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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all , I am getting ready to build an attached deck to our home and before I start digging the footings I would like any recommendations or thoughts on the build. We are going to be using Trex for the final decking material if that changes anything in the framing. I have had a little experience building wood decks but never done composite so I'm not sure if the framing is different. Anyway here is the layout I am thinking. i am planning on using 12 inch tubes for the footings. the deck is about 2.5 ft off the ground. 2 x 10 stringers will be 12 inches on center. My main concerns would have to be are 3 footings enough and are they in the proper placement or should I go to the corners. Thank you for any advice you have!
 

· retired framer
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We usually have the beam 2 ft or less from the end and we can put the post 2 feet from the end of the beam. 10 feet between posts is not unusual if the soil is good enough or the footing is big enough.
 

· Usually Confused
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Using composite decking, unless you plan on looking at board ends (painted or simply visible plastic core), it is common to 'picture frame' the decking, which will require ladder framing on the two ends.





I believe Trex says you can go with 16" o/c unless running diagonally. Ours (TimberTech) is 16" and I haven't noticed an issue. I assume Trex comes in 14' lengths so you can do a clear run.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Using composite decking, unless you plan on looking at board ends (painted or simply visible plastic core), it is common to 'picture frame' the decking, which will require ladder framing on the two ends.





I believe Trex says you can go with 16" o/c unless running diagonally. Ours (TimberTech) is 16" and I haven't noticed an issue. I assume Trex comes in 14' lengths so you can do a clear run.
I was leaning towards doing the picture framing, its a bit more work but i think it will look cleaner. I thought i was reading that composits will flex more then wood so people were recommending 12 on center over 16 to solidify it. I am no expert so this could be way off.
 

· Usually Confused
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I was leaning towards doing the picture framing, its a bit more work but i think it will look cleaner. I thought i was reading that composits will flex more then wood so people were recommending 12 on center over 16 to solidify it. I am no expert so this could be way off.

I can't say I've noticed any flexing but others may have different experience. A few bucks more in lumber and fasteners to go with 12".


What composite will do is shrink/expand with temperature. Unlike wood, where dimensional changes are related to moisture and will often settle down over time, composite is closer to plastic than wood in my opinion and the changes are temperature related. That's why they have slotted edges and recommend using the hidden fasteners. For areas with end joints, they will open and close if you experience temperature swings. Ours was built in the height of summer so the joints are nice and tight in the summer and open up in the winter when I really don't care.


Also, I think Trex offers a non-slotted board for use around the exposed perimeter. for the inside edge of that board you can use a router or biscuit jointer to make a slot for the fastener. They recommend you build from the outside towards the house so if you have to rip a board it will against the house and be less noticeable.


Last word on temperature. Darker colours get noticeably hotter than lighter ones. Our deck has a grey field with dark brown perimeter and the difference in summer is significant. Depending on where you are and if you have dogs or people who run around in bare feet (the people, not the dogs - I know they have bare feet) that might be important to you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I can't say I've noticed any flexing but others may have different experience. A few bucks more in lumber and fasteners to go with 12".


What composite will do is shrink/expand with temperature. Unlike wood, where dimensional changes are related to moisture and will often settle down over time, composite is closer to plastic than wood in my opinion and the changes are temperature related. That's why they have slotted edges and recommend using the hidden fasteners. For areas with end joints, they will open and close if you experience temperature swings. Ours was built in the height of summer so the joints are nice and tight in the summer and open up in the winter when I really don't care.


Also, I think Trex offers a non-slotted board for use around the exposed perimeter. for the inside edge of that board you can use a router or biscuit jointer to make a slot for the fastener. They recommend you build from the outside towards the house so if you have to rip a board it will against the house and be less noticeable.


Last word on temperature. Darker colours get noticeably hotter than lighter ones. Our deck has a grey field with dark brown perimeter and the difference in summer is significant. Depending on where you are and if you have dogs or people who run around in bare feet (the people, not the dogs - I know they have bare feet) that might be important to you.
That is good to know. I am in Minnesota and there are definitely temperature swings. We are thinking of doing the Winchester grey and I was figuring that it would get pretty hot in the summer. Thank you
 

· Framing Contractor
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You can get color match Cortex fasteners for the end picture frames. I highly recommend the border as it looks so much nicer. 16 on center is fine for your framing. We like to turn a 2x4 on the flat for the border, supported by 24" o.c. blocking. This allows the deck boards and border to be fully supported.
 

· Usually Confused
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That is good to know. I am in Minnesota and there are definitely temperature swings. We are thinking of doing the Winchester grey and I was figuring that it would get pretty hot in the summer. Thank you

You should be okay. I think Timbertech calls (called) their grey 'silver birch' and I don't really notice it all that warm in the summer, certainly not compared to the dark brown border.
 
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