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Old 05-14-2009, 11:53 PM   #1
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Building a big deck, just want to make sure its right


Hey all... i am going to start building a deck this weekend and just wanted to run my plans by all of you to see if anyone one had any better ideas, or easier ways to do it....

The deck is going to be 2 levels (total length is going to be 31', and width is 16' off the house) the first level is going to be 16x22 and the second which is one step down is 9x16... as shown by the diagram below

_____________22'_________l_______9'_____
l
l
l 16'
l
l--------------------door-------------------
house


*the nine foot section is one step down....and the house is the length of the dotted line where the door is located...



ok so basically the higher level is going to be 24 " off the ground and the second level is going to be about 19" off the ground. The way i was going to start is listed below..

1. mark layouts for footings. using batterboards and line 1st determine height of deck (since i want there to be no step down from door to deck. i will install batter perpendicular to house at the same height of deck/bottom of door - 1/2 inch on both right and left side, make level with line and line level.) ( i will extend batter 1 foot on each side to leave room for intersection of side batters.)
2. Install side batters the length of deck + 1 foot. square off of the house by using 3,4,5... continue until border of deck is established.
3. since i will be using 12 footers for 1st level i will set tripod 6" in from house and measure 6" in from outside line and mark center for first footer.... and so on until left outside footers are marked... there seems like a way easier way to do this... im not even going to continue with what i am going to do because it will take forever... it includes about 10 more batterboards to finish leveling and making sure all footers are square.... by the way i am using 4x4's that will be inbeaded into the concrete 30" deep... (do i have to use tubing? that crap is expensinve)
2. After all footers and 4x4's are in i will install the beams... 2x10's sandwhich style using 2 1/2x8" bolts.... after all that is done...
3. install beams... is it better to use the u shaped hurricane style brackets or rafter ties... if i use the rafter ties (them seem weak just by looking at them) do i use one on each side or just one... i have a feeling il be better off with the u shaped hurrican brackets...
4. basically after that it is all cake... just wanted to get some advise on getting started and possibly doing this faster...

i have good carpentry skills i have built dressers, cabinets, tables, etc... but never a deck... i have an idea on how to build it just dont want to skip a step thinking it will hold and then.....it comes down... dont need that on te conscious... any advise would be appreciated... Thanks! Steve

Last edited by f8lyer8s; 05-14-2009 at 11:55 PM. Reason: diagram posted wrong...
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Old 05-15-2009, 05:02 AM   #2
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Building a big deck, just want to make sure its right


You want the posts on top of the footings, not buried in them. Simpson makes brackets that hold the wood off the concrete so water doesn't wick into the ends and rot it.
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Old 05-15-2009, 06:25 AM   #3
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Building a big deck, just want to make sure its right


Do you have your permit???
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Old 05-15-2009, 07:22 AM   #4
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Building a big deck, just want to make sure its right


Like said before you want the post sitting on footers not in the ground/cement..and check code about using 4x4 and sandwiching the cross beams may not meet code anymore
the last deck I built had to be with 6x6 post and the tops notched out with the cross beams sitting in the notch then though bolted
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Old 05-15-2009, 10:41 AM   #5
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Building a big deck, just want to make sure its right


No, I do not need a permit, I am not attaching it to the house nor is it over 30” high, my twp. doesn’t require them… I was going to mount the 4 xs to the concrete but the brackets looked like it wouldn’t be strong enough to hold the deck, I thought it would be stronger to bury them… I guess my main question was what is the easiest way to lay the footings so they are square and accurate... I have a plan to do it but it will basically require me to run a lot of carpenter string at different heights and also a lot of batter boards… Also what are the cons in sandwiching the beams, if I don’t do that, my post are only going to be like 3” high, and would be pointless for me to even put post in…. im looking for the most efficient way to get this puppy started I don’t want to spend 8 weekends working on it, to have it just in time to see the snow fall… J
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Old 05-15-2009, 11:44 AM   #6
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Building a big deck, just want to make sure its right


The layout is critical to the rest of the job. There are no shortcuts I know of to expediate the process. A good deck building book will go along way to your end. The forum will be able to fill in the gaps, so to speak, but it's no substute for a thorough overveiw the book will give you.
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Old 05-15-2009, 12:06 PM   #7
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Building a big deck, just want to make sure its right


You need to do this project correctly.

First on the list, if this is in New Jersey, you'd need to submit a zoning permit application. No ifs ands or buts. It might cost you $15, but it will prevent heart ache later if you find out you did something wrong, like encroach on a property setback, and they make you take it down.

Second, in Jersey, I've never heard of a permit not being required for a deck. That sort of thing is called an accessory structure, and for every job I've done, a permit has been required.

Third, most towns have deck packages that shows you all of the member sizes required for different spacings, footing spacing, etc, fastening.

Another good reference is the Prescriptive Residential Wood Deck Construction Guide from the American Wood Council. It's free on the internet.
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Old 05-15-2009, 02:11 PM   #8
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Building a big deck, just want to make sure its right


I think you will find that you can greatly simplify your work if you build the lower deck first.

Then use the top of the lower deck to completely support one end of the upper deck.
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Old 05-15-2009, 02:41 PM   #9
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Another .....GET A PERMIT. Are you on septic......... Be safe, G
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Old 05-15-2009, 02:45 PM   #10
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Building a big deck, just want to make sure its right


How deep are you going to dig for your footings? Make sure its below your frost line.

Are you attaching your deck to a ledger board on your house?
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Old 05-15-2009, 04:08 PM   #11
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Building a big deck, just want to make sure its right


If the posts are going to be 3" high, eliminate the posts and pour the sonotubes so the support beam just sits in the simpson bracket.
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Old 05-19-2009, 04:15 PM   #12
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Building a big deck, just want to make sure its right


Ok so I got my footings down and am contemplating beam placement, I can either use 4x4’s that are about 5” high and attach beams to them or I can go directly to my footing with the beam to get a 5” step out of the back door ( this is what I would prefer). Now I was going to use 2x10’s for the beams and 2x8 for the joist. The witdth of the top level is going to be 22’ I believe I know what to do in this case… build the beams either from 12’ or 16’ sections staggering the seams and bolting them (kind of like sister joisting) with ¾” PT plywood in the middle. My question is… is this correct, even if a seem is not lined up on a bracket? Is that strong enough?
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Old 05-19-2009, 05:45 PM   #13
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Building a big deck, just want to make sure its right


Quote:
Originally Posted by f8lyer8s View Post
Ok so I got my footings down and am contemplating beam placement, I can either use 4x4’s that are about 5” high and attach beams to them or I can go directly to my footing with the beam to get a 5” step out of the back door ( this is what I would prefer). Now I was going to use 2x10’s for the beams and 2x8 for the joist. The witdth of the top level is going to be 22’ I believe I know what to do in this case… build the beams either from 12’ or 16’ sections staggering the seams and bolting them (kind of like sister joisting) with ¾” PT plywood in the middle. My question is… is this correct, even if a seem is not lined up on a bracket? Is that strong enough?
No plywood in the middle. You only do this in the interior of the house where water is not an issue.
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Old 05-20-2009, 09:50 AM   #14
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Building a big deck, just want to make sure its right


i was going to put self adheiseve membrane on the top to cover the joints, therefore eliminating the water issue. And also to make up the difference in space, as 2- 2x10's will only be about 3 inches wide on wont fit on the mounting bracket, i would need something else to make up that gap.
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Old 05-20-2009, 11:01 AM   #15
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Building a big deck, just want to make sure its right


The membrane sounds extreme.
Either rip a shim out of pt or buy some treated ply.
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