om2 / projects / Vera Deck


I'd like to build something like this

But I want railings that turn towards the central tree and close off the deck's corner. In fact I'd like to integrate the tree into the edge of the deck. I'd like the whole thing to be free-standing so I don't have to mess with the stucco of the house. I'm thinking redwood decking. I'm thinking hidden fasteners (er though ideally without milling the edges of the decking), but not sure about that yet. I think the PT sub-structure can be built in a modular way, just so that it's easier to handle the materials. I like the idea of cable railing to preserve some of the view into the yard.


  1. draw site plan
  2. make major decisions on things like materials, footings
  3. make detailed drawing and cutlist; get quotes
  4. clear the site
  5. posts, beams, joists
  6. add decking
  7. build stairs
  8. add railing
  9. stain

Drawing the site plan

Here's my sketch:

todo: update in software; bring the deck closer to the central tree


  1. when do you put fabric and rocks and whatnot underneath the deck? do you do this after putting in posts? Probably yes: after the posts/beams are set. Though the FHB people did it earlier.

Other tips

  1. ending with a full-width piece of decking: let the joists run long and calculate the length needed for a full piece of decking, or potentially even lay all the decking but the last piece, then cut the joists to the right length
  2. hand-routing the cut edges of decking: this fellow does a slight roundover which I guess would match the decking's other milled edges
  3. joist height relative to blocking: from the same fellow above, looks like he drops the blocking a tad lower than the joists
  4. joist hangers: various people tack in their joists (flushing them to the girders) before attaching the actual hangers
  5. screwing down the decking: this fellow locks in two parallel pieces of decking with several ft of gap in between, then he uses wedges to even out the internal pieces before screwing it all down
  6. everybody oils the end-grain of decking
  7. put joists in with bowing up so the decking flattens it out
  8. setting posts after the beam (top-down)