Draw a plan for your deck
Make detailed plans
With detailed plans that show every framing member, you can count the pieces of lumber you need. You also can show obstacles such as dryer vents; plans will help you work around them. Detailed plans can also save you money. For example, because lumber is sold in even lengths, you can keep costs down by making deck dimensions correspond to those lengths. If your detailed plan specifies a 12 1/2' ledger and you can reduce the size to 12', you'll avoid cutting a 14' board and wasting a lot of lumber.
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