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Ortho's Guide to Decks & Patios - by Eric Clough (Editor), Tony Davis (Illustrator), David Toht
Ortho's Guide to Decks & Patios

Paperback, 304 pages
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published by Ortho Books
Publication date: October 1, 1996
ISBN: 0897213122

Ortho's Guide to Decks & Patios is, in my opinion, the best all around how to book about the subjects that I have read to date. This book accurately describes decks and patios as "extensions of interior spaces for living, working, and eating." It is full of color pictures, illustrations, guidelines, and instructions to help you design and build an outdoor space that suites your needs.

After a brief overview of decks and patios and the history of outdoor living, the reader is asked to develop a list of group or individual needs to consider while creating a design. Checklists are used to help remind you of the critical items to think about along the way, and there are plenty of color photos of finished work to provide you with ideas for your own projects. The design section explains bubble diagrams, base plans, site plans, and working drawings. The construction sections contain drawings and descriptions of all of the basic tools used to build the projects shown in the book along with material lists and span charts. There are sections explaining the actual construction techniques for building wooden decks, brick, stone, and concrete patios, brick walls, mortared and dry-stacked stone retaining walls, overhead and freestanding garden structures, as well as suggestions for fences, spas, plant containers and outdoor lighting. There are pictures showing different decking pattern options, railing configurations, brick paver patterns, patio edgings, decorative concrete finishes, and methods to control sun and shade. Several complete projects with framing plans, sections, and material lists are also included in case you would rather incorporate an existing design into your plan.

While some of the related subjects are not covered in great depth, one should not expect a single book to address every aspect of such a broad group of topics. However, this book is very thorough in its approach to decks and patios. It should provide anyone who is considering designing and building an outdoor living space with the necessary information to do so. The directions and guidelines used in this book, as well as, the drawings, descriptions, and construction techniques are presented clearly and accurately. And, there are plenty of photos of existing projects to provide you with ideas for your own. I was very impressed with this book and I highly recommend it.

Ortho's Deck Plans Ortho's Deck Plans - 12 different deck building plans, with material lists, finish options, and complete instructions.

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