Welcome back to our latest Pro-Follow update. Steve Wartman and his crew are three days into building a brand new composite deck. Our first installment in this series covered pouring deck footers and installing the ledger board. Our second installment focused on setting the posts, running support beams, and installing the joists. Today’s article covers adding the band board, blocking between joists, and building the stairs.
We’ll be publishing two more articles in this series before we cap it off with our final “How To”. Then we’ll be on to our next Pro Follow: a complete basement finishing project. If you enjoy reading how the Pros tackle projects, how about subscribing to our feed? You’ll get notified of the latest updates each day by email or RSS.
Step 5: Adding the Band Board
The crew got all the joists set in place and secured with joist hangers, including a double-joist in the middle. Since the deck is 24′ long, the band board will consist of two 2×8’s butted against each other, and the transition will take place at the double joist.
Using a string guide, the crew marks the ends of each joist and cuts away the excess with a circular saw.
The band board is situated between the rim joists and secured with four nails per joist. Note that the last joist is just 1.5″ longer to remain flush with the band board. This will allow nailing from the side of the joist into the board.
Terminology: A rim joist, or band board, is the final joist that caps the end of the row of joists that support a floor.
Step 6: Blocking Between the Joists
Blocking in between the joists provides a surface to mount the rail system. It’s also important for this deck because they plan to “picture frame” the perimeter to conceal the cut ends of the composite deck boards. To achieve this, the crew cut pieces of 2×4 to fit between joists and sistered a 2×4 along each rim joist.
Step 7: Building the Stairs
Building the stairs is not an overly difficult process; the key to success is making accurate cuts. In this short video, Steve shares how he calculated the stair stringer dimensions.
video recap: Steve describes how he started the process to build the stairs by first determining the total height of the stairs. Stair risers need to be between 7 and 7-3/4″ tall, and using 7-1/2″ translates into 12 risers. Likewise, stair treads need to be between 10 and 11-1/4″ wide. Since they will have 12 steps, the tread needs to be 10-1/2″ with a 3/4″ overhang. If this still seems confusing, Todd from Home Construction Improvement has a very simple Stair Stringer Calculator spreadsheet you can download for free.
Now that Steve has calculated the rise and run dimensions, it’s time to mark the stringer. Watch this short video for more information about marking the 2 x 12″.
I put together these diagrams to help visualize the stringers. You’ll notice that the very last step is 1″ shorter. That’s because there are no deck boards on the concrete, and shortening that riser keeps each step height consistent.
The stairs will measure 4′ across so to maintain the 12″ oc supports they will need a total of five stringers.
The two outside stringers are slightly longer so that the cross member sits in-between them. The inside stringers butt up against the cross-member, and this is important because it allows you to drive nails in two dimensions for a more secure hold.
Here are a couple pictures of the guys assembling the stairs.
In the diagram above you see mention of a concrete pad. While building the stairs, the guys also built a concrete form and poured a small concrete pad.
This pad has two “footers” where the stair rail posts will be attached.
Here are a couple shots showing the stair landing. It measures approximately 4 x 4′, and the joists and band board were installed just like the rest of the deck.
After the concrete cures, they move the stairs into place with the top of the stairs resting on the deck support beam.
Steve’s crew checks that the stringers are level and then nails them in place.
Our next Pro-Follow will address flashing the deck and laying the composite deck boards.