Design Help
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Sheridan, Leland, La Moille, Walnut, Cherry, Sublette, Amboy, Wilmington and the entire Illinois Valley area.

An established builder, a $400,000 house, and incorrect flashing leads to a damaged rim joist
and extensive damage. I was called to replace the patio door which worked hard.  This is a sign
that the sill had rotted out.  The sub-floor had mold.  All in less than 10 years.  
Never rely on caulk as the primary flashing!

(Notice also the trim is cut to take in water)        

Are you a contractor or homeowner wanting to build yourself?
Then read this article:
Different levels add interest but you must have
sufficient area to pull this off.
Notice that as the house gets taller the deck drops down for
the greatest effect.

A trip to the
Deck Yard in St. Charles would be fun and
inspiring before you start your project.  Ask about us there.

Other design help is available at
 fine homebuilding
36" is the standard height.  Some communities require
42" if the deck is high.  If you have less than 18" deck you  
will be served to have a lower height rail instead.
The railing will make or break your deck so be creative.  
We started making copper rails in 1995 and several
examples can being on how to stop the process and
protect  the coating from coming off.  Metal ones at
Other tube types can be found at deckorators

This is a pretty cool tool:
Deck visualizer

Trex Design here

Timbertech  has a nice web site with design help


acceptable practices.

Building codes

Every deck could use some lights.  A deck is a large investment
and to get the proper return on it you'll want to use it after dark.
will not last and then you'll have that nice hole.  
My favorite are High Point Deck Lighting
Prices on High Point can be viewed at
McFeelys .
Lights can be seen at

For design help with
fiber cement siding,
kitchens, baths,
and other work,
just call for an appointment
By having everything at our fingertips and loads of experience we can
build your deck better and faster than anyone.  
We try to be creative and give you something we both can be proud of.
It helps that we love what we do.
A story.
Dan the handyman has the wood delivered.  He gets to work.  Looks like the project is sailing.  Then the inspector shows up.
No problem the homeowner goes down and pays the fee.  Forever his deck marked as being not approved.  
The lumber yard serves notice of a lien against the house.  Seems like Dan didn't pay HIS bill, the homeowner is mad at the lumber yard because he paid Dan
and now the homeowner is getting sued.  The lumber yard gets their lien since the products were delivered and the homeowner pays again for his deck.
Dan's tailgate is up and so is his warranty.

Or worse yet, Dan didn't get it secured to the house correctly.  
Buy American Made
Made in America

Located near Seneca, Il
Decks need to be 14' x 14' minimum in size if at all possible.  
instance.  Besides a joist can span 12'6" on 16" centers and
have kept data on hundreds of decks and do not bid per
square foot but on a system called the complexity of design.
(I will gladly share this method with other builders.)
It takes nearly the same time to install a 14' joist as it does to
install a 10' joist.