Make A Quick Drawing
Start with a Sketch
Get your “GED” (good-enough drawing)!
A little drawing goes a long way. Nothing is set in stone – later, you may need a detailed, scaled drawing, but for now your quick drawing doesn’t have to be complete, or to scale, or even on paper (napkins work too)!
Use your quick drawing to answer these basic questions and get your Ballpark Estimate.
YOUR QUICK DRAWING
1. Size & shape: show the length of each side.
2. Stairs & landings: Stairs might seem tricky, but you can do it! How many stair treads? Estimate the total rise (total vertical distance) of the stair in inches, and divide it by 7.75. Round UP to the nearest whole number for the number of rises, and round DOWN for the number of treads. Check out this video on stair math.
3. Railing posts & sections: Generally railing posts are spaced every 6-8 feet apart, and railing comes in 6 or 8-foot sections. It can be helpful to count deck and stair railing in increments of 6 or 8 feet.
4. Posts & beam: No engineering degree required… but start developing a basic plan for the frame that makes that dream deck possible. There are a lot of factors, but typically joists can span 10-12 feet between beams. Typically beams can span 6-8 feet between posts. Check out the Spans page to learn more.