What Are All The Deck Components?

Learn to Talk the Talk Like a Pro

Here's a quick deck components refresher with names and definitions so you will sound like you know what you are talking about when you speak to a contractor or walk into a lumber store.

There is nothing better than an illustration to clearly show and identify each part of a deck.  Being able to refer to a specific deck component - like a pier, footing, rim joist, or cantilever - makes it easier for everyone to understand each other.

Deck Components


Concrete poured into sonotubes below grade or portable concrete footings that sit on top of grade


Wide concrete base that piers rest on to spread load of deck


A rim joist secured to the house that supports joists and forms the outer perimeter of the deck


Dimensional lumber set a top posts at horizontal attitude to support deck substructure


Smaller pieces of dimensional lumber secured between joists, usually near the outer edges of the deck to provide support for mounting of posts or stair stringers


Dimensional lumber set parallel to each other that creates the actual deck structure and rests on beams

Rim Joist

Dimensional lumber that acts as the outer joist of the framed deck structure

Post Anchors

Metal brackets set into concrete footings and that attach posts to the footings


Dimensional lumber set on footings that support beams and the deck substructure


The portion of a deck structure that overhangs a supporting beam

Deck Flooring

Dimensional lumber secured to the joists and forms the finished surface of the deck


Usually a 1x8 or 1x10 decorative piece of lumber that skirts the outside edge of the deck framing to create a finished look


Vertically oriented members, usually 2x2, that are spaced between the top and bottom rails and railing posts to provide a barrier


Section of the railing panel that fits between railing posts consisting of top and bottom rails and balusters


Dimensional lumber that support the stair treads of deck stairs

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