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Anatomy of a deck - Deck Terms and Descriptions



Footings - The foundation that supports the deck. The footings are usually made of concrete and extend below the frost line.  


Post - Vertical lumber that rests on the footing and supports the girder and deck.


Post base - Metal brackets to securely fastens the bottom of the post to the footings.


Girder - A lateral support beam the floor joist rests on.  The girder spans the support post which rests on the footings.


Joist - The lumber that makes up the substructure of the floor. The joist rests on the girder and the deck boards are attached to the joist.


Ledger Board - The board which is attached to the house and the joist ends connect to.  Usually it supports a side of the deck.


Arbors - A structure that can be used for hanging plants or vines.


Flashing - A material (usually metal) that is attached to the house and behind the ledger board.  Flashing prevents water from entering the house.


Bridging - Blocking that is used between joists as added support to prevent the joist from shifting and twisting.


Fascia - A board that is attached to the front and sides of the deck.  A fascia covers the rim joist and sometimes the ends of the deck boards.


Riser - The vertical rise that 's between steps of a staircase.

Tread - The surface board of a step or stairs that is stepped on.


Stringer - The support frame of  stairs where the risers and treads attached to.


Trellis - An overhead wood structure that is usually constructed for a decorative look as well as a sun and wind screen.


Decking - The floor boards of a deck.  The decking or deck boards attach directly to the floor joist.


Hangers - Metal brackets used to support and secure the joist ends to the ledger board.


Lattice - An openwork structure of cross strips used as a screen.


Skirt - The section that hangs below the deck and covers the underneath.


Spindles - Sometimes called balusters.  They are the vertical parts of a railing between the post.


Rails - Rails are the top or bottom horizontal members that the spindles  are attached to.  The rails span between the posts of the railing.


Post tops - A decorative top that can be added to a railing post.


Railing post - Vertical members that are used to support the railing.


Awning - An overhead covering to provide shade and protection from the weather.