Although some people prefer to have professionals make structural changes, such as adding sundecks to their homes, it is possible to build one yourself. With a little planning and effort, you can make your sun deck the perfect place to lay back and soak up the day.
Step 1 - Planning Your Sundeck's Design
If you lack experience with carpentry, it will be helpful to get suggestions for your design from those with deck designing experience.
Step 2 - Preparing The Exterior Wall
Remove any trim attached to the exterior wall where you plan to attach your deck. Cover the exposed wall with a waterproof membrane to keep moisture from penetrating through holes made in the wall by the trim fasteners.
Step 3 - Attaching The Ledger
Put your ledger, or board, into place against the exterior wall where it will be attached. Using it as a straightedge, mark a straight level line on the exterior wall. Along this line, drill spacers about 12 inches to 24 inches apart. Then, using lag screws, attach the ledger to the wall.
Step 4 - Waterproofing
Cover the top of the spacer blocks and ledger by attaching a strip of waterproof membrane, extending it up the wall to cover the wall and the ledger. Then use a strip of metal flashing to cover the waterproofing membrane and attach the flashing with nails six to eight inches apart.
Step 5 - Attaching Hangers
Attach double-joist hangers at both ends of the ledger with hanger nails, ensuring that the hangers are attached level with the bottom edge of the beam.
Step 6 - Putting Footings Into Place
Run the length of string around the perimeter of the area where your deck will be placed. Then dig a hole at each footing location, being careful that each hole is not dug deeper than the frost line. Once the holes are dug, place your footings into the holes, and pour concrete into the holes around the footings. The concrete should dry for about 1 week.
Step 7 - Cut Footing Pieces
Cut each footing piece for length after measuring to ensure it is the right height, then attach a base to the top of each footing, using an anchor bolt and nut. Be sure each nut is tightened.
Step 8 - Attaching Joists
At both ends of the beam, attach side rim joists into the hangers, with the joist ends placed on top of the corner footing. Then, using the same method, attach the front rim and interior joists.
Step 9 - Attaching Deck Boards
With the deck boards at a 90-degree angle to the exterior wall, with 1 inch of overhang past the front rim joist, check to ensure the boards all fit in place. Then attach the boards to the joist, apply sealant on top of the joists, and fasten each board end with nails.
Step 10 - Painting
Now, paint the deck with your preferred color or with waterproofing, and let it all dry.
You should have finished your deck one week after the footings concrete set up. Give it another week for the paint and waterproofing to dry and cure, and you'll be ready to relax on your new deck.