Wood decks and porches are a special feature of many new houses and a useful addition to others. These features are natural extensions of a raised floor’s elevated platform. Decks and porches provide more living and recreational space, making them valuable amenities in the design of a new home or remodeling project.

Use of pressure-treated lumber makes these outdoor structures as permanent as the house itself. Supporting joists, posts, porch flooring, and decking lumber must be properly grademarked and identified as pressure-treated wood by quality-control agencies. See Figure 6 and Figure 7 for wood deck and porch framing details, respectively.

A deck is the floor of an outdoor living room. Treated Southern Pine resists decay and termite attack even in the most severe exposures. The porch has become an icon of American architecture.

More details on decks, porches, and other outdoor amenities are found in Southern Pine Decks and Porches available from the Southern Forest Products Association. Also refer to the Prescriptive Residential Wood Deck Construction Guide available from the American Wood Council at www.awc.org.