Raising a deck?
I am considering a project to extend an existing 12'x14' deck on the rear of our house by about 20 feet (making it about 12'x34') to meet a deck that wraps from the front to the side of the home.
The decking on the back is severely weathered due to the previous owner's failure to maintain it, so I plan on replacing the decking, and probably the railing. My problem is that the deck on the rear of the home currently uses 2" planks, and the side deck uses 5/4"
Should I attempt to raise the existing frame, rip shims from composite decking, or just build the extension with an ever-so slight slope (3/4" over 15 feet) to meet the existing side porch?
Are my 2x8 joists on 24" centers acceptable for 5/4 planks, or do I need to double them up (maybe with 2x6 between)
You are doing well by pre-planning, most don't. I'm missing one dimension here, the height of the deck framing of the back deck vs. the height of the framing of the front deck. ME--I would make these deck heights even after tearing off the old boards. I would not consider raising the deck. I would add some type of PT trimming, lattice pieces, something which will support the new 5/4 decking. It sounds as if you are planing on using composite decking. Not used much around here if exposed. Too much heat, weather problems. Too many discussions here on composite decking "mold/spotting" problems.
I would also put the 2x6's in, I never frame a deck less than 16" on centers perpendicular to the run of the decking. David
The surfaces of both decks are currently equal, but one uses 5/4 one has 2" planks, so the one with the 2" planks (which will be discarded) is framed about 3/4" lower.
I'm leaning toward framing the connecting section at an angle to avoid adding what would effectively be a large shim on the top. I think this slight angle (3/4" drop over 15") would be imperceptible if it weren't for the siding behind the ledger... even then, I don't know that it will be noticed.
Im close to Atlanta, so I share your weathering concerns. I wasn't thinking of composite for the decking, just for the shims. (It would clash with my cedar siding)
One thing to keep in mind. Your deck framing (spacing) composite decking will need a shorter on center then the current 2" decking or it will be wavy. I think the small slope over the new section of 20 feet is your best bet.
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