Outdoor deck spaces that are designed to wrap around a house offer many benefits with fewer costs and construction headaches. Turning a corner or two is one of the easiest ways to create separate spaces on a deck. A wraparound deck allows a homeowner to get into or out of the sun or wind. It has the ability to create a private refuge separated from the main area of the deck where one can read or relax in private. The deck can also be accessed from more than one doorway.
A modest wraparound deck could be designed to include a full sized deck on one side of the house and a smaller addition on an adjacent side. Decks that are more ambitious would surround 2 or even 3 sides of the home. A narrow deck area can function as a passageway or walkway. On property that slopes, wraparound decks make travelling around the perimeter of the house much simpler.
When designing a wraparound deck it is important to decide upon the decking pattern before the commencement of framing. There are several decking pattern options. Decking run in 2 sections perpendicular to each other offers straightforward visual interest and is generally the simplest to construct. Decking the turns a corner may be more attractive but it is more difficult to frame.
Laying the decking can also turn out to be a challenge as well, especially if the decking is to be mitered. Decking that runs in the same direction creates the feeling that the deck is unified as a whole. The framing is slightly unconventional with joists running parallel to the house on one side and perpendicular to it on the other side. The construction is comparable in complexity to a basic deck.
Perpendicular decking on a wraparound deck is similar to 2 decks set next to each other. The ledger for one section continues beyond the home out to a post and the parallel beam extends the same distance. At the point where the 2 sections meet an adequate nailing surface is required for all decking pieces. It is wise to avoid the situation where it is necessary to drive a screw or nail closer than 1 inch from the end of a decking board. Other than that, framing requirements such as the size and spacing of posts, beams and joists can be calculated separately for each deck section. This method will work extremely well when a section is to be added to an existing deck.
Turning the corner with decking gives a deck a more handcrafted and professional look. However, it needs to be planned carefully because the point where the decking makes the turn is potentially a problem spot. Decking that is mitered is hard to install since it is difficult to keep every joint perfectly aligned. If a decking spacer board is installed initially along the miter angle, joints will not have to be perfect. A herringbone pattern is the simplest to install and creates a look that is very distinctive.
It is vital that all decking pieces are supported adequately at each end. Double joists with spacer blocks fixed between are solutions to this problem. One solution involves adding a 2x4 to each joist rather than doubling joists to increase the surface for nailing. Many of the joists will require cutting at a 45 degree bevel as well as the use of joist hangers.
An additional option is to run the decking on both sides of the house in the same direction. This method requires a major adjustment in the supporting framework. Install the usual ledgers on both sides of the home. One one side install a beam that runs the length of the deck. On the other side of the house install shorter beams running parallel with the first beam. Attach these beams to the house with a second ledger. It is important to remember that beams must sit below the ledger. However, it may be easier to install footings and posts near the house. Lap the joists over the short beams.
Plan ahead for how it will be best to install the decking so the joints between boards do not create an irregular pattern at the corner section. Generally, it is wise to start with a piece that runs along the house for part of its length.
The wraparound deck is a great choice design wise because it allows the homeowner to create an outdoor living space that can serve a wide variety of uses for family members and guests while making an aesthetically pleasing design statement.
Richard Vande Sompel is a professional deck builder of 35 years and over 850
decks built and is the author of "How to Plan, Design and Build a Deck from
Start to Finish". To Discover More About
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