Framing Corners and Curves

Learn how to modify framing to accommodate wraparound decks, inside corners, and curved designs.

Framing Corners and Curves

Many alterations in the design of a basic deck can't be accomplished without modifying the framing. For example, you can visualize a wraparound deck as two decks with common framing, but each side will require its own ledger. Curves will add style to a deck, but will need joists cut in a contour.

Prestart Checklist

Time
Three to four hours, depending on the special circumstance

Tools
Framing hammer, measuring tape, framing square, speed square, cordless drill, circular saw, carpenter's level, chalk line

Skills
Measuring, cutting, fastening

Prep
Varies with circumstances

Materials
Varies with circumstances

Wraparound

A wraparound deck needs support along two sides of the house, and that means two ledgers. Lay out both sides of the deck as single units and install the ledgers. Put the ledgers on different planes for a step-down design.

Inside corner

Most decks on the inside corners of a house will need two ledgers. But before you lay out the site, check the corner for square. If the house is badly out of square, install one ledger, but treat the other as a rim joist -- which will require posts and footings set close to the house.

Curve: Step 1

Lay out the site and set posts, beams, and joists, keeping them at the proper spacing with a 1x4 tacked to their top edges. Make a framing scribe, fasten it in place, and mark the outline of the curve on each joist. Duplicate the angle of the scribe where it intersects each joist.

Curve: Step 2

Using a speed square, transfer both ends of the angled marks to the sides of each joist. Cut the angled end with a reciprocating saw, making sure the blade does not wander away from either line.

Curve: Step 3

Measure the circumference of the arc and either cut benderboard or 1x stock to fit. Saw kerfs in 1x stock every 3/8 to 1/2 inch so the board will bend around the curve. Fasten the benderboard or kerfed stock to the ends of the joists, adding perpendicular blocking where necessary.


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