Title:
Method for constructing decks
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A method for constructing decks which includes the steps of constructing a rim joist box frame which includes side boards, a front board and a back board; placing the side boards of the rim joist box on a pair of spaced-apart jacks or leveling devices; leveling the rim joist box horizontally using the jacks or leveling devices and a level; attaching the rim joist box to opposite corner posts and then to middle posts, typically resting on foundation blocks; adding front-to-rear center supports attached to center support posts, also typically supported on foundation blocks; positioning joists in space-apart, side-to-side relationship on the rim joist box and center supports; attaching decking boards to the joists; constructing steps from the ground to the decking boards on a selected side or sides of the deck; attaching front and side rails and rail caps to the corner posts and middle posts; and spacing balusters between the front and side rails and the rim joist box using a spacing tool.



Inventors:
Johns, Bradley W. (West Monroe, LA, US)
Application Number:
11/640712
Publication Date:
07/19/2007
Filing Date:
12/19/2006
Primary Class:
International Classes:
E04B1/00; E04G21/00
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
20080092478Friction type retrofitting device for steel tower structuresApril, 2008Min et al.
20050102925Post connection coverMay, 2005Boyd
20020108325Structural reinforcement system for reinforcing openings formed in structuresAugust, 2002Hulls et al.
20060010793Indexing ribs for assembling a door, and doorJanuary, 2006Martino
20100071299Lattice supporting frameworkMarch, 2010Daas
20040206009Longitudinal modular single-piece elements resembling a vertical row of tilesOctober, 2004Wild
20060010804Modular frame area floor coveringJanuary, 2006Gray et al.
20090094909Enclosure panel isolation systemApril, 2009Cantrell
20100024323Energy Saving HouseFebruary, 2010Huang et al.
20070193165Insulating concrete form system with fire-break tiesAugust, 2007Stokes
20070163198Laminate door stiffener with clip insertsJuly, 2007Dunn



Primary Examiner:
HIJAZ, OMAR F
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
John M. Harrison (Shreveport, LA, US)
Claims:
Having described my invention with the particularity set forth above, what is claimed is:

1. A method for constructing a deck against a structure comprising the steps of assembling a pair of side boards, a front board and a back board to define a rim joist box; placing the side boards on a pair of spaced-apart jacks; leveling the rim joist box by operation of the jacks; positioning the back board against the structure; adding supporting posts to the rim joist box; and adding at least floor joists and decking boards to the joist box.

2. The method according to claim 1 comprising the step of adding at least one center support to the front board and the back board for receiving the joists.

3. The method according to claim 2 wherein said at least one center support comprises a pair of center supports.

4. The method according to claim 1 comprising the step of adding a front rail and a pair of side rails to the supporting posts, wherein the front rail and the side rails are spaced-apart from the rim joist box.

5. The method according to claim 4 comprising the step of adding a pair of center supports to the front board and the back board and at least one center support post supporting the center supports for receiving and supporting the joists.

6. The method according to claim 4 comprising the step of positioning a baluster spacer between the front rail and the side rails in sequence and adding spaced-apart balusters engaging the baluster spacer in said sequence, to the front rail and the back rail.

7. The method according to claim 6 comprising the step of adding a pair of center supports to the front board and the back board and at least one center support post supporting the center supports for receiving and supporting the joists.

8. The method according to claim 1 comprising the step of adding at least one set of steps to the rim joist box for accessing the deck.

9. The method according to claim 8 comprising the step of adding at least one center support to the front board and the back board for receiving the joists.

10. The method according to claim 8 comprising the step of adding a front rail and a pair of side rails to the supporting posts, wherein the front rail and the side rails are spaced-apart from the rim joist box.

11. The method according to claim 8 comprising the step of positioning a baluster spacer between the front rail and the side rails in sequence and adding spaced-apart balusters engaging the baluster spacer in said sequence, to the front rail and the back rail.

12. The method according to claim 8 comprising the steps of: (a) adding a front rail and a pair of side rails to the supporting posts, wherein the front rail and the side rails are spaced-apart from the rim joist box; and (b) positioning a baluster spacer between the front rail and the side rails in sequence and adding spaced-apart balusters engaging the baluster spacer in said sequence, to the front rail and the back rail.

13. The method according to claim 12 comprising the step of adding a pair of center supports to the front board and at least one pair of center support posts supporting the center supports for receiving and supporting the joists.

14. The method according to claim 13 comprising the step of adding rail caps to the front rails, side rails and steps.

15. A method for constructing a deck comprising the steps of assembling a pair of side boards, a front board and a back board to define a rim joist box; positioning a pair of jacks in spaced-apart relationship with respect to each other on opposite sides of the rim joist box; placing said opposite sides of the rim joist box on the jacks, respectively; operating the jacks to level the rim joist box; adding supporting posts to the rim joist box; adding at least one center support to the rim joist box; adding spaced-apart floor joists to the rim joist box and the center support; and providing at least one set of steps extending from the rim joist box for accessing the deck.

16. The method according to claim 14 comprising the step of adding at least a front rail and a pair of side rails to the supporting posts, wherein the front rail and the side rails are spaced-apart from the rim joist box.

17. The method according to claim 15 comprising the step of positioning a baluster spacer between the front rail and the side rails in sequence and adding spaced-apart balusters engaging the baluster spacer in said sequence, to the front rail and the back rail.

18. The method according to claim 15 comprising the steps of: (a) adding at least a front rail and a pair of side rails to the supporting posts, wherein the front rail and the side rails are spaced-apart from the rim joist box; and (b) positioning a baluster spacer between the front rail and the side rails in sequence and adding spaced-apart balusters engaging the baluster spacer in said sequence, to the front rail and the back rail.

19. The method according to claim 18 wherein said at least one center support comprises a pair of center supports.

20. A method for constructing a deck against a structure at a structure door comprising the steps of assembling a pair of side boards, a front board and a back board to define a rim joist box; positioning a pair of jacks in spaced-apart relationship with respect to each other on opposite sides of the rim joist box; placing said opposite sides of the rim joist box on the jacks, respectively; operating the jacks to level the rim joist box; adding supporting posts to the rim joist box; adding at least one center support to the rim joist box; adding spaced-apart floor joists to the rim joist box and the center support; adding a front rail and a pair of side rails to the supporting posts, wherein the front rail and the side rails are spaced-apart from the rim joist box and providing at least one set of steps extending from the rim joist box for accessing the deck.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims the benefit of and incorporates by reference U.S. Provisional Application Ser. No. 60/759,230, Filed Jan. 17, 2006.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

One of the problems associated with building wooden decks is that of quickly and efficiently leveling the deck frame or rim joists on the deck supports or posts and efficiently adding balusters which are accurately spaced-apart on the deck. According to the method for constructing decks of this invention the first expedient is accomplished by using a pair of spaced-apart jacks or leveling members that receive the respective parallel side boards of a rim joist box to horizontally level the rim joist box and facilitate attachment of the rim joist box to corresponding opposite corner posts and middle posts which are typically supported on foundation blocks or an alternative foundation structure or structures. When the leveling process is complete, the jacks are removed and parallel center supports are added front-to-rear to the rim joist box, with accompanying center support posts, also extending to foundation blocks or other foundation structure. Spaced-apart joists are then nailed or screwed side-to-side on the side boards and center supports and decking boards are attached to the joists. Steps are supplied at a selected location or locations between ground level and the decking boards and front and side rails are added to the corner posts and middle posts. Balusters are then spaced-apart between the front and side rails and the rim joist box using a baluster spacer tool and rail caps are added to the rails, to finish the deck.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The application will be better understood by reference to the accompanying drawings, wherein:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a structure with the rim joist box element of a deck positioned adjacent to the structure for leveling and attachment of the rim joist box to supporting posts;

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of a portion of the rim joist box illustrated in FIG. 1, with a side board element of the rim joist box supported on a jack for leveling purposes;

FIG. 3 is a perspective view of the opposite side of the rim joist box from the illustration in FIG. 2, more particularly illustrating positioning of the opposite side board on an oppositely-disposed jack for leveling purposes;

FIG. 4 is a perspective view of a portion of the rim joist box illustrated in FIG. 2, more particularly illustrating the positioning of a rear corner post on a foundation block adjacent to a side board and the back board of the rim joist box for nailing or applying screws to one corner of the rim joist box;

FIG. 5 is a perspective view of a front corner of the rim joist box illustrated in FIG. 2, more particularly illustrating the positioning of an opposite front corner post on a foundation block for nailing or applying screws and supporting that corner of the rim joist box above the ground;

FIG. 6 is a perspective view of the rim joist box illustrated in FIG. 1 in elevated, horizontally level configuration mounted on the corresponding front corner posts and rear corner posts, with the jacks removed;

FIG. 7 is a perspective view of a rear corner of the elevated rim joist box illustrated in FIG. 6, more particularly illustrating the positioning of a side middle post spaced from the corner post for supporting one of the side boards of the rim joist box, wherein the side middle post rests on a foundation block;

FIG. 8 is a perspective view of front board rim joist box illustrated in FIG. 6, with a front middle post extending from support at a foundation block upwardly to the front board for nailing or applying screws to the front board and front middle post and supporting the front board, and further illustrating a center support extending rearwardly from the front middle post, perpendicular to the front board;

FIG. 9 is a perspective view of a portion of the rim joist box illustrated in FIG. 6, with a pair of side middle posts spaced between the corresponding front corner post and rear corner post for receiving the side boards and locating a set of steps to access the deck and more particularly illustrating the parallel pair of center supports extending between the front board and the back board and attached thereto and to a center support post, for supporting floor joists;

FIG. 10 is a perspective view of the rim joist box assembly, more particularly illustrating a preferred location for the front middle post, center support post and rear middle post supports, each extending from a foundation block for attachment to and supporting the parallel, spaced-apart center supports;

FIG. 11 is a perspective view of the rim joist box assembly illustrated in FIG. 10, more particularly illustrating a preferred positioning of joists in spaced-apart parallel relationship from side-to-side on the parallel side board and the center supports;

FIG. 12 is a perspective view of a typical decking board for placement over the joists on the deck, wherein the decking board is fitted with post openings on either end for fitting over the respective front corner post and rear corner post of the rim joist box assembly;

FIG. 13 is a perspective view of one corner of the rim joist box assembly illustrated in FIG. 11, more particularly illustrating a typical positioning and attachment by nails or screws of the decking boards on the joists and further illustrating positioning of the decking board having a post opening over the front corner post;

FIG. 14 is a perspective view of a portion of the rim joist assembly and deck of this invention, more particularly illustrating placement of the decking boards front-to-rear on the corresponding joists, as well as the front board and back board elements of the rim joist box;

FIG. 15 is a perspective view of the deck illustrated in FIG. 14, more particularly illustrating completion of the decking boards on the rim joist box;

FIG. 16 is a perspective view of a typical step assembly, including placement of corresponding step boards and side stringer spacers on spaced-apart, parallel, notched side stringers and a middle stringer;

FIG. 17 is a perspective view of the right-side portion of the deck illustrated in FIG. 15, more particularly illustrating partial assembly of the steps extending between the ground level and the decking boards between the parallel side middle posts;

FIG. 18 is a perspective view of the right-side portion of the deck illustrated in FIG. 17, more particularly illustrating assembly of the respective side stringer spacers on the corresponding side stringers and middle stringer elements of the steps;

FIG. 19 is a perspective view of the right-side portion of the deck illustrated in FIGS. 17 and 18, more particularly illustrating the installation of upward-standing, spaced-apart hand rail supports on each side of the steps;

FIG. 20 is a perspective view of a front corner of the deck more particularly illustrating notching of the last one of the decking boards for fitting the decking board over the side board adjacent to a front corner post to complete installation of the decking boards;

FIG. 21 is a perspective view of the deck prior to installation of the balusters and rail caps added to the step hand rails;

FIG. 22 is a perspective view of the deck illustrated in FIG. 21, more particularly illustrating addition of the rail caps to the step hand rails;

FIG. 23 is a perspective view of the deck illustrating use of a baluster spacing tool install the balusters;

FIG. 24 is an opposite perspective view of the deck illustrated in FIG. 23, also illustrating use of the baluster spacing tool; and

FIG. 25 is an enlarged perspective view of one corner of the deck, illustrated in FIG. 24, more particularly illustrating the baluster spacing tool.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

Referring initially to FIGS. 1-6 of the drawings, a rim joist box element of a deck is generally illustrated by reference numeral 2 and is constructed using nails and/or screws (not illustrated) to assemble a front board 4, which is typically cut to the exact width of the deck to be constructed, along with a back board 5 typically cut short of the width of the deck by the thickness of the two side boards 3. The side boards 3 are typically cut 1½ inches short of the total projection of the deck from the structure wall 45 of the structure 44, which is illustrated in phantom in FIG. 1 and includes a structure door 46 and a pair of structure windows 47, for purpose of illustration. The rim joist box 2 is typically constructed and assembled as illustrated in FIG. 1 typically using nails driven by automatic nail guns and after construction the rim joist box 2 is positioned on a projecting pair of support arms 18, that extend from a mast 16 which is telescopically or adjustably mounted on a support 17 of each of two jacks 13. Legs 15 serve to stabilize the support 17 of each of the jacks 13 in place and a hand crank 19 is provided in connection with a mast 16 in each of the jacks 13 to facilitate raising and lowering of the mast 16 and the attached support arms 18 with respect to the respective support 17. Each jack 13 is positioned as illustrated in FIGS. 2 and 3 in spaced-apart relationship with respect to each other on opposite sides of the rim joist box 2 to support the side boards 3 and facilitate horizontal leveling of the rim joist box 2, typically using a level 20. When the rim joist box 2 is leveled, typically utilizing the level 20, one of a pair of rear corner posts 9 is seated on a corresponding foundation block 12, extended upwardly and vertically leveled with the level 20; such that the back board 5 is located adjacent to the structure wall 45 of the structure 44 (FIG. 4). The side board 3 and the back board 5 are then nailed or screwed to the rear corner post 9, as further illustrated in FIG. 4. The back board 5 may be later fastened in like manner to the structure wall 45. The opposite front corner of the rim joist box 2 is then similarly mounted on one of a pair of corresponding front corner posts 6, extending from support on spaced-apart foundation blocks 12, as illustrated in FIG. 5 of the drawings. The front board 4 and the corresponding side boards 3 are then nailed or screwed to the respective front corner posts 6 to complete support of the rim joist box 2 at a selected horizontally level height from the ground 22 as illustrated in FIG. 6. It will be appreciated by those skilled in the art that the selected height of the rim joist box 2 above the ground 22 is facilitated by operation of the two jacks 13 in concert, as heretofore described.

Referring now to FIGS. 6-8 of the drawings, when the horizontally leveled rim joist box 2 is elevated to the desired height above the ground 22 and is screwed or nailed in place on the respective vertical front corner posts 6 and the vertical rear corner posts 9, a vertically-leveled side middle post 8 (FIG. 7) is located adjacent to the one of the side boards 3 opposite a set of steps to be added and is mounted on a foundation block 12 and attached to the side board 3 using screws or nails (not illustrated). Furthermore, as illustrated in FIG. 8 of the drawings, a vertically-leveled front middle post 7 is extended approximately halfway between the front corner posts 6 illustrated in FIG. 6 and is seated on a foundation block 12 and extended vertically upwardly to contact the front board 4, where it is either nailed or screwed to the front board 4. A vertically-leveled center support 23 is then extended from one side of the front middle post 7 rearwardly, approximately perpendicular to and beneath the front board 4 and is the nailed or screwed in place on the front middle post 7, as further illustrated in FIG. 8.

Referring now to FIGS. 9 and 10 of the drawings, a pair of vertically-oriented and vertically leveled side middle posts 8 are spaced-apart on the opposite side of the side boards 3 from the single side middle post 8 illustrated in FIG. 7, to define a step location, as hereinafter described. Each of the side middle posts 8 are spaced-apart to accommodate the steps (not illustrated) and are mounted on foundation blocks 12 and extend vertically, where they are leveled, typically with a level 20, for contact with the inside of the side boards 3 and are nailed or screwed in place. Another center support 23 is nailed or screwed to the opposite side of the front middle post 7 and the two parallel center supports 23 extend rearwardly for attachment to a vertical rear middle post 10, that projects upwardly from a foundation block 12 against the structure wall 45 of the structure 44, as illustrated in FIG. 9. Accordingly, when the three side middle posts 8 are in place on the respective side boards 3 and the center supports 23 are extended between the front middle post 7 and the rear middle post 10, a center support post 24 is extended vertically upwardly from a foundation block 12 between the respective center supports 23 and is leveled, nailed or screwed in place on the center supports 23, as illustrated in FIG. 10.

Referring to FIG. 11 of the drawings, when the rim joist box 2 assembly is structured as illustrated in FIG. 10, multiple, spaced-apart joists 26 are cut to fit side-to-side between the respective parallel side boards 3 and are arranged therebetween, on top of the parallel center supports 23, where they are secured by nails or screws, as illustrated. The joists 26 are spaced-apart to a desired spacing and are nailed or screwed in place on the side boards 3 and are typically toe-nailed or screwed in place on the center supports 23, as desired.

As illustrated in FIGS. 12-15 of the drawings multiple decking boards 28 are cut to fit on the front board 4 and extend front-to-rear, edge-to-edge, tags out and crown down adjacent to each other on the joists 26 as illustrated in FIGS. 13-15. The first one of the decking boards 28 is cut to define a pair of post openings 29 in each end thereof, as illustrated in FIGS. 12 and 13, for fitting over the corresponding front corner post 6 and rear corner post 9, as further illustrated in FIG. 13 of the drawings. Nails are then typically driven in the decking boards 28 in alignment with the underlying joists 26 and nails or screws are driven through the decking boards 28, into the joists 26. The decking boards 28 are thusly secured edge-to-edge on the joists 26 and on the front board 4 and back board 5 in successive adjacent relationship to the notched decking board 28 and the rim joist box assembly defines the deck 1, as illustrated in FIG. 15 of the drawings. The decking boards 28 are nailed or screwed in place, both on the joists 26 and on the front board 4 and back board 5, as desired. The last one of the decking boards 28 to be placed on the joists 26 and the front board 4 and the back board 5 is notched at the post notches 30 as illustrated in FIG. 20, to fit against the respective front corner post 6 and rear corner post 9 and the notched decking board 28 is nailed or screwed in place, as desired.

Referring to FIGS. 16-22 of the drawings, a set of steps 35 is constructed by arranging a pair of side stringers 36 in spaced-apart, parallel relationship with respect to each other with a middle stringer 39 extending therebetween, also parallel to the side stringers 36. Step boards 38 are then measured to a predetermined desired distance between the side stringers 36 and are nailed or screwed in place on the side stringers 36 and middle stringer 39, as further illustrated in FIG. 16. Furthermore, after the steps 35 are positioned on the deck 1 as illustrated in FIGS. 17 and 18, side stringer spacers 37 are also nailed or screwed in place on the side stringers 36 and the middle stringer 39, as further illustrated in FIG. 18. As further illustrated in FIG. 17, the steps 35 are positioned against the corresponding side board 3 which accommodates the two spaced-apart, parallel side middle posts 8 and the steps 35 and are leveled, typically using a level 30 as illustrated in FIGS. 2 and 3 and are then nailed or screwed in place to the side board 33. The side stringer spacers 37 are then nailed or screwed in place as illustrated in FIG. 18, to complete the steps 35. As illustrated in FIG. 19, a pair of spaced-apart, upward-standing hand rail supports 41 are attached to the bottom of the steps 35 and extend upwardly, where they are vertically leveled, typically by the level 20, for receiving a pair of parallel hand rails 40, as illustrated in FIG. 21 of the drawings. The hand rails 40 are typically screwed or nailed in place on the side middle posts 8 and the hand rail supports 41. The front rail 32 and side rails 33 are then nailed or screwed in place on the corresponding front corner posts 6 and rear corner posts 9, respectively, as further illustrated in FIG. 21 of the drawings. Furthermore, in a preferred embodiment, rail caps 34 are provided on the corresponding front rail 32 and side rails 33, where they are either nailed or screwed in place, as desired. Rail caps 34 may also be provided on each of the hand rails 40, as illustrated in FIG. 22 of the drawings, as desired.

Referring now to FIGS. 23-25 of the drawings, balusters 42 are spaced-apart, typically using a baluster spacer 50 and are nailed or screwed in spaced-apart, upward-standing, vertical relationship between the rail caps 34 and the front board 4, side boards 3 and the steps 35, as illustrated in FIGS. 23 and 24 of the drawings. Proper spacing and positioning of each baluster 42 is effected by hanging the top plate 51 of the baluster spacer 50 over the front rail 32 and side rails 33, respectively, and engaging the top spacer plate 53 and the bottom spacer plate 54, provided on the spanner 52, against the respective balusters 42, as illustrated in FIG. 25 of the drawings. Application of the parallel, spaced-apart balusters 42 completes the construction of the deck 1.

It will be appreciated by those skilled in the art that construction of the deck 1 of this invention can be effected using either screws or nails or both, as described above, depending upon the desires of the owner and/or manufacturer. Staples may also be used in some applications. Furthermore, the type of lumber used may vary, although it is preferred to use a treated material, such as treated pine wood, to resist weathering and rotting. Furthermore, the deck can either be maintained in its natural state as built or it may be painted or finished with a waterproofing material, according to the knowledge of those skilled in the art.

It will be further appreciated by those skilled in the art that a first key step in constructing the deck of this invention is the use of the oppositely-disposed, spaced-apart jacks 13, for initially leveling the rim joist box 2 as heretofore described, to insure that the rim joist box 2 assembly is located a desired distance above the ground and is level with respect to the ground. This expedient eliminates the necessity of conventionally leveling each of the respective foundation blocks 12 illustrated in the drawings, in order to maintain the rim joist box 2 assembly in a level condition. A second key step is use of the baluster spacer 50, which eliminates the necessity for vertically leveling the individual balusters 42. A third key step is using the center supports 23 to pull the front board 4 straight when the center supports 23 are fitted to the rim joist box 2.

While the preferred embodiments of the invention have been described above, it will be recognized and understood that various modifications may be made in the invention and the appended claims are intended to cover all such modifications which may fall within the spirit and scope of the invention.