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Old 03-12-2012, 04:19 PM   #1
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Replacing just decking questions.


The decking on our deck is pretty bad so much so we're worried to go out there bare foot so my thought is I just spend the money on new wood and replace the boards. My questions are:

1.) Is this okay to do? Some of the frame boards looked weather too but no rot. Should I worry about those?

2.) Is there any special way I should rip up all of these boards? The desk is about 450sqft.

3.) I noticed in some places there are shims, was this because the joist was bowed? Should I do the same when I put the new boards on?

4) The railings look old and we hate the lattice so I'll probably replace those to code to get rid of the lattice. Any tips thoughts on this too?




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Old 03-12-2012, 04:42 PM   #2
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Replacing just decking questions.


I agree, those boards look pretty rough, not much worth saving there. You do have an issue you should think through carefully. The deck may not meet current code, both in terms of framing support, posts, railings, and possibly the decking. Assuming you replace the decking and rails, you may require a permit, and the code official may want you to bring the deck totally up to code, in which case you may have a total teardown on your hands. For example, those look like 4x4 posts, current code in most areas requires 6x6 posts. That is just one example.

Alternatively, maybe your code official does not care, in which case I would simply leave the framing if it is not rotten, and replace the deck boards. You may want to consider something other than PT lumber for the decking, there are lots of options like composite materials, tropical hardwood, redwood etc.

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Old 03-12-2012, 04:46 PM   #3
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Replacing just decking questions.


I feel the same as Daniel regarding that deck and current building codes.

I realize that the project may also have a specific budget, but why put new materials on an old questionable frame (?) There could also be other framing issues that cannot be seen with the pics taken.
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Old 03-12-2012, 05:05 PM   #4
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Replacing just decking questions.


I wouldn’t spend any money on a new skin without replacing the framing that obviously has issues.

From what I can see in the pictures there aren’t any immediate safety issues, if you’re showing us the worst of it.

I’d wait (if need be) and budget for a new deck.
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Old 03-12-2012, 05:21 PM   #5
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Replacing just decking questions.


I see your point about the frame but I feel comfortable replacing the decking but I'm not so sure about my skills when it comes to replacing the entire frame.

We're also not planning on staying here for more than five or so years so I don't want to put too much money into the project but we do use it and with a kid on the way and friends with little kids we're worried about the splinters on the decking in the meantime.

Our town is pretty strict(we need a permit to cut a tree) so I know I would need a permit and I know it's not up to code so I was going to do this under the radar. The wife wants the safer decking but doesn't want to allocate the funds for a new deck.

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Old 03-12-2012, 05:44 PM   #6
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Replacing just decking questions.


Once you start tearing boards off, it will no longer be "under the radar". Do yourself a favor, if you only plan on being there another five years, file for the proper permits and replace. They should have the original plans on file at city hall, if your AHJ is that strict about decks.
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Old 03-12-2012, 05:59 PM   #7
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Replacing just decking questions.


As one who adheres to the permitting rules and regs. Replacing the deck boards is not a permit issue. It is maintenance and falls out side of the Permit need as long as you do not change the frame of the deck. and before you lay down new wood stain the stuff it would have saved you money to do that every three years. It looks weathered not rotten. You might just need some wood brightiner and some real good stain. unless you have some real rot or punky wood that you did not show your deck also looks fine.

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Old 03-12-2012, 06:31 PM   #8
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Replacing just decking questions.


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As one who adheres to the permitting rules and regs. Replacing the deck boards is not a permit issue. It is maintenance and falls out side of the Permit need as long as you do not change the frame of the deck. and before you lay down new wood stain the stuff it would have saved you money to do that every three years. It looks weathered not rotten. You might just need some wood brightiner and some real good stain. unless you have some real rot or punky wood that you did not show your deck also looks fine.
I believe he is also talking about removing the lattice work on the railings. Once that is done, the railings will no longer be code compliant (baluster & ballustrade spacing + missing balusters).

Railing work, above the 30" grade rule, in many areas - are a code inspectional point.
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Old 03-12-2012, 06:43 PM   #9
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Replacing just decking questions.


i have to agree with several others.. simply replacing the decking will only extend the life of the deck so long... though the decking itself is past its prime , honestly theres no point in spending the extra cash on a higher end decking material if the frame itself only has 5-10 years left it in.. once the frame goes. the new decking goes with it

save yourself future headaches and replace the entire thing.. or justuse cheap material for new decking until you have the money for a entirely new deck
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Old 03-13-2012, 12:32 PM   #10
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Replacing just decking questions.


I should be able to replace the decking for ~$400 if I to PT 2x6's which is probably 1/3 of what it would cost to replace the entire deck. If I stain the rest of the deck and put down new decking boards it should last for the five years I plan on staying here.
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Old 03-13-2012, 12:36 PM   #11
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Replacing just decking questions.


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I believe he is also talking about removing the lattice work on the railings. Once that is done, the railings will no longer be code compliant (baluster & ballustrade spacing + missing balusters).

Railing work, above the 30" grade rule, in many areas - are a code inspectional point.
The removal of the lattice will have zero effect on the code he needs to replace a few balusters as if it were maintenance. the lattice is well just that. there for what ever reason.
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Old 03-13-2012, 12:46 PM   #12
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Replacing just decking questions.


I am not so sure about "under the radar", a deck project is pretty obvious, so you better know your neighbors really well to assume they will not report you. Odder things have happened in my town.

As to the cost, well you are an optimist. I built a 350 sf deck from the bottom up, admittedly relatively high end (ipe decking, cumaru posts, aluminum balusters) but the cost just for the materials and equipment rental was close to $10K. Perhaps $1200 was for a segmental block retaining wall under the deck leading to the garage, and somewhere around $2000 was for the footers (rent an excavator), post connectors, but I must have spent close to $7000 for framing lumber, support posts, decking, railing, staircase. If you end up needing to bring the deck to code, you will probably end up replacing all the posts, new footers etc., not likely to happen for $1200.

Of course, if all you do is replace the decking with PT lumber or similar, and replace a few balusters, in my town no permit required (maintenance work), and you can certainly do that for perhaps $2 per square foot.
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Old 03-14-2012, 06:58 PM   #13
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Replacing just decking questions.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Nailbags View Post
As one who adheres to the permitting rules and regs. Replacing the deck boards is not a permit issue. It is maintenance and falls out side of the Permit need as long as you do not change the frame of the deck. and before you lay down new wood stain the stuff it would have saved you money to do that every three years. It looks weathered not rotten. You might just need some wood brightiner and some real good stain. unless you have some real rot or punky wood that you did not show your deck also looks fine.
I would be careful about what you say, many jurisdictions have different rules. Only his local department can answer whether a permit is needed.
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Old 03-14-2012, 08:31 PM   #14
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Replacing just decking questions.


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The removal of the lattice will have zero effect on the code he needs to replace a few balusters as if it were maintenance. the lattice is well just that. there for what ever reason.
Huh?

1.) If you look at the stair risers, and the deck board thicknesses and use those as gauges (to scale the dimensions) of the baluster spacing and the gap between the lower balustrade and deck boards. Those spaces appear to be anywhere from 5" to 6"+.
2.) Look at the vinyl siding 4" reveals = those alone show the baluster spacing is way off code.
The lattice is there to make up for the non-code compliant - large railing spaces & gaps.

I wonder what other issues there are, including possible structural overs-span of the joists (either right at the maximum span or just shy of code). There is no way to tell by looking at pics only, but will those railing configurations meet the 200 lb support code requirement?
There are other (additional) concerns that would only be able to be determined by an onsite inspection.

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