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How to Build a Deck Safely

Oct 9, 2007
During the construction of a deck it is never possible to overerstate the importance of using the safest possible construction methods. The suggestions that follow are work procedures and tool safety reminders that apply not only to deck building but also home projects in general.

Of course none of them are substitutes for your own common sense.

1. Always use care, caution and good judgment when working at any phase of building a deck, especially above ground level. Ladders and scaffolding systems are readily available at home improvement retail outlets and building equipment rental businesses.

2. Always ensure that the electrical setup is safe. Make sure that no circuit is overloaded. See that all power tools and outlets are properly grounded and avoid the use of power tools in wet locations. Make a point of using an electrical power bar, especially when using extension cords. Use outdoor type extension cords that are specifically sized to handle the types of power tools to be used in the construction of a deck.

3. Always read the instructions for using a new power tool that you have no previous experience with, especially rental ones. Heed the warnings listed. Ask for a demonstration at the rental facility to ensure that it is working and that you are aware of the method for its proper use. Wear any safety gear such as gloves or eyewear that is required.

4. Always pay deliberate attention to how a tool functions to avoid any chance of injury. Know the limitations of the tool and avoid trying to force it to do something that it was not designed to do.

5. Always ensure that any adjustment mechanism on a power tool is locked before the start of work. This is especially important when working with portable circular saws, and table saws. Make sure that blades are properly fixed in place and tightened with such tools as jigsaws and reciprocating saws.

6. Always wear eye protection when using power tools or striking concrete or metal on metal as a chip or piece can fly off injuring an eye.

7. Always keep fingers or hands away from the business ends of saw blades, cutters and drill bits. Ensure that the blade guards especially are functioning properly on circular saws and table saws.

8. Always use the auxiliary handle with a drill in order to control the torque when larger drill bits are used. This is very important when using a hammer drill to bore into concrete.

9. Always change a saw blade, drill bit or router bit when the power tool is unplugged to avoid an accident that could be prevented by the use of good judgment.

10.Always cut tiny pieces of wood or metal off larger pieces that are securely clamped or fastened to a work surface that is stable.

11.Always wear a disposable face mask when creating dust by sawing or sanding to avoid inhaling small particles that could become a health issue.

12.Always hold a circular saw firmly with one hand on the trigger handle and the other hand on the secondary support handle. Avoid placing a hand in the path of any saw blade.

13.Always work in lighting that is sufficient to allow you to perform the task properly. Move the materials and tools if necessary to another area so that it is possible to work safely.

14.Carry sharp or pointed tools such as awls, chisel and box cutters in a tool belt with leather pockets and holders rather than in your pockets.

15.Always check with local building codes when planning your project and follow them to the letter when working since they are intended to protect your safety.

Taking the time to exercise good judgment and use safe work procedures will ensure that you spend your time on your newly finished deck rather than in the emergency ward of your local hospital.

Be smart and work safe!
About the Author
Richard Vande Sompel is a professional deck builder of 35 years and over 850
decks built and is the author of "How to Plan, Design and Build a Deck from
Start to Finish". To Discover More About
Deck Building Safety and Claim your 2
FREE Deck Plans, Insider Report, MP3 Audio and discover everything to know about
building a deck visit:
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