Hi, I'm building my first deck. I have a couple of questions regarding
decking board spacing. I have almost completed the substructure, where
2x8 joists are spaced on 16" centers and I'm going to use 5/4x6 decking
boards perpendicular to the joists. Actually I have purchased 5/4 x 6
presure treated decking boards, the stamp says KD19 southern yellow
pine. They've been sitting in my carport (you know, a garage
with only a roof, no surrounding walls) for about 3 weeks.
The first question is about the spacing between decking boards, I've
seen conflicting posts on google on this matter, some recommend using
8d-10d nails as spacer, others insist butt the boards tightly for PT.
I figure it has a lot to do with how dry (or wet for that matter) the
wood is. So is KD19 considered to be dry? The boards has been stacked
tightly in my carport for 3 weeks, how will this affect the dryness
of them? I measured a couple of the boards and they are between 5 9/16"
and 5 5/8". Will they eventually become 5 1/2" when they are completely
dry? Also, a question for those who has used similar woods, roughly
how long after installation will the board dry out to produce the final
spacing (a week, a month, or 6 months)?
To speak of spacing, what do people deal with the first row of board
that go against the house, I'm confused because I've reading different
opinions - some say butt against the house, other say leave a 1/4" to
1/2" gap to allow drainage. Please advice.
A final question, what are the pros and cons of starting laying the
decking from the house side versus starting from the other side and
working towards the house? Which one is more practical? I've read
in a book where it is suggested that working from the outmost side
towards the house to laying deck boards is a better way because a
narrow row of decking will be less apparent against the house.
Thanks in advance for your help.
BTW, I'm in Massachussetts if that will have an effect on the answers
to my question.