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Looking for a rough "how to" and Approximate cost for 2nd story Deck

1876 Views 5 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  Blondesense
Hey Everyone, this is my first post on here, so I appreciate your patience, if I sound like a rookie, I am :)

I live in Northern California, and I just recently bought my first house in February, and since then have been rapidly getting closer and closer to becoming handy, whereas before the house I had never even touched a power tool, haha.

So anyway, we are looking to build a second story deck off of our master bedroom, which currently is just a big 5 foot wide window, which we want to convert into either french doors or a sliding door (i am thinking sliding just to save space, our master bedroom isn't HUGE). The height would be about 9 feet up (first floor has 8 foot ceilings), and we want to make it a decent size, but not huge, something like 6 ft out and 10 feet wide roughly? We were also wondering if it would be stupid/wise to have stairs going down to the backyard, or just leave it as only accessible from our bedroom? I just assumed it would only be accessible from the bedroom and not have stairs down, but a LOT of 2nd floor decks I looked at had stairs, and was curious if that's a common thing or what.

My wife's uncle and grandpa are extremely handy, one is a retired contractor and another has his own handyman service, and have already offered to help us out, but they are not from the area and offered to come up and help us next time they were up visiting (sometime in the spring of this coming year, when it's nice out again)

So obviously they will know what they are doing, but what I am looking for here is a rough idea of how this will go, so I don't sound totally clueless when they come up to help, and a rough idea of what I need/costs. Obviously the costs will vary greatly, but I just want to make sure I know everything I need to buy, or a rough idea of the things I need to buy.

Sorry for the long winded post, and thanks!
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Best to talk with your uncle and grandpa, get a materials list and take it to a good independant lumber yard (not big box), Some will even do the materials list for you if you take in pictures and measurements.
A whole lot more involved with a second story deck, my first stop would be to the local building department to see if they will even allow one and see if they can give you some info your going to be needing.
CA has there own way of doing things due to the earth quakes.
1. You'll be shading most of windows underneath. Acceptable? Try curtains on those windows now and see if you can live with the shade.
2. Off the bedroom, means you are thinking bare feet. Synthetic decking is best for that, except synthetic has all kinds of issues, especially getting too hot to bare feet. Look into the decking material carefully.
3. Search the images of decks which will give you rough idea of how to and list of materials you need. Go to homedepot and see the cost of each material.
4. Stair is not necessary, although it could be handy fire escape. Stairs can take up a lot of room in your yard. A landing in the middle takes more material.
@joecaption; I am not in an earthquake prone area, but you are right I will checkout codes, I know I am able to because we have a neighbour down the st. with the exact same layout that did it.

@carpdad, I am HAPPY to shade the sliding door, we have a lot of light coming in that would not be shaded, and so no worries there. I was thinking the same thing as far as stairs, take up a lot of space, and I think we would skip those for now.

Thanks for the input guys, I will definitely talk to the family and get some more details before I go asking so many questions :)
4. Stair is not necessary, although it could be handy fire escape. Stairs can take up a lot of room in your yard. A landing in the middle takes more material.
True. When you get to the point of considering a fire escape, this is one alternative. Again, check what is allowable in your area.

And yes, before anyone yells at me - I know the railing is not to code.


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