How to build a transitional deck

By Steve Cory and Sunset Books

This deck creates a graceful transition from the house two steps down to the patio, as well as a sheltered place to sit.

A good deck can capture a view, create a comfortable outdoor room, and add a feeling of spaciousness to your home by blurring the boundaries between inside and out.

Decks are economical, too; for a fraction of the cost of most interior remodeling projects, you can build a deck that expands your living area.

This partly sheltered deck serves as an indoor-outdoor space connecting a family room with a patio. Classically simple, it is a great transitional element for nearly any style of house (info from Sunset's Complete Deck Book.)

You can wrap this deck plan around almost any house on fairly flat ground. The key lies in establishing the shape of the deck.Wide places invite socializing, while traffic areas are narrower. If the floors in your home are higher than in this design, you can set the beams on posts with appropriate piers and footings, and then add steps as needed.For a higher deck, check whether a railing may be necessary. This plan includes a perimeter foundation to support the beams, an arrangement that provides maximum support and ease in leveling the structure, but you could use individual piers and footings instead.

Building note: Where a perimeter trim board runs perpendicular to the rest of the decking, an extra joist must be provided beneath the joint.
  • Beams 4x6, or doubled 2x6s
  • Joists and ledgers 2x6
  • Decking 2x6, with 2x8 trim boards
  • Steps 2x12 treads; 2x6 risers; 1x4 and 1x6 fascias
  • Concrete Perimeter foundation
  • Hardware
  • Nails 16d (framing), 10d finish (blind-nailed decking); as appropriate for
  • connectors
  • Connectors Joist hangers
  • Other #4 rebar

Originally Published in Sunset magazine

Mon Apr 14 00:00:00 PDT 2014