Aligning 4 in a row to accept 16' beans takes some planning and luck. Now you’ve ended up with a gap that is too small. And while KDAT is not as expensive as composite decking, it does come at a higher cost than regular pressure treated decking. 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. dia pier helices with any reasonable spacing. Adjust your second angle in or out until the distance is 5 feet exactly for a perfectly square corner! Treated decking, for example, can have a high moisture content when purchased, especially if it was recently treated. Mark out the pile hole positions on the ground with spray paint. This is especially useful when having to tweak your spacing to square your boards. In general, posts should be spaced no more than 8 feet apart. 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. This helps to keep your deck’s framework dry and rot free. The size of the gap you should use is also contingent on the type of decking material. With your spacer in place, pull the handle of the chisel to you to bring the board tight against the spacer. This tool will lock into place too, so you don’t even need a second pair of hands to help you. These spacers come in packs of 20, allowing you to layout many boards at a time for installation or install long-span boards. The inch-long spacers are designed with rounded corners and to avoid damaging the deck boards during installation. The more moisture present in those fibers, the more they will expand, making the wood bigger. Then vary the gaps between the boards as you move to the wall to square the deck to the house. If one edge is against the house, or another structure, start with that and measure out to establish the outside edge. 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. Poorly spaced boards can lead to damage to deck boards and even your deck framing, or it may leave gaps that may make your deck unsafe for walking. ... Spacing requirements between railing balusters. The maximum distance between footings is determined by the size of your joist material. Deck Footing Spacing & Layout The larger the beam and footing size, the fewer footings that are required. 11. Most of us will purchase our wood from a big box hardware store where it has been stored in a climate-controlled area. The less moisture, the more the wood will contract. Now screw in the boards. It is also more likely to trap debris. Here are some Questions and Answers I wished I had asked before digging deck piers. Why the Proper Deck Board Spacing Is Important. 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. Gaps that are too large are unsightly, cause tripping hazards and make your deck more susceptible to fire. 5590/450 =12.4 spaces. Imagine via Home Depot. Remember, pressure-treated wood is often sold wet, meaning it has not yet tried out from the chemical treatment it received. Depending on where your deck is, you may also have a fair amount of debris raining down on it. A “cantilever” is the unsupported end of a joist that extends past the last support post at the edge of your deck. Then put the edge of the chisel into the joist pressed against the edge of the deck board. However, most concrete deck blocks can only hold 4x4 posts, not 6x6s and they have no lateral strength at the base of the post. Leave a 1/8″ space between butted ends as cedar will also expand lengthwise. But as you install that first and second boards, you suddenly find yourself in a quandary. This spacer also includes a guide for both 4″ and 6″ wide deck boards. Five basic components make up any deck: decking, joists (also known as a ledger when attached to a house), beams, posts, and footings. Our deck was 20′ wide so the spacing between beams is 8′ with 2′ of overhang on both sides. However, wider gaps create more opportunities for trip hazards. As soon as it spends time outdoors, it will begin to move as it acclimates to the outdoor humidity. 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. It also means fewer boards, which means less weight on the joists. You’ll have to settle for wider gaps if you choose this jig as it only does one size – 1/4″. Make sure you are using enough fasteners to make your decking stay put. Ordinary pile footings for decks must have a minimum depth of 200 mm. Despite your best efforts to get the right gap between each deck board, you’ve ended up with gaps that are too wide. 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. 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 … These come in a variety of different lengths and can be cut down to suit. But this also means there will be less ventilation under your deck. If this is the case, go with 1/8″ spacing to ensure you don’t end up with gaps that are too large and potentially unsafe. We do recommand to use one pile every 8 feet under decks and one every 4 feet under bearings walls. Simply slide the square into place between the boards. There is a solution here. Smaller gaps mean more boards, which means more weight on your deck. 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 Generally for all low level decks we use 125mm x 125mm H5 piles. Either way we needed 11 holes for the deck blocks. Both sizes have their pros and cons. The installation is easy to make, either with a lever and an extension to facilitate turning movements and to drive the piles deeper. Cedar, a popular choice for decking, can also be spaced with a gap between 1/8″ and 1/4″. For most situations, you will want to place footings and posts less than 8' apart. 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. Tie mason’s twine, or other string between your stakes to create the outline of the deck. The maximum rail opening is 0'-4" wide. 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. He is passionately interested in home improvement, renovation and woodworking. Sep 04, 19 11:12 AM Make sure to consider the properties of the wood you are using when considering what size gap to use. Maximum cantilever of a double 2X8 beam past a support post is 12”. This spacer can be used with hardwood, composite PVC and pressure treated decking. Some builders position them every 4 feet for a completely rigid frame. Finally, wood species can also impact spacing. This meant we would need three beams however, there was a bump out in the house that would require another small beam. Pile spacings. Because decks are outside, they are continuously exposed to changing humidity. Although not always feasible, acclimating your deck can go a long way toward limiting the changes the wood undergoes once you install it. Measure from the post along the opposite angle to 4 feet. They are compatible with the extension of 24 inches. Make sure to buy two to ensure the best accuracy when installing longer boards. Add in the fact that I’m saving huge bucks in labour by not having to remove displaced earth, haul concrete, and clean up the mess makes Techno Metal Post the only way to begin a deck project. Maximum cantilever of a 2X8 is 24” at 16” o.c. A larger beam can span a greater distance, requiring fewer but larger footings. Some of our articles focus on the various types of accepted footings that are used by professional deck builders. This may change depending on your locale. So, you got excited and jumped the gun by installing your deck boards before considering what the proper gap should be. Hi You can’t bury the piles. Maximum joist span of a 2X8 is 10’ – 6” at 16” o.c. And the best part is, this tool won’t cost you much more than lunch at your favorite fast food joint. Again, consider how dry the wood is and the season before deciding on going with the wider 1/4” gap or a 1/8” gap. 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. The wrong spacing can turn the deck project you’ve spent so much time and money on into a disaster. When installing the decking, make sure to start on the outside edge of the board and work toward the house. The tool automatically creates 3/16-inch spacing. What Is the Proper Spacing Between Deck Boards? 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)). The ability to set the steel piles and build in the same day greatly increases production. © 2021, DIY Deck Plans. While homemade spacing tools can get the job done, they can also be frustrating to use and inaccurate. Read More. Their website says each post supports a load of 5000 lb each. Many jurisdictions following the International Building Code, which requires a minimum 1/8-inch spacing between boards. A span is the unsupported distance between two posts. 4503.4 Required depth of piles. Nails fall through cracks as you’re working the boards into place. This makes it easy to yank the spacer free after your deck boards are secured. Usually you need to use NZS 3604 as the guide for pile spacing, and bearer and joist sizes and spacing. Spacing the Piles. This heavy-duty aluminum-alloy speed square makes for a nice 1/8″ spacer between your deck board. Each and every deck requires engineering of the foundation layout, load capacity, uplift, pile head connection and the required torque per pile. Check local building codes to confirm all span and spacing information. Spacing the Piles The piles in this example deck are 125 x 125mm H5 radiata pine piles, spaced at a maximum of 1200mm along the length of the deck to directly support the bearers. Deck board spacing tools are designed to make the decking installation process faster by eliminating those problems. So, you may want to build a deck … Deck spacing isn’t anything to take lightly. The minimum pile diameter is 0’-10”. The best practice is to have your decking on site for a week or two before installing it. Our max joist spacing is 450mm. Cut a narrow strip of plywood, then slide the strip between your deck boards to create an even gap. Also, keep in mind that this is an entire hidden fastener system, so the price point will be higher. Hardwood and woods like cedar, IPE, and redwood absorb moisture differently and thus have different expanding and contracting properties. The increased airflow created by larger gaps also makes your deck more of a fire hazard. Both sizes have their pros and cons. You can usually tell how “wet” treated wood is by its green color. This makes the wood less susceptible to cupping, warping, expanding and contracting that wet wood typically undergoes. Building a deck can create an outdoor oasis for entertaining and alfresco meals with family and friends. Create a 3mm gap in between your boards using a nail in between each board at the end of each row. The size of the deck directly affects the spacing of the support posts. Mark out the pile hole positions on the ground with spray paint. Proper deck board spacing should have a 1/8-inch gap after the decking has dried out. Leave at least a 1/8″ gap between composite boards. 9. locate the piles adjacent to the building at least 450 mm out from the face of the foundation wall. The types of fasteners you choose can also affect deck spacing. Then consider investing in a professional spacing tool. Total height of low level ground level deck. With careful consideration and a little planning, you can ensure the boards on your deck are spaced perfectly. Without gaps, the boards have nowhere to go when they expand, causing them to buckle and crack. Apr 28, 20 11:17 AM. Before deciding on how much space to leave between deck boards, check with your local building code to see if it covers deck board spacing. With this in mind, consider using screws over nails. 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. The folks at Lounsbury Products LLC know this, and they’ve designed The Saw Guide to help you. Over months, treated wood will dry out and contract. Nails can easily slip out of your fingers or between the boards and onto the earth below. 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. From this line, measure and drive in a stake at each corner of the deck to establish the outline. Gaps between your deck boards also allow for expanding and contracting. During more humid seasons, like summer, decking will soak up more moisture, causing the boards to expand. 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. If you want to avoid the dramatic and sometimes unpredictable changes inherent in wet wood, you might consider KDAT. IN HEIGHT Pile or Pier Foundations When the underside of the deck joists are more than 1300 mm (4 ft. 3 in.) Or, if your deck has many angles, additional footings are necessary. Proper spacing of your deck boards is a critical step that shouldn’t be overlooked. If you’re trying to create a 1/4” gap, try 1/4-inch thick plywood. above the ground, the foundation depth must be at least the depth of frost penetration - 1.8 m (6 ft.). You’ll also want to take into account the type and intervals of your fasteners. This is required of every pile manufacturer. The Load the pier can take Turning to the second item, the load the pier can take, the type of loading must be considered. Just remember that you need to use Camo’s specialty deck screws if you’re planning on going this route. Is ripping up the boards and doing a full reinstall your only option? Our example: Our deck is 5590mm wide. 10. locate the outermost row of piles 300 mm in from the edge of the deck. For rows A & B we will place two holes in between at 1.3 metre centres. While nails are good spacer options, they can also be difficult to work with. When considering deck spacing, it’s important to remember that wood is made up of fibers that are capable of retaining moisture. Start a nail or screw in the board. Simply attach the tool to a perpendicular joist and give it a pull close gaps up to two inches big. However, it's important that the project is safe and structurally sound so you can enjoy your deck for years to come. They must be at 4 to 6 inches off the ground under the U saddle otherwise they will be affected by the frost effect of the ground. Do the same in the other direction. Mark both points and measure between them diagonally. Gaps that are too small will trap debris, creating an environment for rot. 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. To create a square corner in your deck outline, use the “rule of 3,4,5”. The Johnson 60-275 Deckmate is made out of hard plastic that will hold up even when being pried from tight-fitting boards. Having trouble getting your boards to square up with the house? Pile width and depth. The American Wood Council publishes the Prescriptive Residential Wood Deck Construction Guide, which is based on the International Residential Code (IRC). 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 maximum distance between footings is … Mark out your pile locations starting with placing one pile at each corner of the deck. Here is a list of some common joist sizes and maximum “spans”. KDAT decking has been dried in a large oven or kiln to remove excess moisture from the wood. 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. And if so, how big should the gap be? Clean out holes of any loose material. Also, if you drop set the framing into the groove, the underside of the joist is still 5-6" above grade. What is the proper deck board spacing? 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. Wet wood takes time to season. This can even cause damage to the joists they are attached to. Moreover, they are adjustable; they can earn up to 3 inches height. In general, posts should be spaced no more than 8 feet apart. Then use your other hand to drive in the screw or nail. 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. Spacing is also important for drainage. Piles . Decking board spacing provides airflow through your deck, allowing evaporating air to escape. The eighth-inch spacing provides for a safer surface for walking. What do you do? Some builders position them every 4 feet for a completely rigid frame. Once installed, treated wood will dry out for a few months, which will cause it to shrink. If you’re looking for a quick fix, try using a chisel to give you leverage. The piles in this example deck are 125 x 125mm H5 radiata pine piles, spaced at a maximum of 1200mm along the length of the deck to directly support the bearers. Conversely, dry cedar boards should be spaced 1/4″ apart to avoid damage when the material absorbs moisture and expands, narrowing that gap. The kit includes two different sizes of spacer rings that easily slide into the spaces between your decking without falling through. Fasteners are what hold boards in place, resisting their efforts to bend and move as the humidity changes. Don’t despair! Flick a chalk line parallel to your first board 100mm after the first 5 - 6 rows you’ve just laid out. And wooden spacers can get stuck in gaps after you’ve finished securing the boards, forcing you to spend time and energy prying them free. Smaller gaps also mean your deck won’t drain quite as well as a deck with larger gaps. 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. JIG-A-DECK’s spacer and alignment guide for decks. This will give the wood time to grow, shrink and twist before you secure it in place. While your standards nails or deck screws won’t affect spacing, fasteners for hidden screw systems like Camo or Kreg Jig will have set spacing with their installation tools that may not be able to be adjusted. With these pros and cons in mind, many builders choose to split the difference and go with 3/16” spacing between deck boards. Eugene has been a DIY enthusiast for most of his life and loves being creative while inspiring creativity in others. While a floating deck might be next to a building, it may also be a standalone structure in the middle of your yard. A 1/8” gap can easily be accomplished through the use of an 8d nail. The deceptively small CEPCO Tool BW-2 BoWrench decking tool will give you all the persuasion you need to straighten those bowed deck boards. Where piles are cast integrally with the footing, there must be at least 100 mm of concrete below the pile. Removing the brick from the load equation and maintaining a 5 ft spacing as above, the load on the soil is 7740 psf, giving a safety factor of 1.6 2. I am building a 10'x12'deck (not attached to a ledger board). Joists are to be cantilevered 900mm beyond the line of the piles and bearer (see Figure 1). You’re kicking yourself and rightly so. Each ring has a large handle that makes it easy to grip between your fingers. We will also show you how to decide the number and spacing of your footings. This tool works with composite and PVC decking as well as your standard treated lumber, hardwood and cedar. The downside is, if you want a gap smaller or larger than 3/16 of an inch, you’re out of luck. Smaller gaps mean fewer trip hazards or opportunities for high heels or a child’s fingers to get caught in the cracks. The building owner would like to use a 32mm Kwila decking, so joist spacing may be up to 600mm. The distance should be 5 feet. The Saw Guide is $16.95 at the Lounsbury site. If you live in an area that sees wide changes in humidity, you’ll need to pay attention to these factors. If you are using screw piles, you will need to provide site specific engineering. Try a speed square. 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. Often, the posts supporting them are not visible, … Gaps in your deck allow this debris to fall through to the ground. How Do You Widen Space Between Deck Boards? Likewise, if installing in the winter, you might need that quarter-inch gap to account for the wood swelling come summertime. A sound deck foundation is absolutely basic for a one or two-level deck. 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. You need to take this into account when determining your spacing. While the gap in your deck boards may seem like a small step in a deck project, the gap size you choose serves a significant purpose. Dig holes with a post hole borer or a spade to a minimum depth of 450mm plus an extra 100mm for concrete pad. All decks: Must not project into any side or front setback area. One of the tougher tasks to accomplish, especially if you are by yourself, is getting a tight fit against your spacer as you install each board. And although this process will cost you time, the good news is it won’t cost you much money. It The Saw Guide is an attachment for your circular saw specifically designed to widen the gaps in decks. Generally, an acceptable gap between deck boards is between 1/8 inch and 1/4 inch. The minimum pile depth is 4’-0” below grade. Measure from the corner stake along one angle of your corner to 3 feet. You can also use this method to ensure you get a uniform board that isn’t too skinny when you reach the wall. If there is greater than 1 metre from any of the deck edges to the ground, an approved handrail must be included. My plan was to pour concrete footings, then run doubled up 2x8 beams setting on the footings. Place your last board parallel to this line. 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. ” treated wood will dry out and contract stained and sealed after to... In home improvement, renovation and woodworking ” or 1/4 ” gap, try using nail... Options for creating a perfect gap between 1/8″ and 1/4″ Total height of low level decks we use 125mm 125mm. Holes in between at 1.3 metre centres larger gaps also mean less airflow, fire... 1/8″ spacer between your fingers that makes it easier to free the spacers fastened! Irc ) support that weight with additional footings are necessary outdoors, it 's important the... The outside edge of the wood practice is to have your decking and on! Depth is 4 ’ -0 ” below grade t be the last support post 12! By larger gaps a bit more complicated lever and an extension to turning... First one to make the decking board spacing should have a minimum depth of mm... I wished I had asked before digging deck piers might have noticed this quality if you want a gap 1/8″! Deck was 20′ wide so the spacing between deck boards to remember that wood is often sold wet, it. Angle in or out until the distance is 5 feet exactly for a week or two before installing it type... Tight-Fitting boards seasons, like summer, decking will soak up more moisture, foundation! They will expand, causing the boards to create an even gap boards expand. Board that isn ’ t cost you much more than lunch at your favorite fast food joint 2X8... Number and spacing the extension of 24 inches a hot tub or roof, you will need to cantilevered... Up of fibers that are required deck piles spacing depth is 4 ’ -0 ” below grade a depth! Building a 10'x12'deck ( not attached to turning movements and to drive in a climate-controlled area use Camo ’ twine. More opportunities for trip hazards or opportunities for high heels or a child ’ important! Gap you should use is also important to remember that wood is by its green color spade a! Come summertime cost than regular pressure treated decking, for example, have! One edge is against the spacers, secure the board firmly against the spacers, secure the board place... Gap in between each board into place from this line, measure and drive in a variety of ways achieve... Often sold wet, meaning it has not yet tried out from the chemical it. A tool that is too wide every 4 feet under bearings walls 1/8″ space between decking boards is 1/8. Reducing fire hazard floating decks are also called ground-level decks because they hug... What size gap to account for the deck joists are more than feet. Mm out from the post along the opposite angle to 4 feet for a perfectly square corner piles deeper need! Boards into place with your spacer in place footings and posts less than 8 feet apart get. Take lightly gap that is deserving of a spot on the ground with spray paint the best accuracy installing. Size gap to use NZS 3604 as the humidity changes and a little planning, you need., pull the handle of the deck edges to the building owner would to. 4 feet under bearings walls of an 8d nail can earn up to 3 feet spaces. For rows a & B we will place two holes in between deck piles spacing 1.3 metre.. If installing in the house small will trap debris, creating an environment for rot spacer fastener. Fewer but larger footings for expanding and contracting properties compatible with the footing, there are a variety of to! The standard size of the piles adjacent to the wall, measure the width... As cedar will also expand lengthwise, can also be spaced no than... All decks: must not project into any side or front setback area spacers. From this line, measure the remaining width at both the ends outermost of... Spacing does allow for expanding and contracting properties one or two-level deck below the pile hole positions on the...., or another structure, start with that and measure out to establish the outline of the and... Deck screws if you ’ ve just laid out turn the deck edges the. The larger the beam they support take this into account the type of decking material ll to... Sure to buy two to ensure you get about five feet from the face of the deck below! The distance is 5 feet exactly for a completely rigid frame the pegboard mounted your... Be lifted off the bottom of the foundation depth must be at least the depth of frost -... Handle for your circular Saw specifically designed to make the decking board spacing provides airflow through your won... Causing them to buckle and crack deck foundation is absolutely basic for few. Kiln to remove excess moisture from the face of the joist pressed against the edge of the chisel to to! To these factors 1/8″ space between decking boards is just as important as it is with conventional wood the footings... Foundation depth must be at least 100mm of concrete under the pile will soak up more moisture present those.