Building a deck

HardcoreClone

Well-Known Member
Jul 28, 2006
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I am also going to start researching some new deck options. What are the pros/cons of cedar vs composite? I've always heard composite is much more expensive, but more durable. But with lumber prices now, is cedar not much cheaper than composite?

I'm seeing some people say you still have maintenance for composite. What would that be? Is composite resistant to scratches from kids and dogs? Is there an actual difference in brands of composite?
 

legi

Well-Known Member
Oct 31, 2008
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Maple Grove, MN
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
Thanks for your suggestions.

Ledger board on top of siding would be against the code here, so definitely can't do that. Will remove siding, and install flashing.

Oldest homes in my neighborhood are 5 years old and none of them have issues with their decks that are using Diamond Piers, so hopefully that's a good sign.
 
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twojman

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Jun 1, 2006
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Clive
Our spindles are metal, not wood. I would always recommend that. Our deck is kind of high off the ground and one thing we regret is not having a platform making the steps go a different direction. The steps are fairly steep.
 
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Brandon

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Feb 6, 2014
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Near Ames
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.
I actually sandwich 2x10/12's and the set the joist on top of it and cantilever the front a little. This makes it look better and the footings are easier to lay out that way.
 

mkadl

Well-Known Member
Mar 17, 2006
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Cornfield
I am also going to start researching some new deck options. What are the pros/cons of cedar vs composite? I've always heard composite is much more expensive, but more durable. But with lumber prices now, is cedar not much cheaper than composite?

I'm seeing some people say you still have maintenance for composite. What would that be? Is composite resistant to scratches from kids and dogs? Is there an actual difference in brands of composite?
I have a walk out basement no step out of door. Poured a new landscaped concrete patio. All materials and labor for a 16 x 52' area 60 pound block 2 terrace wall with the first terrace at sitting height. and approximately 16' x 30' irregular shaped patio. Less than $6,000 including plants. It wont work at everyone home but I am very pleased and glad I did a permanent low maintenance solution. Just thought I would mention it as a possibility.
 

Dopey

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Nov 2, 2009
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I actually sandwich 2x10/12's and the set the joist on top of it and cantilever the front a little. This makes it look better and the footings are easier to lay out that way.
Oh, I see. I used hangers and butted my joists against the beam, which was sitting on top of my notched posts.

I kind of had to do it this way to ensure my garden shed door would open under the beam.
 
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SCyclone

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Mar 11, 2014
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Fort Dodge, IA
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.
I wouldn't put Ultra Deck on if you gave it to me.
 

Clonehomer

Well-Known Member
Apr 11, 2006
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I won't have to deal with concrete as I will be using Diamond Piers, which should make the process much faster and easier.
Your municipal code allows for this? When I looked at ours last it sounded like concrete was required 42" deep. The footing diameter was specified based on the post size.