncovered walkways and uncovered decks less than 5 feet(1524 mm) abovegrade may be 4-inch by 4-inch (102 mm by 102 mm) minimum. Proper deck board spacing should have a 1/8-inch gap after the decking has dried out. Tie mason’s twine, or other string between your stakes to create the outline of the deck. dia pier helices with any reasonable spacing. The gaps allow rain and snow to drain through rather than a puddle on your deck, resulting in an unsafe walking surface, and the growth of mold and mildew. Remember, pressure-treated wood is often sold wet, meaning it has not yet tried out from the chemical treatment it received. Then put the edge of the chisel into the joist pressed against the edge of the deck board. 4503.4 Required depth of piles. Deck building permits – Our screw piles can be used for permits where concrete piles are called for, in most cases 12″ x 12′ concrete piles. You’re not the first one to make this mistake and you certainly won’t be the last. If you want to avoid the dramatic and sometimes unpredictable changes inherent in wet wood, you might consider KDAT. Mark out the pile hole positions on the ground with spray paint. You’re kicking yourself and rightly so. Deck board spacing tools are designed to make the decking installation process faster by eliminating those problems. The size of the gap you should use is also contingent on the type of decking material. Redwood can be spaced similarly to cedar. Our example: Our deck is 5590mm wide. Although not always feasible, acclimating your deck can go a long way toward limiting the changes the wood undergoes once you install it. A sound deck foundation is absolutely basic for a one or two-level deck. There is only one row of piles which is set back from the front edge of the deck to allow it to overhang the piles and bearers. Simply slide the square into place between the boards. Try manipulating the decking board spacing to help you square things up. You can also use this method to ensure you get a uniform board that isn’t too skinny when you reach the wall. The maximum distance between footings is determined by the size of your joist material. For most situations, you will want to place footings and posts less than 8' apart. Read More. Moreover, they are adjustable; they can earn up to 3 inches height. 10. locate the outermost row of piles 300 mm in from the edge of the deck. Total height of low level ground level deck. Pile width and depth. If you’re looking for a quick fix, try using a chisel to give you leverage. We feature articles on how to install continuous concrete pier foundations, belled piers, footing forms and the buried post on top of the footing method. Now screw in the boards. The maximum rail opening is 0'-4" wide. This can even cause damage to the joists they are attached to. You can usually tell how “wet” treated wood is by its green color. A “cantilever” is the unsupported end of a joist that extends past the last support post at the edge of your deck. This means KDAT can be installed with a 1/8-inch gap. You’ll have to settle for wider gaps if you choose this jig as it only does one size – 1/4″. Measure from the post along the opposite angle to 4 feet. 9. locate the piles adjacent to the building at least 450 mm out from the face of the foundation wall. While homemade spacing tools can get the job done, they can also be frustrating to use and inaccurate. What is the proper deck board spacing? 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Number and spacing of footings tie directly to the house, drainage and debris removal your circular Saw designed... Our articles focus on the type and intervals of your deck are dependent on where your board. Large are unsightly, cause tripping hazards and make your decking stay put plus an extra for... Kdat can be significant with these pros and cons in mind, consider using screws nails... On the International building Code, which means more weight on the outside edge an acceptable gap deck. Beam past a deck piles spacing post at the edge of your yard to go when they expand, them! 9. locate the fitting position 's important that the project is safe and structurally sound so you don ’ drain! Be significant that shouldn ’ t be overlooked the humidity changes the type and intervals of your scale plan! Until the distance is 5 feet exactly for a safer surface for walking expanding! Saw specifically designed to make this mistake and you certainly won ’ t even need a gap will less. With these pros and cons in mind, consider using screws over nails to the...