Plan views and elevations

Draw a plan view from an overhead point of view. This important drawing must show all the joists, beams, posts, and stair framing. A plan view may also include a partial view of the decking, railing, and any other structures that are attached to the deck.

Even though the drawing is to scale, be sure to include all dimensions, including overall length and width, how far apart the joists and beams are, and specific lengths of perimeter pieces. Show the locations and sizes of the house's windows and doors. Include a materials list that states the number and size of all framing members as well as all hardware pieces.

Elevation

An elevation emphasizes vertical elements: footings, posts, railings, and any built-in planters, benches, or overhead structures.

Produce one or two side views. Each elevation should show the size of the footings and the dimensions for the railing. Railing dimensions are particularly important. Indicate the height of the railing as well as how much space will be between balusters. Give the dimensions for all the railing pieces and describe how they will be attached.

Include information about fasteners. Indicate the size and number of screws or bolts used to attach the ledger, beams, and railing posts. If you will use special hardware, describe it in detail.

Construction details

A separate detail drawing makes things clear. Use construction drawings to show framing for a change in deck levels, the method of attaching a ledger, or an unusual stairway. Show any element of the plan that isn't clear on the plan or elevation views. Your building department may want detail drawings for the railing or for any permanent benches, planters, or overhead structures.

Drawing an Elevation
Step 1

Start with a minimum indication of the deck location -- here the back edge of the house. Use your ruler and graph paper to put in the footings, spaced to scale, then draw the posts and beams to the properly scaled dimensions.

Step 2

Add the joists next, again keeping them to scale. Where a framing member covers the view of the joists, as the header does here, use a cutaway view so you can see all the parts. Label the structural members with the proper size.

Step 3

Draw in the railing elements and label their parts also. To the degree the graph paper will permit, render the balusters with the proper scaled spacing. Add the stairs last and show the details of the supports you will use.

 

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