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Old 01-04-2012, 10:09 PM   #1
Chris3Duke
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Backyard Deck Build

So, I'm planning a landscape renovation on our townhouse in the spring. My in-laws got their deck redone last year with expensive composite decking, and the color faded, so the manufacturer is replacing it for free (huge, huge deck). I can get unlimited amounts of the decking material, and plan to paint it to hide the fading.

My townhouse is 20' wide, by 33' long. Currently, we have a fenced backyard that is 20' by 20', but I own another 20' of property directly behind the fence. I plan to bump the fence out about another 10 feet. So consider a 20' wide by 30' long yard.

There is an existing concrete pad patio that's cracked, 20' wide by 8' long. I figure I'll go over top of this. Anyone have suggestions on the dimensions I should make the deck? I figure I'll keep the full 20' width (it will go all the way up to the fence), and maybe a 16' depth? With the fence bumped out, that would leave me with 20' by 14' of grass / landscaping.
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Old 01-04-2012, 10:28 PM   #2
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I built my deck myself (25x20) let me know if ya have any questions.

I'd suggest sketching it out to scale. You might be overbuilding the size?

Cracked pad? I'd do it right and break up the pad to dig down 3-6 feet (freeze line) and pour concrete footers. You don't want to risk sagging
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Old 01-04-2012, 10:52 PM   #3
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Cracked pad? I'd do it right and break up the pad to dig down 3-6 feet (freeze line) and pour concrete footers. You don't want to risk sagging
I think this is required in some areas.
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Old 01-04-2012, 10:59 PM   #4
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the contractors that came out to restain our fence and deck rails mentioned that there was a new product coming out (or is already out) that you can apply to faded TREX deck to bring back the color. Might want to look into that as well as another option!
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Old 01-04-2012, 11:15 PM   #5
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the contractors that came out to restain our fence and deck rails mentioned that there was a new product coming out (or is already out) that you can apply to faded TREX deck to bring back the color. Might want to look into that as well as another option!
A sander, some stainer, and sealant?
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Old 01-04-2012, 11:39 PM   #6
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Interesting on the product to restore fading. The manufacturer (not sure if it's Trex, or another brand) is replacing it under warranty, and paying for half the labor, while the installer is eating the other half.

This is kind of what I'm going for:

http://indecorat.com/urban-town-hous...-garden-design

I think you may be right that I'm overbuilding it...
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Old 01-05-2012, 09:01 AM   #7
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I built my deck myself (25x20) let me know if ya have any questions.

I'd suggest sketching it out to scale. You might be overbuilding the size?

Cracked pad? I'd do it right and break up the pad to dig down 3-6 feet (freeze line) and pour concrete footers. You don't want to risk sagging
just curious, how much did you think you saved by doing it yourself? I'm lucky to have family that does sh1t like this and couldn't imagine paying someone
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Old 01-05-2012, 09:03 AM   #8
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just curious, how much did you think you saved by doing it yourself? I'm lucky to have family that does sh1t like this and couldn't imagine paying someone
Couple thousand, easy

Plus I know it's way over engineered, no shortcuts taken and exactly the way I want it, down to the screw
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I agree with JonJon.

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Old 01-05-2012, 01:17 PM   #9
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post a diagram of the dimensions of the deck, using google sketch up. I just completed a 26'x18', zipper and double border pattern last year using S4S WRC top... damn it took forever! Good luck and post pics once you start!
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Old 01-05-2012, 06:49 PM   #10
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For a 20' wide deck, I don't think I'm going to have long enough lumber to span it. I'm thinking I should go for, say 14' and 6' planks, and alternate the butt joints from one side to the other. Two 10' boards would leave a seam straight down the middle...
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Old 01-05-2012, 06:58 PM   #11
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you should alternate planks anyway
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Old 01-05-2012, 07:20 PM   #12
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Good luck. I built a deck two years ago...posted a thread about it on diychatroom.com... Check it out... http://www.diychatroom.com/f2/deck-b...estions-22040/

Btw... Black and Decker has a book about deck building that I highly recommend... I had never built a deck before and built the one from that link with zero major issues. I also planed the entire deck out first using google Sketchup. I highly recommend you do both... Proper planing and knowledge will make the actual build much easier and more enjoyable. I was actually sad when I finished building that deck

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Old 01-05-2012, 09:38 PM   #13
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Agree with Leroy.
I used a book from Lowes i think and have been all over decks.com as a resource too.

Book: Creative Homeowner, Ultimate Guide, "DECKS Plan - Build - Design" c2010

http://www.decks.com/Calculators/
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Old 01-05-2012, 09:40 PM   #14
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I used a book from Lowes
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Old 01-06-2012, 12:26 AM   #15
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A sander, some stainer, and sealant?
Can you sand down TREX deck? Or I should rephrase by asking should you sand down TREX?

If so, that'll be another reasonable option for our deck in a couple of years. Living at altitude in Colorado bakes the crap outta everything....
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Old 01-06-2012, 12:37 AM   #16
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Can you sand down TREX deck? Or I should rephrase by asking should you sand down TREX?

If so, that'll be another reasonable option for our deck in a couple of years. Living at altitude in Colorado bakes the crap outta everything....
I was kind of just being an ******* who is used to redwood, I don't think TREX is made to be resurfaced. You'll have to ask a dealer/wholesaler. From the sound of how it's "protected", I doubt it.
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Old 01-29-2013, 09:13 PM   #17
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For a 20' wide deck, I don't think I'm going to have long enough lumber to span it. I'm thinking I should go for, say 14' and 6' planks, and alternate the butt joints from one side to the other. Two 10' boards would leave a seam straight down the middle...
Well, a full year later, I think this is going to finally happen. Did a lot of stuff last year to the house, but this didn't happen.

Per my lumber hauling thread, I was able to get 20' decking, so there will be no butt joints at all.

I realized that I have no choice but to go over the pad. That is, I only have 3 inches from the top of the pad to my back door, and the pad drops maybe an inch to the rest of the yard. If I pull out the pad and dig footings, I'll have to either drop the elevation of the whole yard by like 6 inches (I suppose that could be doable...) or lay a gazillion footings and skip the beams. Even with joist hangers, I just don't have the height to do a traditional deck design.

So, it looks like my best option is to go over the pad with 2x4 sleepers ripped to level the pad (the pad is properly sloped away from the house, or at least will be once repaired). I'll rip the sleepers on a table saw, then tapcon them to the pad. I'll want ground contact PT for the sleepers.

So first step will be to repair and properly slope the pad (using some kind of a sand-topping compound). Then rip and tapcon the sleepers perpendicular to the house (so they don't act as dams for the water), and finally lay the TimberTech parallel to the house.

I checked TimberTech's installation instructions, and it only requires a minimum of 1.5" underneath (I'll have about 2" closest to the door, and over 3" at the edge of the pad, assuming 1/8" slope per foot).

I'm aware that I risk parts of the cracked pad sinking further and parts of the deck sagging, but will be using a hidden fastener system (with screws), so could do repairs if it happened (shim the sleepers and add more concrete underneath to restore my slope). Not perfect, and with hindsight, a stone or tile patio would have been a much better option. However, I was handed like $2k in free composite decking, and wanted to take advantage. My cost outlay should be very low (the tapcons, PT lumber, and concrete topping mix) so I should be able to do this on the cheap.

In terms of the composite having faded, they saved me mainly pieces that didn't. Still, I'll probably throw a stain on for uniformity.
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Old 01-29-2013, 10:13 PM   #18
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Make sure its pitched well under and over

You're gonna trap water and other crap by going right on the pad
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Old 01-30-2013, 02:01 AM   #19
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Sub'd for some pics..
before, during, & finished.
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Old 01-30-2013, 02:01 AM   #20
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Sub'd for some pics..
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