Deck Framing: How to Determine Deck Framing Lumber Sizes

Deck Framing: How to Determine Deck Framing Lumber Sizes

Are you building a deck? If you have ever gone through any wooden projects, then you will have an idea about lumbers.

It is essential to use the right lumber size for creating anything from wooden pieces. This is considered to be the balancing act for designing your favorite piece like a deck.

Everyone enjoys sitting on the deck on a beautiful summer day. If you are one of them, then you can also add a deck to entertain guests outside the house.

You just unwind and relax on your deck piece and enjoy your whole day. It is very important for you that the deck you choose not only please you aesthetically but also help to relax your body.

You can choose the deck that sounds good structurally and can easily be placed outdoors. A wooden deck will consider nothing more than the floorings with wooden boards. You can easily be laid over on these amazing boards and relax your body.

It consists of ledger and decking to support the boards. Determining deck framing lumber sizes is still a difficult task for some of you. But don’t worry. In this article, we will discuss how you can easily determine the deck framing lumber sizes. But, first, let us discuss the types of lumber that you should use in deck framing.

Types of Lumber that you should buy for your deck

Choosing good lumber for your deck is a very important task to make it look better. The right lumber will help your deck in work long-lasting way. So, here are some of the points you should keep in mind while choosing the lumber for your deck.

Pressure-treated lumber

If you want to buy lumber for your deck, then you should buy Pressure-treated lumbers for the structural part of the deck like joists, beams, and much more.

This lumber is made up of redwood and can support more weight and Pressure. The best part of buying these lumbers for your deck is that they are affordable as they are less expensive. They provide better protection against any insect or fungi. You can make the use of these lumbers to build deck for your exteriors.

More durable Lumbers

You can make the use of cedarwood to get more durable lumbers. These types of lumbers are crucial for you if you are living in humid areas. They resist humidity, insect infestation as well as closely match to the atmosphere. These wood also lumbers less expensive and cut your maintenance cost.

Yellow pine Lumbers

To treat Pressure on the wood, it is very necessary to make the use of strong lumbers. Therefore, you can make the use of yellow pine lumbers as they are durable as well as handle high Pressure. It provides great strength as well as it is affordable in price. You can make the use of this wood to build a wooden deck that lasts for long.

So, now you get an idea of what type of lumbers you can use to strengthen your deck. Once you choose the lumbers, we will tell you where you can use these lumbers.

Where can you use these types of Lumbers?

While building a deck, there are many places you can make the use of lumbers. They are discussed below:

Lumbers can be used in Framing:

You can make the use of high Pressure bearable lumbers for the framing structure of the deck. This pressure bearing lumbers the first choice for those who are looking to build deck framing.

You can make the use of lumbers for post making and framing within 6 inches deep on the soil. It is the fact that some pressure treated pieces are less porous. So, in this case, they incised before being treated. The incised points will be visible. In order to make it less visible, place them where they are not noticeable.

Decking and Railings in decks:

These two are considered to be the most visible parts of your deck you are creating. In order to build them, make sure that you use the best lumbers that you can afford and can treat Pressure.

You can make the use of redwood, cypress, and cedar, or any other exotic species to build them. Most of the decks are made up of woods like Sapwood. This type of wood is rot resistant and keeps the insects away. If you make the use of cedarwood, then make sure you put the smooth side of the wood at the top while the rough side comes at the bottom of the wood.

Embedded in Grades:

Most of the Lumbers is embedded in the content of the grade, which describes the prevalence of knots. We can also determine their overall appearance and strength of this lumber.

Therefore, you should make the use of the best strength and giving lumbers when it comes to structural members. Choose the best-graded lumber for decking and railings. As these are a bit expensive, therefore you should go with those which will suit your budget.

These are some of the areas where you can use Lumbers in the deck. Now, we will get into the precautions you should take for Pressure-treated lumbers.

Precautions for Pressure-treated lumber

Some researches have shown that chromate copper arsenate is widely used for pressure-treated lumbers as the arsenic compounds have potential health hazards.

So, the use of such wood for the home exteriors has been halted. If the lumber will be treated with other chemicals, then it would not be considered hazardous. These chemicals can be ammoniacal copper quaternary that are not treated as hazardous. So, you should take precautions, no matter what type of wood you are using in lumbers. Some precautions are:

  • Wear protective clothing like gloves
  • Wear masks
  • Don’t forget to wear protective glasses
  • Dispose of the remaining scraps
  • Do not burn remaining waste
  • Keep the children out while working in the area
  • Ask proper disposal methods from your environmental agency

These are some of the precautions you can take while using pressure-treated lumbers. Now, let us discuss the Lumber sizes you should use during deck framing.

Lumber sizes you should use in deck framing

After cutting the lumber, it will be kept for drying, planning, and smoothing. This whole process reduces the thickness of the lumber, and the nominal size would be determined before this process.

The actual size is a bit thinner than the nominal size in terms of width and thickness. If the nominal size of lumber is 2×4, that will be 2 inches by 4 inches, then the actual size obtained is 1-1/2 inches by 3-1/2 inches.

The Lumbers can vary to ¼ inches in width and thickness if it is taken from the same stack. You should keep in mind that the posts that are bit longer than 4×4 inches are prone to twist or cracks. Therefore, you should consider switching 2xs instead.

When you know the complete size of the deck, then you can easily determine the size of the lumber be used.

For this, you need to follow these steps:

  • Determine the full width of the decking, and to do this, you can take the help of a builder or architect. They will help you to record the width of ledge and length of joists.
  • Once you determine the length and width of the deck, you need to determine the distance by which the upcoming boarding will overlap the edges of the deck frame. Mostly the distance is over one inch but, it would depend on the area you want to cover for framing. You can consult plans with an architect.
  • After that, to get the proper size, you need to deduct twice overhang from the finished width of the decking. The outcome will be the external width of the decking frame. You can also determine the overhang along the front edge to the farthest edge.
  • Once you are done with the overhang, then you need to deduct the front edge dimensions from the finished length of the decking. This would let you know the length of the frame.

Once you determine the frame length, then you can easily build lumber for your deck frame.


In this article, we have discussed various types of lumbers you can use for deck framing. We have also discussed the steps you can determine the size of lumbers to be used in your deck frame. We will suggest you make the use of those lumbers that will provide you support and strength your posts.

That lumber, which can easily bear high Pressure, is the best one for the deck. You will easily get an idea of what type and size of lumbers you can use for deck framing. We hope that you will get enough information from this article, and now you will easily be able to choose lumber for your deck frame. Go and try this because it is a no more hard process.

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