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echase 03-16-2010 10:45 AM

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)

Thurman 03-16-2010 01:38 PM

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.

echase 03-16-2010 01:50 PM

Thanks 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)

Brad Talent 03-17-2010 01:55 PM

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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