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Old 05-15-2019, 10:05 AM   #1
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Have You Built A Deck Before?


Have You Built A Deck Before?-dreamdeck-lge.jpg

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Before you start designing your dream deck, find out what’s allowed by local building codes and homeowners’ associations. These regulations may have limitations on size, materials, finishes, and overall appearance. Check on any necessary permits before you start construction. It’s better to know these restrictions during the design phase, not when your friends are toasting your new deck. 5 Tips for Building your Dream Deck

Have you built a deck before? (Would love to see a picture if you have!)

If so, what tips would you offer to those people thinking about building one?
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Old 05-15-2019, 10:23 AM   #2
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Re: Have You Built A Deck Before?


Yes I have, put groceries on the table doing it.

Sorry no pictures, too complicated , for one thing, ( no camera).

Best tip I can give, is to do it correct the first time, then you can enjoy the deck for many years, with a little maintenance.

ED
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Old 05-15-2019, 10:32 AM   #3
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Re: Have You Built A Deck Before?


The title here might have been, how many things are wrong with this deck
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Old 05-15-2019, 11:26 AM   #4
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Re: Have You Built A Deck Before?


It's a "no deck, let us talk patio" location.
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Old 05-15-2019, 01:25 PM   #5
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Re: Have You Built A Deck Before?


Built this for my sis to connect two houses that were 16' apart. It is 32' the long way.
Pressure treat all the way using approved screws and hardware.
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Old 05-15-2019, 01:52 PM   #6
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Re: Have You Built A Deck Before?


Before? Before what?


Yes, when I was about 14 I helped my Father build one on his house. Still standing strong today. That was about 40 years ago.
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Old 05-15-2019, 03:54 PM   #7
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Re: Have You Built A Deck Before?


I completely rebuilt my 10'x20' deck two years ago (see link below). Here is the advice I would give to anyone attempting it.

1. Check you local codes. In my county, they offer a downloadable .pdf file of an actual deck plan detailing all the codes that need to be followed. Pay particular attention to how deep post holes need to be to get below the frost line in your area.

2. Create a detailed plan or have one created. Using the aforementioned .pdf file, I designed my deck on Microsoft Visio. There was a page for each stage of the project, post layout, joists, decking etc. Doing this enabled me to accurately calculate how much material I would need and in what dimensions. This saved me from buying to much or to little material. If you do not have access to software, graph paper, rulers and a pencil will work just as well.

3. If possible do not buy all your PT material at one time unless you have a building to store it in. PT lumber tends to warp if left out in the elements. This means that depending on how big and complicated your deck is, by the time you get to the deck boards and balusters, many will have developed a twist.

4. If you can, spread the work out time-wise. I did my deck over 5 weekends. I could have taken a week off of work and completed it in that time. But with the amount of physical labor involved I would have needed another week to recover. By spreading it out over multiple weeks, I had time to rest between stages. I also had time to come up with solutions to any problems. I tried to only work on Saturdays so I had Sunday to rest before the work week. During my project, I would go to the store early in the morning and only pickup the lumber I needed for that day. The project broke down in the following manner.

Weekend 1 - Layout, dig post holes and set the posts in concrete.
Weekend 2 - Cut the posts to height and notch them, build the beams and install them.
Weekend 3 - Build the deck frame, install the joists and hurricane ties.
Weekend 4 - Lay down the decking.
Weekend 5 - Install the railings and balusters.

5. Do not sacrifice safety to save a few bucks. Remember, people will be walking on the deck and leaning on the railings. You do not want any accidents. With the exception of the joist hangers and hurricane ties, all the fasteners on my deck are screws or bolts.

I hope this helps someone out.
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Old 05-16-2019, 01:40 PM   #8
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Re: Have You Built A Deck Before?


Built a few for myself. I second the advice of building it right. Just because you can get by with 2 X 6 joists, doesn't mean you should. I used 2 X 10 joists throughout.
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Old 05-16-2019, 05:01 PM   #9
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Re: Have You Built A Deck Before?


I helped my father build a deck some 40 years ago. The house was recently condemned due to the big quake in November - deck is still there though :P

I was like 6 so I mostly recall there being a ton of screws to put in. He let me use the "driller" - now I have my own; stole it from my husband hehehe
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Old 05-16-2019, 09:31 PM   #10
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Re: Have You Built A Deck Before?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Mystriss View Post
I helped my father build a deck some 40 years ago. The house was recently condemned due to the big quake in November - deck is still there though :P

I was like 6 so I mostly recall there being a ton of screws to put in. He let me use the "driller" - now I have my own; stole it from my husband hehehe
You mean that you don't have a special pink set, sized just for those "girl" hands?

ED
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Old 05-17-2019, 01:28 AM   #11
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Re: Have You Built A Deck Before?


Quote:
Originally Posted by de-nagorg View Post
You mean that you don't have a special pink set, sized just for those "girl" hands?

ED
Well I did have the bigger cordless DeWalt, but I stole the 12v as soon as he got one because it's so much lighter. I lack the arm muscles to hold the big one over my head without fear of dropping it on my face (it hurts and leaves bruises JS )
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Unread Today, 10:36 AM   #12
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Re: Have You Built A Deck Before?


The construction depends on codes but also on the height off the ground which affects both the lateral bracing and the need for a guard rail which is best designed into the structure and not done as an add-on later.

Most decks fail as a result of poor or non existent later bracing (knees, etc.) or from the deck being attached to a building using a ledger and the ledger to rim joist connection fails, somethings with fatal results for anyone on the deck at the time. I prefer to avoid using a ledge connection to support an edge of the deck for this and other reasons. The cost difference is negligible in terms of the overall cost of doing this as compared to having one side using a properly done ledger connection and then their is no chance of the deck causing damage to the rim joist and the house.

Home Depot has a deck building application software that is free and allows one to create a deck and then it produces a bill of materials needed for the deck. My last deck was beyond the capabilities of such an app and I used Home Designer Pro for the layout and could hand plans to a structural engineer to review and approve.

If near the ocean then all fasteners should be either stainless or hot dipped galvanized ones and I found I had to order what I needed for my last deck online as no local building supply store had what was required.

You will want to put down flashing on the joists before fastening the deck boards to maximize the life of the deck. If you do not do this then the deck to joist connection areas will develop rot and necessitate and expensive repair.

Important to consider the cost to maintain various decking materials over the life of the deck if its appearance is important to you. With my redwood decks I was having to sand them down every 2-3 years and reapply a pigmented stain. I replaced one section with ipe boards which come knot free and in lengths up to 20 feet. The largest section I replaced with plastic grating covered by 30mm thick stone and it only needs to be pressure washed a couple times during the year and nothing more. My ipe deck has a life expectancy of at least 30 years and my stone deck should last at least 50 years.

Air flow under a wood deck is important and I have seen more than a few decks where the area below was blocked and the end result was more rapid growth of fungus.
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Unread Today, 10:50 AM   #13
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Don’t build more than you need. I prefer Trex or similar decking over PT. Big decks require a lot of maintenance plus much greater initial cost. I built this one on my new house last year.
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Unread Today, 03:47 PM   #14
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Re: Have You Built A Deck Before?


I built a deck 30+ years ago and AFAIK it's still standing. (5 houses ago; but I can see it on Google Earth.) Big; so I planned it in two stages, one for the next year. First year I bought my timber from a local builders' supply place. The next year I saw the lumber I needed at a box store at 2/3 the price, so I bought it there and congratulated myself on how smart I was. Big mistake; within a couple of years the difference in quality between the two phases was obvious. Buy the best quality PT lumber you can and pay the few bucks extra: you won't regret it.
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Unread Today, 06:35 PM   #15
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Re: Have You Built A Deck Before?


Pull a permit.
Get it inspected.
Get help when you need it.
Rent what you need! (Auger, Skid Steer, Dingo, etc. Heck, rent a back hoe/excavator if you can get away with it. They are a riot to run.)
Buy the best materials you can afford.
Don't just build it to code, build it to code plus! (if a 2x8 joist is okay, use 2x10)
Cover the tops of the joists with a self sealing membrane so nails/screws won't let moisture in and cause rot. (a trick I learned on my first deck 30 years ago)
Keep it clean but don't power wash it.
If you use wood, and you stain it, keep up with the stain.
DON'T PAINT THE DECK!! Use a solid color stain instead, it will last longer.
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