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Labor-saving deck-building strategy

The temporary beam support shown in the drawing reduced our cost by a day of labor. For contractors these days, this is a big deal, especially on a small job like this one. Here’s how it worked.

A typical deck project begins by digging the holes for the footings, getting them inspected, then placing the concrete. We tweaked this sequence by putting the forms in place on day one and by continuing with our framing by supporting the beam with the temporary braces shown in the drawing. The posts are measured and cut to fit, and are hung from the beam with the base and cap hardware already attached.

Using this method, we framed the entire 12-ft.-sq. deck on day one. On day two, we got our footing inspection, poured the concrete piers with quick-set concrete, and installed the decking and railing. We were done in two long days