Draw a plan for your deck
Elements of an elevation (side or front) view
A front or side elevation illustrates the vertical arrangement of deck elements footings, posts, railings, and any built-in planters, benches, or overhead structures. Each elevation should show the depth of the footings and spans, plus post and railing dimensions. Railing dimensions should indicate the height of the railing as well as baluster spacing.
Tip: computer-assisted planning
Design your deck with computer-assisted drafting (CAD) software. Most CAD versions will produce a plan view, an elevation, and a perspective. Many also will produce a list of lumber and other materials.
If you're not confident of your computer skills, ask your home center staff for help. Many retail outlets offer computer planning programs and have staff members who know how to use them. Bring in a rough drawing with dimensions (height, width, and length) and have the computer draw your plans.
Got a question on design or woodworking software? Go to: woodmagazine.com/software
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