There are numerous types and styles of deck support brackets, however, all serve the same basic purpose. That is to support a deck and in doing so stabilize the structure. Some brackets are made using sized lumber such as 2” x 4” or larger and some are fabricated from heavy steel plate. In addition the size of a bracket is proportionate to the sheer load forces upon the deck structure. A deck that is cantilevered over a hillside will have greater sheer load forces acting upon it than a deck which resides above flat ground.
Therefore in order to build an effective deck support bracket it is important to first determine the correct type of bracket as well as the most effective points of attachment. Once these determinations have been made the brackets can be built and fabricated from the proper materials and to the correct specifications.
Brackets made from wood can be attached to the deck and support posts using through bolts with nuts and washers or lag bolts. To build a bracket made from wood first select the correct size lumber by consulting a set of construction drawings or a sheer load support calculation table. Most likely the ends of the bracket will feature an angle or even compound angle cut that ensures the bracket will seat tightly at the attachment points. These cuts should be precise and the bracket should be pre-drilled to receive any machine bolts or lag bolts. Pre-drilling will ensure the integrity of the wood bracket at the connection points. Metal connection angles may be used to attach a wood bracket and the size of lumber being used will determine the size of the metal connection angles. Again pre-drill for any bolts or lag type connection hardware.
Building or fabricating metal support brackets is most often required where standard sizes or the configuration of manufactured brackets will not work. To build a metal support bracket it is first necessary to establish the locations of the attachment points in order to determine the size and configuration of the bracket. In addition it is necessary to establish the size of the metal being used and this may be specified in a set of construction or other engineering plans. Be sure to take precise measurements at all critical points including the locations of holes for bolts or lags and fabricate the brackets with solid welds or machine bends to achieve the correct configuration. Grind the surface of the brackets and apply one coat of metal weather resistant primer and one coat of heavy-duty epoxy paint to guard against rusting.
Building deck support brackets requires the proper determinations in order to order and purchase the correct materials and connection hardware. Be certain all design specifications and structural requirements are included in the fabrication scheme.