Building a deck

legi

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Oct 31, 2008
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Maple Grove, MN
I will start building a 14x19 deck at the back of my house with a walkout basement in couple weeks, and wanted to see if people have any suggestions/advice from personal experience in similar matter. The stairs will be without a platform and will go along side deck.

I've checked the local code to make sure I am building it so it passes the inspection at the end. It will actually be slightly overbuild anyway. Will use treated 2x10 lumber for ledger board, joists, and beams. Trex composite decking on top. Diamond piers for post foundation.

Original quote was $26K for a pro to build it and half would be labor, so I decided to save myself $13K. Hopefully it doesn't turn out to be one of those "you get what you pay for" things.

Also, will have pro's put in a circular concrete patio. Any suggestions on what should the minimum size be in order to feel comfortable with some patio furniture and fire pit?
 

Gonzo

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Mar 10, 2009
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No clue on the deck but we just re-did the patio outside of our basement walkout, sits at the bottom of the steps to our deck off the main level and we went around 350-360 sq feet. That allows for a patio sectional with coffee table and a firepit with 4-5 chairs around it pretty comfortably. Could probably fit a two-chair bistro set as well withpout jamming it up too much.
 
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jcyclonee

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Apr 12, 2006
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Measure twice, cut once. Use something like Spax screws for places that would bear significant loads. You may want to have a corded drill on hand for the decking. If you don't know what you're doing pretty well, you may want to hire somebody to do the stairs if they are more than a few feet high. @SCyclone - Do you have any good suggestions after I made these suggestions that probably aren't great suggestions?
 

BryceC

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Mar 23, 2006
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It would probably be a total pain in the butt but Kreg makes a pocket hole jig for decks so you don't have to walk over the screw heads. If I ever built another deck I'd absolutely be doing that.
 

CYEATHAWK

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Aug 26, 2007
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I will start building a 14x19 deck at the back of my house with a walkout basement in couple weeks, and wanted to see if people have any suggestions/advice from personal experience in similar matter. The stairs will be without a platform and will go along side deck.

I've checked the local code to make sure I am building it so it passes the inspection at the end. It will actually be slightly overbuild anyway. Will use treated 2x10 lumber for ledger board, joists, and beams. Trex composite decking on top. Diamond piers for post foundation.

Original quote was $26K for a pro to build it and half would be labor, so I decided to save myself $13K. Hopefully it doesn't turn out to be one of those "you get what you pay for" things.

Also, will have pro's put in a circular concrete patio. Any suggestions on what should the minimum size be in order to feel comfortable with some patio furniture and fire pit?
My only suggestion would be to think again about using Trex. I don't care what they say it will mold and fade unless you seal it. I use 5/4 cedar decking. Yes, it may take a little more upkeep over the years, but you can't beat the look, and if you need to replace a board in the future you can make it match with your older boards perfectly where not so much the Trex. And that's assuming they will still be making what you bought in a few years. Plus, it will save you a bunch of money to boot. The initial cost of Trex will not be made up over time because it is NOT maintenance free.
 

peteypie

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Jun 20, 2007
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I really liked what I did with my deck at my old house, built a cut out in it so your grill sits flush with the railing. Kind of a cubby for the grill in one of the corners of the deck railing and deck just juts out a bit. Make sure its big enough for a grill upgrade in the future if you wish
 
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jimonalog

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"Little more work?" Plan on every 3-5 years having to strip the old stain, pressure wash, then clean, then re-stain. Yes, it looks great on cedar but it is a lot of time and money for this old guy.