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How do I view the different layers on the deck design?

How do I enlarge or reduce the size of a deck design?

Can I see a joist layout view of a deck design?

Why does the application automatically place a beam at 8’ parallel to the house?

The application automatically places posts in the deck design separated at specific distances. Why can't these posts be moved?

When designing a deck with stairs, at what point does the application automatically add a landing?

When I attempt to modify the steps I do not seem to have the ability to modify stringer options, what can I do?

When designing a deck I do not seem to have the ability include a Sonotube (cardboard tube used to hold cement) what can I do?

I am unable to join stairs from upper deck to main deck when the upper deck and a main deck that is 4 feet apart, what can I do?

I am unable to add an "angle" in the deck design, what can I do?

What are the steps to create a deck design with a semicircular curve? It seems that the application only seems to work in linear shapes.

I cannot seem to change unit rise on stairs in a deck design. The option to change the rise or run for the stairs is greyed out, what can I do?

The application seems to be incorrectly splitting a beam when I attempt to add a notch with stairs, why does this happen?

I would like to combine two non-elevated decks. Will the application allowed this and if so what are the steps?

How do I create a multi-level deck?

How do I use the beam on top of joist construction option?

Can I add ramps or a roof to my deck design?

How can I change the height of a deck?

How can I change deck materials?


How do I view the different layers on the deck design?

To view each layer of the deck design, click on the 3D view tab, and then click on the Layer button.

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How do I enlarge or reduce the size of a deck design?

While in the Plan View, click on the blue arrow (also known as a Grip) on the side of the deck you want to enlarge or reduce, and then drag it to the new position. Release the mouse button when the deck reaches the new size you want.

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Can I see a joist layout view of a deck design?

Yes, however dimensions are not displayed on the joist layout view. Only the beams and joist overhang are displayed.

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Why does the application automatically place a beam at 8’ parallel to the house?

The application automatically adds the beam to handle load.

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The application automatically places posts in the deck design separated at specific distances. Why can't these posts be moved?

Allowing changes to where posts are placed could affect the structural integrity of the design.

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When designing a deck with stairs, at what point does the application automatically add a landing?

The application will automatically add a landing to the stairs when the deck reaches a height of 104" or greater.

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When I attempt to modify the steps I do not seem to have the ability to modify stringer options, what can I do?

For Precut Stringers, select precut stringers and the application will choose between the 3, 4 or 5 step stringer based on the height of your deck. If you increase the height of the deck, the 5 step stringer will bid. If you decrease the height of the deck, the 3 or 4 step stringer will bid.

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When designing a deck I do not seem to have the ability include a Sonotube (cardboard tube used to hold cement) what can I do?

Sonotubes are only meant to be bid for certain types of footings. Double click the deck and select the Footings tab. Then select either Pier In-Ground Footing or Pier Block and In-Ground Footing. Both of these selections will bid a Sonotube on the Bill of Materials.

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I am unable to join stairs from upper deck to main deck when the upper deck and a main deck that is 4 feet apart, what can I do?

This is an engineering safety feature that ensures the stairs can attach safely to the other deck. You can try changing the size of the deck so the decks are closer together, then placing the stair, and then decreasing the size of the deck. This will allow you to get the maximum distance between the decks while safely adding the stairs. It might not be possible for safety reasons to get the exact distance apart that you require.

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I am unable to add an "angle" in the deck design, what can I do?

Verify that you are not attempting to add an angle in a space that is too small for the angle's dimensions. In some cases, you might want to increase the deck size, add the angle, and then decrease the deck size to position the angle exactly as you want.

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What are the steps to create a deck design with a semicircular curve? It seems that the application only seems to work in linear shapes.

Currently there is no "true" way to create a rounded deck edge. You can try using the Freeform deck, and create line segments that simulate a rounded edge.

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I cannot seem to change unit rise on stairs in a deck design. The option to change the rise or run for the stairs is greyed out, what can I do?

The Unit Rise and Unit Run are non-modifiable, as the deck height determines Unit Run.

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The application seems to be incorrectly splitting a beam when I attempt to add a notch with stairs, why does this happen?

The application is working as intended. The beam is being split in this instance because of the addition of the notch. You do have the ability to adjust the joist overhang; however, the joist overhang that is selected is uniform and continuous.

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I would like to combine two non-elevated decks. Will the application allowed this and if so what are the steps?

 The application does not allow you to combine multiple decks into one new deck. 

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How do I create a multi-level deck?

Method One

  • First, position two separate decks in Plan View so that they are touching. Next, change the height on one of the decks to create a six-inch height difference between the two decks. The difference in deck height is your step.
  • If you want to create a multi-level deck with more than a six inch difference in height, see method two.

Method Two

  • Move your two decks in Plan View so that they are close together. Click Modify in the Ribbon menu and select Add a Stair. Add the stair to the taller deck. Make sure that the bottom stair stringer is overlapping onto the lower deck.

Method Three

  • Increase the height of the deck over 104". Click Modify in the Ribbon menu, followed by Add a Stair and you will be prompted to choose a stair with landing. Choose the desired type landing and then click OK. You now have a multilevel deck that can be adjusted.

The application does not have the ability to create a multi-level deck connected to a wall.

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How do I use the beam on top of joist construction option?

To use the Beam on Top of Joist construction method, the deck must be at least 25" tall. This minimum height allows the deck to have enough area for the beam and the joist. If you want a lower level deck, such as a platform deck, you may want to choose Flush Joist construction method. It is helpful to know that any deck shorter than 25” will switch to the Flush Joist construction method.

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Can I add ramps or a roof to my deck design?

Deck Designer does not have the ability to add ramps or a roof to the deck design. If you would like to add pergolas, gazebos, or deck accessories to your design, refer to the “How can I add accessories to my project?” FAQ in the Getting Started FAQs section.

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How can I change the height of a deck?

To change the height of a deck, use one of the following procedures:

  1. Double-click in an open area of the deck surface
  2. Click Modify in the Ribbon menu, followed by Deck. If your deck project has multiple decks, you will be prompted to choose the deck to modify.

Either of these procedures will display the Deck Properties dialog. Choose the Height tab to view the current height of the deck.

The height of the deck can be set between 6 inches and 144 inches. To adjust the height, use one of the following procedures:

1.  Place the mouse pointer over the button in the slider, and while holding the left mouse button, move the button up or down the slider to adjust the height.

2.  Click the desired button to the right of the slider.

  • +Ft increases the height one foot at a time
  • +In increases the height one inch at a time
  • -In decreases the height one inch at a time
  • -Ft decreases the height one foot at a time
  1. Place the mouse pointer in the field which displays the current height, and click the left mouse button once to enter the field. You can enter a value in the field by typing directly in the field.
  2. Click the Keypad button to the right of the height field, which will display a keypad that can be used to enter a value.

After the desired height has been entered, click the OK button to return to the deck design.

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How can I change deck materials?

To change the materials for the deck surface, use one of the following procedures:

  1. Double-click in an open area of the deck surface.
  2. Click Modify in the Ribbon menu, followed by Deck. If your deck project has multiple decks, you will be prompted to choose the deck to modify.

Either of these procedures will display the Deck Properties dialog.

  1. Choose the Materials tab to view the material options for the deck.
  2. Choose an option from the list in the left-hand side of the dialog to display a dialog of available materials for that option.
  3. To sort the materials by one of the columns, click the column name at the top of the column. Clicking the column name again will resort the column.
  4. Choose anywhere on the material information to display pictures of the material in the left-hand side of the dialog.
  5. When the desired material has been chosen, click the OK button to return to the Deck Properties dialog.

Repeat these steps to change additional materials for the deck. When all desired changes have been made, click the OK button in the Deck Properties dialog to return to the deck project.

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