Contrary to popular belief, it’s absolutely possible to build yourself a simple sun deck in one weekend – that’s only two days! Not to mention that it’ll be spacious – 12×16 sound good? The way it’s done is through a floating-foundation system, which most simple sun deck plans don’t think to use. However, in this case, the deck isn’t attached to posts that are buried within the ground, and is instead supported by the use of pre-cast concrete pier that sit above the ground.
Placing the Deck Piers
1) First, place two corner piers along the foundation line of your house. Space them at 14 feet apart on the center, in order to allow for the 16-foot joist to have an overhang of 12 inches at either end. This will conceal the piers once you have the deck in place. Use a temporary straight joist and place it into the pier slots, and check the board to make sure that the pier is level. Adjust as needed.
2) Set the two outside piers for those corners at the far end from the house. Install a temporary joist of 2×6 along one of the outside piers and one of the piers next to the house. Move the outside pier as needed until you have the joist set as perfectly squared – it should be at a 90-degree angle to your house.
3) After you have the joists leveled, install four additional concrete piers between your initial inside and outside piers. Space them equally, and repeat the process between all your piers.
4) Now that you have three rows of piers – one by the house, and one that comes out from each side of your soon-to-be deck, you can lay all the joists in the top slots. Install the intermediate piers, and check each one carefully to ensure that they’re perfectly level.
Securing the Deck Joists
5) Screw a ‘band joist’ along the ends of all the floor joists, coming from both the left and right of your frame. Screw in some short 2×6 outriggers at the joist farthest from the house, and do this at each of the other five piers. The last one you do should be a final joist band that’s attached at the end of the deck. This will allow the decking surface to extend beyond the piers.
6) Check again to ensure that your frame is perfectly square, and that all of your joists are level. If you need to make minor corrections, do so now. All the pieces should be easily repositioned with this sun deck plan, unlike other decks that have solid concrete bases in the ground.
7) Place dirt around the bottom of any piers that ended up being dug into the ground when the 2×6 joists were previously installed.
Lay Out the Decking
8) Arrange all of your 2×6 decking boards across the joists, ensuring that you leave a space of about ¼ inch between the boards – this is to leave space for the wood to expand and contract when the boards get wet.
9) Make sure the first and last boards are overhanging along the left and right band joists equally, and align all the boards that sit along the house. Leave at least an inch of space between the side of your house and the deck. Secure the boards with 3-inch galvanized screws, and snap a line all the way across the outer edges of the boards. Use a circular saw to trip off the excess. Make sure they overhang by at least a half-inch, after trimming.
10) After this, your sun deck is finished! If you want to stain the deck or install a hand rail at any point, this can be done later on – however if you were starting this weekend project on Saturday morning, you could have it done in time for a barbeque on Sunday night!