A common mistake with DIY’ers is to forget to square the frame up or box. This is a crucial step that must be taken when building a house or when framing a simple deck. Some guys/gals prefer to use the 3-4-5 method or the cross over method, I use both! So take a look at a couple of my examples and I hope this will help clear up a few questions you might of had..

Step one:

Start by taking your measuring tape and hooking the tape on the ledger board. After you hook your tape, pull a measurement away from the house alongside the outside box, mark with your pencil at the 3′ foot mark.

Step two:

Take your measuring tape and hook the edge of the ledger board and pull the tape to the right and make  a 4′ foot mark on the ledger board.

step three:

After you made your marks, go ahead and either have your partner hold your tape at the 3′ mark or drive a nail at the mark you made. Pull your tape across from the 3′ foot mark and connect with the 4′ foot mark and if your deck is square, it should measure 5′foot across. If not, wiggle the box around to make you adjustments correct. Take a scrap piece of strapping (ferring) or any piece of wood long enough to nail and hold in place while you finish framing.

See diagram:

So remember, when squaring the framing up, a = b and b= c  ( a+b+c= square)

Good luck with your project and feel free to leave a comment with questions! Also, visit me at www.mbmcarpentry.com