Cheap deck that'll cost me - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 12 Old 07-11-2016, 03:12 PM Thread Starter
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Question Cheap deck that'll cost me

Hello All,


The house we bought last year was refurbished by a company that does several houses around the neighborhood. I put up a fence recently and the city surveyor made a comment about the people who refurbished the home. Something along the lines of "they're cheap". Since then I've been very suspicious about the craftsmanship/refurbishment of the house.


The house has two decks, one on the first floor and the second of the second floor (not original to the house and built in 2013). The first floor deck is in need of some tlc so I started to look up what I need to do in terms of maintenance. When looking under the deck I noticed that there is plywood above the beams, as appose to planks/boards. So, to me, it looks like it was done the same way hardwood flooring is done indoors (ie with the interlocking panels).


My guess is this is a cheap way to make a deck. Is my guess right? If so, is the way they built the deck going to screw me over in terms of maintenance and deck longevity?


I am not very knowledgeable and I just want an idea how bad my situation is (if it is indeed bad. I get the feeling it sort of is ).


Thank you for reading and for any knowledge provided. pardon my newbness.

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post #2 of 12 Old 07-11-2016, 04:56 PM
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I would think that water will be trapped and create a lot of problems with that approach. I would tear it off and re-do it, if it was my house, but that isn't necessarily going to be inexpensive! I just built a 10' x 12' floating deck in my yard. Granted, I went way overboard with my design, but I still only ended up with less than a grand in materials. (It also provided a great excuse to replace my cheap old sliding miter saw with a very nice new Bosch saw and stand!)
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post #3 of 12 Old 07-11-2016, 05:18 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by sbrader View Post
I would think that water will be trapped and create a lot of problems with that approach. I would tear it off and re-do it, if it was my house, but that isn't necessarily going to be inexpensive! I just built a 10' x 12' floating deck in my yard. Granted, I went way overboard with my design, but I still only ended up with less than a grand in materials. (It also provided a great excuse to replace my cheap old sliding miter saw with a very nice new Bosch saw and stand!)


Yeah, I figure it will cost a pretty penny. My immediate thought after seeing the bottom was "Dang, something tells me I'll have to change this". At least the posts and beams are all done well.
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post #4 of 12 Old 07-11-2016, 05:22 PM
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Plywood has no place on a deck

Water needs to run or drain off and planks are the best way if not the only way that will happen. A large flat surface either exposed or under another material will only trap water.

If, on the second floor you don't want water to drip and drian on the lower level, then you need a secondary cover with either a membrane or a waterproof surface like fiberglas.

Best of luck, because the fix won't be cheap or easy. :frown2:
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post #5 of 12 Old 07-11-2016, 06:00 PM Thread Starter
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Water needs to run or drain off and planks are the best way if not the only way that will happen. A large flat surface either exposed or under another material will only trap water.

If, on the second floor you don't want water to drip and drian on the lower level, then you need a secondary cover with either a membrane or a waterproof surface like fiberglas.

Best of luck, because the fix won't be cheap or easy.
Thanks. I figured it was going to be a pain. The second deck is above the first as shown in the pic. There is some roofing above it and the second floor is fully screened. But, it was done the same way. So, both will need eventual replacing. Really glad I found this site while googling. I feel more confident about my initial impressions
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post #6 of 12 Old 07-11-2016, 06:17 PM
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What you have is a common style, I would have it checked by a professional, it is difficult to appraise the situation without actually seeing it.
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post #7 of 12 Old 07-11-2016, 06:34 PM
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If all the frame work is good, all you will need to do is replace the decking. While you have the decking removed make sure you have it flashed correctly and the band at the house is secured to the house right. Flashing behind that band is important to prevent rot.
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post #8 of 12 Old 07-11-2016, 10:11 PM
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Another thought is instead if ripping two floors of decking off, what about enclosing the decks with operable glass windows to keep the water out?
I have two screened in porches and I glazed one in with full height windows. Wasn't too long afterwards, the porch was carpeted and real furniture. It added a month to the outside season in the spring and fall.
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Cut it twice, measure once and it's still too short.
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post #9 of 12 Old 07-11-2016, 11:12 PM
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You said, "When looking under the deck I noticed that there is plywood above the beams ..."

What is on top of the flooring, that you didn't know it was plywood until you looked at it from below?

If it's coated with something, (like epoxy garage floor coating, or even linoleum) and you haven't had a problem with water pooling on it, is there a problem?
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post #10 of 12 Old 07-12-2016, 06:31 AM
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What you have is a common style, I would have it checked by a professional, it is difficult to appraise the situation without actually seeing it.
Very good advise. Long distance advise can be good, but for something like this it is always better to get "eyes on" advise. It may be that the decking was done in such a way that there is no problem.

Regardless, I would probable wait until there was a problem before ripping out and replacing. Unless waiting is going to cause a problem with material that otherwise would not need to be replaced.

That is type of advise an on scene professional can give you.

George
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post #11 of 12 Old 07-12-2016, 11:24 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
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What you have is a common style, I would have it checked by a professional, it is difficult to appraise the situation without actually seeing it.
Thats good to know. I'm going to have somebody check it out to get a better idea about it. Thank you.

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If all the frame work is good, all you will need to do is replace the decking. While you have the decking removed make sure you have it flashed correctly and the band at the house is secured to the house right. Flashing behind that band is important to prevent rot.
The frame work is good, thankfully. It seems like it is indeed as simple as replacing the decking. Figure this will be a long term project since its not falling apart yet. Thank you.

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Another thought is instead if ripping two floors of decking off, what about enclosing the decks with operable glass windows to keep the water out?
I have two screened in porches and I glazed one in with full height windows. Wasn't too long afterwards, the porch was carpeted and real furniture. It added a month to the outside season in the spring and fall.
Yeah, like a 4 seasons kind of room. I have thought about. That would be pretty cool. Thank you.

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Originally Posted by mikechell View Post
You said, "When looking under the deck I noticed that there is plywood above the beams ..."

What is on top of the flooring, that you didn't know it was plywood until you looked at it from below?

If it's coated with something, (like epoxy garage floor coating, or even linoleum) and you haven't had a problem with water pooling on it, is there a problem?
So, on top of the plywood, it looks like there is some hardwood flooring similar to the hardwood flooring you can purchase at hardware/flooring stores. Slats that go above a surface that have notches on the edges that help the slats interlock. I found that weird since decks I have seen in the past are always planks on top of support beams. There isn't a problem but, I was just a little worried that the contractors took an easy way out that will end up costing me. Thank you.

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Very good advise. Long distance advise can be good, but for something like this it is always better to get "eyes on" advise. It may be that the decking was done in such a way that there is no problem.

Regardless, I would probable wait until there was a problem before ripping out and replacing. Unless waiting is going to cause a problem with material that otherwise would not need to be replaced.

That is type of advise an on scene professional can give you.

George
Definitely. I just wanted to get a better idea of what it is I got before letting my initial ideas push me into making a bad decision. I figured this would be a long term project that I have to keep an eye on.


Again, thank you all. You have been so helpful. Cheers!
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post #12 of 12 Old 07-12-2016, 05:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikechell View Post
You said, "When looking under the deck I noticed that there is plywood above the beams ..."

What is on top of the flooring, that you didn't know it was plywood until you looked at it from below?

If it's coated with something, (like epoxy garage floor coating, or even linoleum) and you haven't had a problem with water pooling on it, is there a problem?
Also, there are many flat roofs decked with plywood.
It all depends on how the wood is protected (sealed).
A boat can be made of plywood.
I would have a trusted professional evaluate the construction.
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If you don't have time to do it right the first time, when will you have time to do it over?
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