A deck for some friends. - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 21 Old 04-10-2012, 12:28 PM Thread Starter
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A deck for some friends.

Hi guys! Just wanted to show a deck I built for some good friends of mine. I also have some questions that some of you may be able to answer. Tell me what you think!

6x6 posts, 2x12 beams, 2x10 joists, 5/4x6 decking, 2x4s and 1x1s for railing. The stair treads were cut from 2x10s with 5/4 for the risers. We left a small gap between the tread and riser for water/snow drainage.

1. I built this deck for no fee. It was for some friends who are like family to me and he helped me so I didn't charge them. I'm not a professional deck builder, so I wanted to ask, how much would you guys charge to build this deck?

2. I have some concerns. One, should I install some cross bracing from post to post or maybe some Y braces from beam to post? I'm concerned with the deck racking and toppling over lol. I'm pretty sure it wont, but I did not install a ledger under the door so water has a place drain (yes, there is a ledger against the other wall).

3. I have some concerns over the stairs. A master stair builder I am not! My friend wants to add a lower deck in the near future so those steps will be somewhat rebuilt to sit on the future lower deck. Should I build a landing in between the decks when I build the lower deck? I used every bit of 3 2x12x16s for stringers and had to finagle them a bit to get them (what I think) is safely secured to the 6x6 sleeper we buried in the ground. I guess I'll find out when the inspector comes for a final inspection!











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post #2 of 21 Old 04-10-2012, 12:43 PM
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Deck looks good. The bottom of the stairs are usually resting on piers or a concrete pad. Nice job on the deck.
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post #3 of 21 Old 04-10-2012, 12:46 PM
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Looks very nice. You did a good job.
Looks like the birds like it to.

When it's rustic......it's rustic
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post #4 of 21 Old 04-10-2012, 12:49 PM
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Thats not a deck....Thats a space station...

It's all fun and games until someone loses the Walnut.
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post #5 of 21 Old 04-10-2012, 01:26 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by buggyman1 View Post
Deck looks good. The bottom of the stairs are usually resting on piers or a concrete pad. Nice job on the deck.
Yeah. I wanted to pour a small pad for them to rest on, but honestly, I had no experience in building such a long staircase and didn't know exactly where they would end up and I didn't want them to end up sitting on the front lip of a 4 foot deep pad! Also, with his plans on building a lower deck in the near future, I just didn't see the point in putting more concrete in the ground. What we did is bury 2 6x6's in the ground, then rest another one across them. I put in some ledger lags and 2 1/2" screws to hold them together and rested the stairs on them. Eventually, when we build the lower level, the stairs will just end right on it.
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post #6 of 21 Old 04-10-2012, 01:50 PM
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As a builder and Project Manager I give you a Not bad

We left a small gap between the tread and riser for water/snow drainage. Not on the bottom two where the snow will be.......

I don't like the baluster details. I see them done this way all the time and I've always disliked them because the snow and leaves just collect and there's no where to shovel or sweep.

You used three posts on one girder and two posts with huge cantilevers on the the other one???? Did you forget a sonotube????

I don't like the deck being level to the inside floor system.
Rain and snow splash inside the door.

I sound like a jerk, huh?
I'm not
I'm just pointing out details that you asked about.
If we all just say nice job and well done, you don't learn anything.

You did a great job on what you knew.
The rest is just details

You're a good friend and I commend your effort......nicely done.....
Tom

Learning more about tools everyday

Last edited by tcleve4911; 04-10-2012 at 01:52 PM.
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post #7 of 21 Old 04-10-2012, 10:52 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tcleve4911 View Post
As a builder and Project Manager I give you a Not bad

We left a small gap between the tread and riser for water/snow drainage. Not on the bottom two where the snow will be.......

Yeah, we were a board short and my buddy wanted to just use some scraps instead of running to the store.

I don't like the baluster details. I see them done this way all the time and I've always disliked them because the snow and leaves just collect and there's no where to shovel or sweep.

I agree, but that's the way they wanted them! I gave them several options for railings, even lent them some books to look through and this is what they choose!

You used three posts on one girder and two posts with huge cantilevers on the the other one???? Did you forget a sonotube????
lol, no, we didn't forget a tube! The plan only called for one girder with 3 posts but I added the inner one to counter any deflection that will come with time and give it a little more support. I dunno... I thought it was a good idea! For the holes, we dug 12" diameter footing holes and filled them with concrete. I cut the tubes to about 1 foot sections and stuck half in the ground and half out to for a nice looking round pier. I like doing that way because you can get more concrete in the ground and bell it out at the bottom to help prevent heave.

I don't like the deck being level to the inside floor system.
Rain and snow splash inside the door.

I guess I would tend to agree. I gave them the option of dropping it down a few inches or leaving it up. There is about a one inch difference to the inside floor. My only concern with dropping it down is that I really like having the ledger board as even with the rim joist of the home as possible. Is that not necessary? How much of on overlap can there be and still have a good bond?

I sound like a jerk, huh?
I'm not
I'm just pointing out details that you asked about.
If we all just say nice job and well done, you don't learn anything.

Well said! I don't think you're being a jerk at all my friend! I posted the pics here because a)I wanted some honest feedback from people I know are good building things. b)I know that I probably made some mistakes and I want to be able to learn from them and correct them for the next time! I CERTAINLY appreciate your taking the time to give me some feedback and some advice!

You did a great job on what you knew.
The rest is just details

You're a good friend and I commend your effort......nicely done.....
Tom
Thanks Tom! There are a few things I didn't like either. Mostly with the stairs. Such as the railing on the deck side. My friend did the ballasters himself after I had to leave one day and I think they look pretty sloppy, and the risers on the last two steps, but hey..... it's his deck!
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post #8 of 21 Old 04-11-2012, 08:45 AM
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the one thing you should think about next time is to build up your beams. they will be stronger lamanated together. also notch your post so the beam is suported by the post. this way you are not putting all the weigth on the lag bolts. here is a pic of one of a beam on one of my decks. i use a 3 ply beam with a notched post. the post is notched for 2 plys and a 2 x 6 block is bolted to the post for the third ply of the beam.
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post #9 of 21 Old 04-11-2012, 11:21 AM Thread Starter
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thanks ECR. I've seen it done like that before and I like it! I think I will build like that in the future. Definitely makes a stronger deck.

What is the easiest way to mark out and form the the notches? I would think that I would set all of the posts, set a string line and cut to height, then use the string to mark for the notches. How do you like to go about cutting the notch itself?

Last edited by jaydawg74; 04-11-2012 at 11:25 AM.
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post #10 of 21 Old 04-11-2012, 02:36 PM
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Something to keep in mind also, when using sono tubes, one of the ways they work to prevent frost heave (not sure where you live) is to create a smooth surface on the outside of the footing so the frozen dirt has nothing to grab onto when heaving. If you just pour the concrete into the jagged hole, it will conform to the shape of the hole and will be more prone to lifting when/if the ground freezes and heaves. Another alternative to footings would be a product called Diamond Pier. We sell them up here in Mn with great success.
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post #11 of 21 Old 04-11-2012, 09:56 PM
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jaydawg, i use a water level or a laser to get my post height. then mark the notch with what ever the beam will be 2x10 or 12. i have a prazi beam cutter i use for the post and notch. you can do it with a circular saw and recip also. i also use a 2x4 longer than the post to get my post height. that way i can mark the 6x6 on the saw horses and cut it on the ground instead of in the air.
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post #12 of 21 Old 04-16-2012, 03:02 PM
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It looks pretty good. I can't tell from the pictures, is there an overhang with the stair treads?
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post #13 of 21 Old 04-16-2012, 03:34 PM
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Looks nice.

Wouldnt pass here for several reasons. Built up beam must be sitting on top of post or in notch. Rail posts must be full size (no notch to fit it over joist). No footers for stairs. No graspable handrail.

But it looks nice.
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post #14 of 21 Old 04-16-2012, 11:12 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by no1hustler View Post
It looks pretty good. I can't tell from the pictures, is there an overhang with the stair treads?
There is a slight lip, which I don't like, but they first wanted the stairs open, with no risers, then after it was done they wanted the risers. So I had to move them all forward an inch to allow for the riser and still have a wide tread.
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post #15 of 21 Old 04-16-2012, 11:19 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by 12penny View Post
Looks nice.

Wouldnt pass here for several reasons. Built up beam must be sitting on top of post or in notch. Rail posts must be full size (no notch to fit it over joist). No footers for stairs. No graspable handrail.

But it looks nice.
I'll keep that in mind. In my buddies development, all of his neighbors decks use the post and girder system that I used. I'm going to use the built up beam and notched post for now on, I really like the way that looks and it's definitely more structurally sound. As far as the steps... I'm not at all happy with them, but he wants to build a lower deck later in the year or next year so I can correct what I don't like then. In fact, I'll probably have to completely rebuild them because there's no way that the rise will come out right. For now, I'm confident that the stairs are safe. They don't consider a 2x4 a gripable hand rail where you're from?
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post #16 of 21 Old 04-17-2012, 06:18 AM
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Very nice work. As an engineer I have to say I agree with some of the comments on construction technique, not that I could have done any better I just can't help but look at every structure from an engineer persepctive and search for potential points of failure (just ask my dad about the swingset that I helped him build for my niece, a hurricane my tear the house down but that swingset will still be there, LOL). Did your buddy not have to get a building permit and submit plans for the deck? I only ask because I know the rules for decks are different from place to place and I had a buddy build a deck sans plans/permit and it caused some insurance problems along the way if I remember correctly. There is actually a lot of science behind woodframe construction like this, many engineers when studying for their master's degree in construction management or architecture or other similar disciplines have to take master's level courses in woodframe construction, blew my mind when I saw it in the course catatlog!
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post #17 of 21 Old 04-17-2012, 07:37 AM
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I'll keep that in mind. In my buddies development, all of his neighbors decks use the post and girder system that I used. I'm going to use the built up beam and notched post for now on, I really like the way that looks and it's definitely more structurally sound. As far as the steps... I'm not at all happy with them, but he wants to build a lower deck later in the year or next year so I can correct what I don't like then. In fact, I'll probably have to completely rebuild them because there's no way that the rise will come out right. For now, I'm confident that the stairs are safe. They don't consider a 2x4 a gripable hand rail where you're from?
No they dont because for a small child or your elderly mother in law it isnt graspable.

ETA...let us know how the inspection goes.
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post #18 of 21 Old 04-17-2012, 08:41 AM Thread Starter
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Yes, he got a permit. I made it clear I won't do it without a permit. We followed the plans. He hasn't gotten his final inspection yet, I ask him every time I see him lol. I'm interested in what they say.
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post #19 of 21 Old 04-17-2012, 08:47 AM Thread Starter
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No they dont because for a small child or your elderly mother in law it isnt graspable.

ETA...let us know how the inspection goes.
But..... do you really WANT your mother in law to grasp it?

If the rail doesn't pass code here, I think I have a pretty good solution. I'll add a post half way up, get some galvanized plumbing pipe, make some small "L" brackets with the pipe affix it to the 2x4.
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post #20 of 21 Old 04-17-2012, 09:08 AM
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