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Deck Material And Design Part 2

by The Handyguys

in Audio Only Podcasts, Decks

This western red cedar pergola makes a nice addition to an existing deckIn this episode of The Handyguys Podcast the Handyguys Brian & Paul continue their interview with Paul Mackie from The Western Red Cedar Lumber Association.

This part of the interview contains discussion of:

  • Can a handyguy build his own deck.
  • Exotics versus cedar versus synthetics
  • Quality of cedar in various markets

Tips and considerations for a DIYer when building a deck

  • board spacing
  • corrosion resistant fasteners
  • hidden fasteners
A great looking cedar deck

Thanks to Western Red Cedar Lumber Association for this picture of a great looking deck. Click for full size.

What are some of the skills needed to build a deck? The Handyguys, Brian & Paul, discuss what it takes. The conclusion – if you are handy you could build a deck and save some money in the process. If you are building a second floor deck or if you deck is high you may want to consider having someone do the framing. Height ads complexity plus safety may be a concern. Listen to the Podcast for the full discussion.

The Handyguys wrap up the discussion talking about comprehensive landscape design. You may want to consider hiring a landscape designer to help you come up with a complete plan including hardscape, plants, shrubs and lighting.

Thanks to Mr. Cedar, Paul Mackie, of the Western Red Cedar Lumber Association for a great interview.

Brian & Paul continue to discuss the tools after Mr. Cedar signs off. There is a minimum compliment of tools you will need. The Handyguys like their tools and discuss some upgrades that would make building a deck easier. The table below shows the minimum tool and a possible upgrade. You can click each picture for a full description and purchase option for each tool.

Deck Building Tools

Possible Required Tool An upgrade to the required tool
Post Hole Digger Post Hole Digger Gas Auger
Plumb & Level Level Laser Level
Saw Circular Saw Compound Miter Saw
Hammer Hammer Estwing Framing Hammer
Driver Corded Drill/Driver Impact Driver
A Nice Deck

Thanks to Timbertech for the image

Click for full size

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Jess March 20, 2009 at 4:18 pm

The photo from Western Red Cedar Lumber Association is gorgeous. Too big of a job for this handy man but a great inspiration anyway. My deck project was just re-staining a current deck so not nearly as involved. But I like to see what other people are doing. There are lots of great photos on the net like at and Good advice too.


The Handyguys March 20, 2009 at 4:54 pm

Yea, I like that one too. My wife hasn’t seen it yet. Its similar to what she will want! Thanks for the comments.


Ryan March 27, 2009 at 8:12 am

I wish I had the space in My yard for a big deck like that. I love being outdoors and there is no better way to enjoy that. Then by relaxing on your deck


Anne H July 5, 2011 at 3:20 pm

I am looking to make the shades that you have in the above picture. Do you have directions?
Thank you


The Handyguys July 5, 2011 at 3:39 pm

Anne – Those shade were made by a company called Shadetree. They also designed the pergola which I then built. There is noting too fancy about the sewing of the canopy I would guess but their track system is pretty sophisticated. Their shade fabric is pretty heavy duty. Check out


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