Building a deck

cyphoon

Active Member
Sep 8, 2011
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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.
Maybe you already know these, but just in case
  • Buy an impact driver if you don't have one
  • Use torx screws instead of philips
  • Install joists crown side up
  • Mount beams to posts with through bolts
  • Research how you want to attach the ledger board. Some people just screw it on top of the siding. Others remove some siding, and attach the ledger to a solid structure, and add flashing to bring water out over the ledger. The latter seems better, but you need to have some siding knowledge
  • How you do your footings is another big decision, but it sounds like you made that choice. Interesting that the diamond piers don't reach below the frost level. When I built my deck, everyone said that was critical. Maybe that advice has changed
Good luck
H
 
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FallOf81

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Oct 24, 2017
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Interesting information. Here's what I've learned from Fanatics about having a big deck.
* wife will enjoy it but rarely use it or spend time on it
* it's expensive to erect
* it will make your neighbor jealous once it's up
* measure twice and **** once
* ultimately, wife owns your deck
* wait for deck price to go down
* a deck can get hot as hell
* wife wants it now ... lucky guy
* a deck will eventually mold if not properly maintained
* if your deck ever gets damaged, have extra stuff "on hand"
* some posters here want a picture of your deck after its up
* cap your deck to avoid problems
* setup and framing very important before erecting. sounds like foreplay which really isn't needed for deck owner
* sunlight on your deck is important to avoid moisture buildup
* don't fasten your deck to your house
* if you do your deck yourself, it will save a lot of money ... this is obvious to any married or divorced deck owner
 

nautical12

Member
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SuperFanatic T2
Sep 2, 2009
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Mason City
Interesting information. Here's what I've learned from Fanatics about having a big deck.
* wife will enjoy it but rarely use it or spend time on it
* it's expensive to erect
* it will make your neighbor jealous once it's up
* measure twice and **** once
* ultimately, wife owns your deck
* wait for deck price to go down
* a deck can get hot as hell
* wife wants it now ... lucky guy
* a deck will eventually mold if not properly maintained
* if your deck ever gets damaged, have extra stuff "on hand"
* some posters here want a picture of your deck after its up
* cap your deck to avoid problems
* setup and framing very important before erecting. sounds like foreplay which really isn't needed for deck owner
* sunlight on your deck is important to avoid moisture buildup
* don't fasten your deck to your house
* if you do your deck yourself, it will save a lot of money ... this is obvious to any married or divorced deck owner
Don't forget if you trim the hedges it makes the deck look bigger
 
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legi

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Oct 31, 2008
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Maple Grove, MN
This,

When I did mine, digging the post holes to below frontline, setting the posts and pouring the concrete was by far the biggest PITA for the whole deal. The steps on my first deck were a challenge as I cut the stringers myself but after doing it once, I found that the menards and other shops around prefab stringers that makes life much easier.
I won't have to deal with concrete as I will be using Diamond Piers, which should make the process much faster and easier.
 
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legi

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Oct 31, 2008
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Maple Grove, MN
Take a look at TimberTech pro series. It is much more scratch resistant than Trex. After seeing how much labor went in to the replacement of a 12x20 deck, I'd never touch that project. 2-4 guys working 4-6 hours for at least 5 days.

We are a year in and have been happy with composite. No mold issues so far. It could use a light power wash after the winter.
We looked at TimberTech but the wife liked Trex options better.
 

IcSyU

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Nov 27, 2007
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Rochester, MN
Research how you want to attach the ledger board. Some people just screw it on top of the siding. Others remove some siding, and attach the ledger to a solid structure, and add flashing to bring water out over the ledger. The latter seems better, but you need to have some siding knowledge
That sounds like a terrible idea.




I have UltraDeck and I've never had any of the neighbors say, "Man, I'm really glad I have cedar instead of composite." It's normally "Wow, this looks really sharp and you've had it installed for how long? I'm tired of sanding and restaining my deck and would prefer something like this!"

If you're using the hidden clips, buy a TON of T-15 bits.
 

Sousaclone

Well-Known Member
Apr 29, 2006
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Inland Empire
Maybe you already know these, but just in case
  • Buy an impact driver if you don't have one
  • Use torx screws instead of philips
These two are definitely good advice. Don't cheap out on hardware/fasteners. No point in making your life miserable stripping out screws to try and save $100 on a $10k project. Don't use damn drywall screws.

If you are working over a walkout, consider renting a little bit of scaffolding for a weekend as you try and get the bigger framing in. Good access makes things so much easier, faster, and safer.

Call before you dig (or go into the ground). 811, OneCall, or whatever it happens to be called in your area.

Measure twice cut once, spend the extra time making sure things are square, plumb, and true. Otherwise you'll be fighting it the entire way.
 

NickTheGreat

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Jan 17, 2012
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Central Iowa
My deck has the decking run at 45 degrees. It takes more work and more material and requires closer joists. But looks really nice.

I'm going to replace my wooden railing with the aluminum stuff. Sealing that stinks

Maybe it's the common way now but mine is the cantilevered design. Gets you a little more deck that is stronger.
 

legi

Well-Known Member
Oct 31, 2008
1,041
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Maple Grove, MN
As long as the decking is PVC capped, you shouldn't have worries about warping. Be sure your joists are 16" on center (or less), or you will have sagging problems with the decking. Hidden fasteners are awesome, the only drawback is if you have to replace one board it's tedious.

One thing you need to remember is the fascia (the wide, thinner piece that covers the outside joists) should NOT be screwed tightly without drilling holes through it first that are slightly larger than the diameter of the threaded part of the screw. The key is that the fascia only hangs on the screw....that way if heat causes minor expansion, it has room to move and won't become misshaped. (I learned this the hard way.) ;)

Which Trex line did you use? Enhance?
It is Enhance. Thanks for the fascia suggestion.
 

KnappShack

Well-Known Member
May 26, 2008
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Parts Unknown
Is a pergola an option? We have a slab out back. Good sized and the only backyard that isn't tricked out in the surrounding areas.

A deck sounds hella expensive especially since we're trying to get outta here.

Note:. No real man trims around his deck. God put that growth there for a reason and you should be confident that your deck is large enough and not need tricks to make it look bigger.
 
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legi

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Oct 31, 2008
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Maple Grove, MN
I don't had personal experience but I've often been told not to fasten to house. If deck settles it can move or damage whatever it is fastened to. I'd be curious as to the experience of others.
Typically it's attached to the house from what I've seen. Floating decks are more if it's not right against the house.
 

legi

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Oct 31, 2008
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Maple Grove, MN
If you're spending that kind of money go with cedar decking. Composite is garbage. And for the footing to deck posts go with 6×6 and notch them.
Wife wants composite. Had it at my previous house and thought it was good.

I will use 6x6 posts, but won't be able to notch them as I will have 3 2x10 beams on top of it. So will have to use post to beam metal connection.
 
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cyphoon

Active Member
Sep 8, 2011
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[screwing the ledger board to the siding] sounds like a terrible idea.
The builders of my current and previous home both did this. Ledger board was nailed into place, and then lag screws were driven through the ledger board and siding into the structure behind.

H
 

Dopey

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Nov 2, 2009
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If you're spending that kind of money go with cedar decking. Composite is garbage. And for the footing to deck posts go with 6×6 and notch them.
I did exactly this. Notching the posts for the beam gives you more head clearance if you walk under the deck. I think it looks cleaner. And saves a bit of money by doubling the beam as the front rim board.

And I really like our cedar.