Deck – Tools, Material and Terminology


2 x 6 boards (pressure-treated pine)

2 x 2 boards (pressure-treated pine)
2 x 8 boards (pressure-treated pine)
2 x 12 boards (pressure-treated pine)
2 x 8 boards (pressure-treated pine)
4 x 4 posts (pressure-treated pine)
6 x 6 posts (pressure-treated pine)
Carriage bolts and nuts
Post anchors
Galvanized 3″ decking screws
Concrete mix for footers (if applicable)
Roll of flashing

Tools Needed:

Circular saw
Power drill
Reciprocating saw
Pneumatic Nail Gun kit (available at rental store)
Galvanized deck screws
Framing square
Speed square
Chalk line
Tape Measure
Adjustable wrench
Safety goggles, gloves and mask
Masonry drill bit
Utility knife


All-heart grades – Grades of wood which contain no knots or blemishes.

Band joists – Joists which form an attractive border or band around the framing joists.

Bow – The deviation from straight and true seen when looking at a board on its edge.

Construction common – A grade of redwood containing sapwood.

Crown – The highest point of a warped board, seen from the board’s side.

Cup – The warp of a board seen from the board’s end.

Girder – A support member of a deck floor framing system which rests upon the piers. The girder is in a position parallel to the ledger and supports the opposite end of the joists.

HDG (Hot dipped galvanized) – A rustproof coated metal which is less expensive than aluminum or stainless steel.

Joists – A system of floor framing commonly using 2 x 6 or 2 x 8 lumber.

Ledger – A board of the same size as the joists, attached to a wall, to which the joists are perpendicularly attached.

Pier Holes – Holes dug to below frost line and filled with cement for a firm footing to raise foundation piers.

Plumb bob – A heavy object suspended on the end of a string for the purpose of establishing a true vertical line.

Toe nailing – Nailing at an angle which reduces chances of nails loosening under stress.

Torpedo level – A level 8 or 9 inches in length with vials to read level, plumb and 45 degrees.