The most important part of your deck is what you don’t see—its frame. This includes everything under your deck’s floorboards and railings that fortifies it and protects all those who use it. If you want a safe deck, it begins with a safe substructure.
A well-built deck frame ensures safety, extends your deck’s lifespan, and prevents damage—reducing the need for costly repairs.
Read on to discover your deck frame’s components and why they are so important.
Your Deck Frame—The Most Vital Part of Your Deck
Why Your Deck’s Substructure Is So Important
For your safety and the safety of your loved ones and friends, it’s vital that your deck frame is constructed properly. While decks don’t often collapse completely, problems with weight bearing and stability are more likely when the deck isn’t built well. That’s why it’s vital to hire a reputable decking contractor with a track record of successful decking installations over the years.
The Components of Your Deck Frame
Your deck frame is made of four primary parts:
- Footings – This is the foundation of your deck. Footings are made by pouring concrete deep enough into your soil that extends past the frost line. They should be submerged far enough into the ground to provide reliable support for your deck.
- Posts – These are anchored into the concrete to create a resilient structure to build your deck on. Your deck posts need to be spaced out correctly to be up to code and pass inspection.
- Ledger Boards – These attach your deck to the frame of your home. Rather than nailing ledger boards to the house, these are installed with structural screws.
- Joists – Joists run perpendicular to your house, and the decking on top of them is laid parallel to your house.
The joists support the framework of your deck. The bigger your deck, the bigger the joists should be. The span and spacing of joists vary depending on the type of material used in your deck construction. Metal joists span several more feet than traditional wood joists.
The Best Type of Wood for Your Deck Frame
Pressure-treated lumber that is rated for ground contact is the top choice for your deck’s frame. Its load-bearing strength and price point make it a popular selection.
5 Reasons a New Frame Is Important for Your New or Replacement Deck
1. Extend the Life of Your Deck
- Deck Replacement: If you are rebuilding your deck, make sure the contractor replaces the frame, not just the boards. That way, you won’t need major repairs on the frame a handful of years after your new boards are installed.
- New Deck: When you have a new deck installed, its frame is a vital part of its longevity.
2. Ensure Your Protection
- Deck Replacement: Frames age over time and depending on what they are made of, they may weaken, warp, or rot, compromising the safety of all who use your deck. Replacing your frame ensures it is structurally sound and safeguards you from accidents and injuries so you can rest at ease and your safety isn’t compromised.
- New Deck: A new frame offers years of enjoyment for you and your family. You can have peace of mind that your loved ones are safe because your new frame provides the sturdy base on which your deck boards are placed.
3. Stay Up to Code
- Deck Replacement: Since building codes tend to change, replacing your deck frame will verify it is up-to-date and secure.
- New Deck: A reliable decking contractor (like us!) will make sure your new deck frame is built in accordance with current code standards, ensuring it is ready for use.
4. Expand Your Deck
- Deck Replacement: When you replace your frame, you have the chance to redesign your deck, expand it, and include the new features you’ve been dreaming of.
- New Deck: When your new deck is designed, you can customize it to your preferences. Take advantage of the many amenities your deck can incorporate, such as built-in seating, lighting, and an expansive cooking area.
5. Enjoy a Cost-Effective Plan
- Deck Replacement: When you replace your frame rather than just your panels, you’ll bypass the need for pricy repairs in the future. If your current deck has issues that need repairs, the full structure (including the frame) needs to be brought up to the current code standards to pass inspection. It’s best to take care of all your upgrades at once, saving you cash in the long run.
- New Deck: A decking contractor will build your deck from the ground up, beginning with its frame, ensuring you get the high performance you deserve for years to come, and avoiding trouble down the road.
Premium Decking for Your St. Louis Home
Summer is here, and the great outdoors is waiting for you to enjoy. Why not indulge in that deck you’ve been dreaming of, or rebuild your existing deck to expand your entertaining possibilities?
At Lakeside Renovation and Design, we install premium, durable products like DuraLife Decking. Through the years, we have built strong, trusting relationships with our vendors, and the benefits of this partnership are passed on to homeowners. Create your perfect outdoor retreat for your St. Louis area home with Lakeside Renovation and Design — discover our exceptional deck services!