Below is the Summerblue Arts Camp stage in 2017, sixteen years later. We started by locating the front of the stage, picking one corner as the "home base" from which ALL other measurements are taken. Placed at the corners of your layout, batterboards support the layout strings and allow you to easily make adjustments by simply moving the strings. Before beginning any excavation, call 811 to check for underground utilities. This is accomplished by setting batter boards a few feet outside the foundation corners and attaching strings to the top of them that will run along the outer edge of the foundation. A batter board is a simple structure with stakes driven vertically into the ground with a horizontal board across them. Watch out: the batter boards have to be large enough or long enough that when set back 3-4 ft. from the actual dimensions of the structure your string lines, laid across the tops of the batter boards, can be placed directly over the intended outer edge of the finished structure. Here we're laying out a new structure on open ground. This was basically a large free-standing deck. You can see the soil was dense clay so digging was out of the question. Portions of this article discussing how to build, install, and use batter boards and string to layout a foundation, structure, or deck were adapted and expanded from: Continue reading at DECK LAYOUT or select a topic from the closely-related articles below, or see the complete ARTICLE INDEX. Click to Show or Hide Citations & References, How to Lay Out a Deck, Foundation or Other Structure, ARTICLE INDEX to BUILDING DECKS & PORCHES, Prescriptive Residential Wood Deck Construction Guide, HOME INSPECTION EDUCATION COURESES (Canada), HOME INSPECTION EDUCATION: HOME STUDY COURSES. Drop a plumb bob from the correct locations along the string line, always measuring from the same home base point, and then have your helper drive a small stake into the ground.Â. Make sure the string is taut and passes directly over the guide pegs. Watch out: take care to make all layout measurements from a single common point. The first batter board stake is located directly in line with the building line diagonal. Those details are at FOUNDATION DAMAGE by ICE LENSING. We discuss this deck post installation job at DECK POST CONSTRUCTION. Screws are preferred to nails for attaching the boards to the stakes and for the strings as they are easier to remove for adjustments. This is accomplished by setting batter boards a few feet outside the foundation corners and attaching strings to the top of them that will run along the outer edge of the foundation. Assuming that we want a rectangle and not an odd shape, after securing the front and right side string lines to our home base batter boards (the front right batter-boards in our sketch), we adjust the string positions on the remaining three batter boards until the string corners are. In the photo above I'm the carpenter standing, pointing to his right, back to camera, giving instructions that are being pointedly-ignored by everyone else in the work crew. Whichever wall you choose will not be adjusted after it’s set–so choose wisely. Then nails driven into the top edge of the batter boards, and some string, let us set the exact locations of the perimeter and of the posts. This is a fussy process so you will need to check and adjust board heights, distances between string intersections and squareness of the string lines. Below: once our posts were set in approximate location and rough-trimmed to a few inches above their anticipated finish-height (to allow space for accurate cutting to level the structure), each post was held in exact position both from the corner as well as plumb. If your project is a square or rectangle, make sure the measurements between the corners are accurate and match your project plan. Some builders hang the strings over the batter boards with weights to make adjustment easy. The procedure uses little more than stakes, boards, string, a carpenter's level, and a measuring tape, and ok, and maybe a mallet or sledge or hammer to drive stakes and to tap in a couple of nails. Next do the same for the wall opposite the reference wall measuring the distance at both ends of the string. Finally check if the strings are square by measuring both diagonals (the distance between opposite corners) which should be the same as one another. Start with setting the approximate deck location (sketch below) , paying careful attention to the front edge or to whichever side of the structure has a most-critical location, such as back from a property line or parallel to a building (or attached to it in which case your work will be simpler. Here we'll give details of how to use this easy method to lay out a foundation, footing, deck, or just about any structure properly located, level, and square on the site. Set the general location for your deck - or see, Made a rough and then as needed, a more-refined drawing of the end-product: deck, building, or whatever it is you're going to build - or see, [2] Decks and Porches, the JLC Guide to, Best Practices for Outdoor Spaces, Steve Bliss (Editor), The Journal of Light Construction, Williston VT, 2010 ISBN 10: 1-928580-42-4, ISBN 13: 978-1-928580-42-3, available from

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