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Comment: A well-cared-for item that has seen limited use but remains in great condition. The item is complete, unmarked, and undamaged, but may show some limited signs of wear. Item works perfectly. Pages and dust cover are intact and not marred by notes or highlighting. The spine is undamaged.
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Building a Deck: Expert Advice from Start to Finish (Taunton's Build Like a Pro) Paperback – October 1, 2002

4.5 out of 5 stars 44 customer reviews

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  • Building a Deck: Expert Advice from Start to Finish (Taunton's Build Like a Pro)
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Scott Schuttner is a contributor for Taunton Press titles including Basic Stairbuilding.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Taunton Press (September 9, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1561584797
  • ISBN-13: 978-1561584796
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 0.7 x 10.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #36,193 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Victor H. Agresti TOP 500 REVIEWER on November 17, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Building a Deck (Build Like A Pro)

My construction experience includes home additions, house remodeling/renovation, and many indoor upgrades, but only one deck. So, when we decided to replace our own old deck with one using the latest materials, a how-to book was in order. After reviewing deck books at local stores, this one stood out as the most useful.

Cons:

- This book was written in 2002 and needs a major revision to incorporate current building materials. For example, the deck railing chapter talks mostly about building railings out of wood. The same is true for decking, where almost the entire focus is on wood. The author devotes a page or so to Trex and a few other materials available in 2002, but a host of newer products are now available. Today, there are a wide variety of composite planking (plastics & wood) choices; all synthetic decking such as Azek deck "boards"; PVC and perma-cast balusters; and metal-reinforced vinyl/PVC railing (stainless steel cables, aluminum, steel).

- The book explains attaching the top of a staircase to the deck and methods for anchoring the stairs bottom to a concrete pad; without addressing the frost heave issue. In my area, outside concrete pads frequently frost-heave upwards up to an inch by mid-January. If the author's approach was used here, heaving would jack up the stair bottom, weakening or destroying stairs-to-deck connections. This was inexplicable since the author addresses the frost issue in other places.

- There were a few techniques described that, lacking a diagram or photograph, were too ambiguous to be useful.

- One book can't cover every construction scenario, but it was frustrating that it didn't cover some of the things I needed. E.g.
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I was able to complete my dream deck with this book. It was the frist one I had built so I was a little apprehensive on whether or not it would turn out that great. But after getting quotes of upwards of 6000$ from contractors, and then never being called back, I struck out to design and build it my self. This book goes step by step through the whole process with great color photos and tips. I have used the 'Build Like a Pro' series for a kitchen remodel as well and really like their style. They are well worth the money.
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Format: Paperback
I am planning to design and build a large (40x15) deck, and I bought several books to learn about the process. This is far and away the best of the lot. Plenty of detail for each part of the deck. Great diagrams and pictures. Lots of great "tricks of the trade." Very readable. Highly recommended.
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Format: Paperback
I've been researching decks and screen porches for the last few months, with the intention of building a 16'X 34' elevated deck and screen porch on my home in Southern CT. I've done many home construction project big and small; however, I'm not in the construction business. Scott Schuttner's Build Like a Pro book on decks, is by far the best book on decks, period. It is clearly superior to the other books I've read on the subject (and I've purchase over four of them and flipped through a lot more). This one was really the only one I need to buy; unfortunately, I came across it after studying the other books and still not feeling that I had a full understanding on deck construction and design options. Schuttner's book lives up to its opening dedication: "...to all those who desire to do the best they can."
I though this book was significantly superior to other books in the following ways: 1) Excellent descriptive text and photo detail. 2) The "Pro Tips" were enlightening. 3) The comments made about the style and appearance of deck were very helpful. It discusses what aspect of the deck are the better place to spend your money. For example, is it better to spend more to install a unique floor pattern or on the railing detail? The book is loaded with insightful design and construction stuff. For example, the different choices of railing design and appearance. Other books had one or two railing designs the Build Like A Pro book had several. These somewhat subjective but important insights weren't touched upon in the other books. 4) The scope of this book was much broader than other books, while also being more detailed and insightful.
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Format: Paperback
After doing my own research, I ended up purchasing this book. I agree completely with the other reviews - its the best book, its the only book you need, and I congratulate the author on making this a flexible yet thorough resource that guides you pictorally through every step of the process. Just plain awesome, and I just finished my deck and I love it - it exceeds my expectations and its due to the advice in these pages.
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My wife and I successfully built a deck using this book 2 years ago. Planned, submitted plans to village got building permit and final inspection. It felt good to accomplish such a large task with only 2 people who are not carpenters and haven't built a deck before. The deck is around 300 sq. ft. so it is not small. The book has all the information you need to build a solid deck. It also includes information on problems you could run into and ideas for customizing the deck. We are now building a smaller 100 sq. ft. deck for the front of our house. Believe me, we could not have done this without this great book.
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