DIY Network

Know Your Deck Terminology

Before getting started on a deck project, get familiar with the terminology.

More in Outdoors

All About…

More Topics

  • Balusters — The vertical boards that attach to the handrails. Sometimes called spindles.

     

  • Beams — The horizontal boards that are attached to the post to help carry the weight.

     

  • Box Sill — In a building frame it is composed of a plate resting on the basement wall and a joist or header at the outer edge of the plate, as well as a soleplate for the studs resting either directly on the joists or on the rough flooring.

     

  • Decking — The boards that span the area over the joists and form the deck floor.

     

  • Foundation — Either a concrete pad or post installed on footers.

     

  • Furring Boards — Long thin strips of wood used to make existing surfaces support the finished surface, in this case the deck.

     

  • Handrails — The horizontal boards that provide safety.

     

  • Joists — Typically 2 x 8 boards that are installed perpendicular and between beams to help distribute weight and hold up the decking boards. Joists are usually installed 16 or 24 inches apart.

     

  • Rise — Rise is the height of the step

     

  • Run — Run is the depth of the step

     

  • Staircase Landing — Usually part of the decking plan.

     

  • Stringers — The boards that support stairs.

     

  • Support Posts — 4 x 4 or 6 x 6 posts that are installed to support the weight of the deck.

     

  • Treads — The top boards on a stair.

Advertisement