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Old 04-25-2011, 12:30 PM   #1
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We have been planning this deck for about a year and in January we started allocating funds for it. Last Monday evening I dropped the building permit application off at the borough office and the next morning they called and said they were dropping it in the mail. Called the "before you dig" hotline and got the all clear from them. Easter weekend was the plan to start putting in the posts. Leading up to it, didn't look to promising since the we have been getting rain, rain and more rain all spring. However, I did get lucky at times. Between having house guests and doing stuff with them/family all weekend, I was able to get the holes dug. I only had time to get two posts in the ground. My plan is to get the final 3 in this week. Hopefully I'll have it finished in the next couple weeks, weather permitting of course.

We are planning on using Western Red Cedar. Its a soft wood so we may have some complaints about scratches but we couldn't justify paying an extra $3000 for composite. Especially when we weren't thrilled about the colors and look that they give. The overall size will be a nice large 15'x26'. In the drawing below you will notice some steps on the one corner. That plan is still up in the air. We may not have any extra steps. The part closest to the house won't need a step at all so we may just use that as the exit/entrance. The "wall" that you see is what we call a candle wall. It will have battery powered candles on it which will create a light sense of privacy and hopefully will be aesthetically pleasing.



The second pick shows the progress.


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Old 04-25-2011, 01:00 PM   #2
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Not that I am necessarily recommending destroying the rain forest to build a deck, but you may want to consider ipe for the deck wood. I used it for my deck. Very hard, very durable, very beautiful, and where I live it cost less per board foot than western red cedar.

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Old 04-25-2011, 01:40 PM   #3
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The B.D. passed on the direct burial posts with a concrete footing? Did you use a deck pier as picture in the bottom of the hole? Did you waterproof the post first?

http://www.awc.org/Publications/DCA/DCA6/DCA6-09.pdf

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Old 04-25-2011, 02:05 PM   #4
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Not that I am necessarily recommending destroying the rain forest to build a deck, but you may want to consider ipe for the deck wood. I used it for my deck. Very hard, very durable, very beautiful, and where I live it cost less per board foot than western red cedar.
I don't have a good source for Ipe. Do you remember what your decking cost per LF?
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Old 04-25-2011, 02:09 PM   #5
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The B.D. passed on the direct burial posts with a concrete footing? Did you use a deck pier as picture in the bottom of the hole? Did you waterproof the post first?

http://www.awc.org/Publications/DCA/DCA6/DCA6-09.pdf

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Yeah, BD had no problems with the plans. I have some preservative that I'm using on the posts below ground. Woodlife maybe?
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Old 04-25-2011, 03:20 PM   #6
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Looks good! Ya wanna come and build one for me!

Two questions.

What are you going to do about the existing steps?

It looks like your yard slopes down. How high off the ground will it end up, and is that taken into account in the plans? Not an expert, but my understanding is many/most will require a railing if it exceeds X number of inches off the ground. I'd hate to have you hit with that when you thought you were done.

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Old 04-25-2011, 04:48 PM   #7
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I purchased 1x4x8 ft ipe boards, they cost $1.80 per linear foot. I needed about 20 ten footers, those were not stock, so they cost about $3 per linear foot.
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Old 04-26-2011, 08:53 AM   #8
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Looks good! Ya wanna come and build one for me!

Two questions.

What are you going to do about the existing steps?

It looks like your yard slopes down. How high off the ground will it end up, and is that taken into account in the plans? Not an expert, but my understanding is many/most will require a railing if it exceeds X number of inches off the ground. I'd hate to have you hit with that when you thought you were done.
The deck will go over the existing steps. Per the code here, if the deck is under 30" from grade, I don't need railings. Luckily, mine is so I don't have to worry about it.

I put in two more posts last night. One more to go.
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Old 04-26-2011, 08:54 AM   #9
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I purchased 1x4x8 ft ipe boards, they cost $1.80 per linear foot. I needed about 20 ten footers, those were not stock, so they cost about $3 per linear foot.
That isn't a terrible price. I'm getting the WRC for $1.09 LF (5/4x6).
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Old 04-26-2011, 09:06 PM   #10
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(which is always an issue), I think you'll be quite happy with the cedar. I used it on my veranda and deck on my house when I built it. It looked awesome... I guess it still does, but due to an unforeseen divorce , my dream home is no longer mine...
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Old 04-27-2011, 08:56 AM   #11
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(which is always an issue), I think you'll be quite happy with the cedar. I used it on my veranda and deck on my house when I built it. It looked awesome... I guess it still does, but due to an unforeseen divorce , my dream home is no longer mine...
Sorry about the divorce man.

Did you find that the cedar was too soft?
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Old 04-27-2011, 10:13 AM   #12
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No, the cedar was great to work with and I love that you don't have to finish it. Plus, pressure treated wood scares the bejeebers out of me on my (and especially my kids') bare feet. I also found a guy who turned my veranda posts out of cedar as well. One other bonus, the cedar seems to keep away earwigs, which we can get a lot of. I used PT wood for the floor joists of the deck and when I was cleaning up around the house, I put the PT and cedar scraps on the edge of the deck (this was mid-summer). When I was cleaning up those scraps, every little pile of PT bits had lots of earwigs under them, but nothing under the cedar scraps!
And I got over the divorce, but thanks for that comment.
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Old 04-27-2011, 12:24 PM   #13
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Sounds good!

Did you seal the cedar at all or did you let nature do its thing?
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Old 04-27-2011, 12:37 PM   #14
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No, I left it clear, it turned gray over time, but that's a nice color. Besides, I've never found any stain that will last on decking boards, no matter what kind of wood you use.
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Old 04-27-2011, 01:24 PM   #15
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My wife was thinking that she wants a clear sealer so it keeps the unaged color.

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