Monday, October 08, 2007

The Deck, Part 1

Blogger would only let me post these few pics so I will do this post in a series because I wanted to show some details. We started on the deck last weekend ( a week ago) and just about finished this weekend. I have been wanting to get this part of the house done for some time but just felt like some other stuff was more important. The first weekend we framed the deck up and got the posts set etc. Now, this deck will eventually become the dogtrot when the other half of the house is joined here and so will be a covered area. House on both sides with a continuous roof overhead. All of the lumber for the deck is pressure treated pine. The deck is 12'x 28'. The left side (in this photo) is supported by the concrete retaining/foundation wall that the house sits on. The rest of the deck is supported by 4x4 posts for now but when the other side of the house is built, the deck will be bolted to that half at the bands and the posts dropped out. When the whole house is here, you will enter to the left, stepping up as you reach the concrete wall. There will be a lot of back filling against that wall so I'm thinking there will only be one step up onto the porch. Since the supporting posts will eventually be removed, we did not want to embed them in the concrete as you would set most posts. They are merely supported by the concrete and can easily be removed later. We used some temporary 2x's to make dead men, placed about every 12 feet and nailed the band to them as we nailed the band together at the corners. We just eyeballed level in at this point. When we got everything there and nailed up we could shim the dead men up or down, as you can see under that one post on the left to get it actually level. Now, we shot level in with an instrument but I know most people don't have those so a stick level is fine too. We then determined where we wanted the 4x4's, dug a hole for it and nailed the 4x's in place with the ends dangling in the hole. I mixed up some Sackcrete and we filled the hole up just enough to reach the bottom of the 4x. We let the concrete come up on the posts about a 1/2". Then held them plumb with rocks until the concrete set. I hope I explained that correctly; if not please ask me to clarify.
We used the old ledger system to frame the deck. Here, you have a 2x2 that you nail at the bottom of the band that your joists rest on. Oh, the band is 2x10's and the joists are 2x8's. Most people use joist hangers ( those metal U shaped things) but this is what they did before those were invented and probably cheaper.
We used 16 penny galvanized, spiral nails to nail the framing together with. Code requires 3 nails below each joist in the ledger. The band on this side will be bolted to the house with probably 3/8" carriage bolts but for now it is just nailed. I need to do that soon though. Each joist gets 4 nails at each end into the band also.
This past weekend we started the decking. These are five quarter deck boards by 5 1/2" wide. Of course, you know that most dimensional lumber is not the size it is referred to. For example, 2x4s are actually 1 1/2" x 3 1/2". A board that is referred to as "five quarter" is actually a full one inch thick. Whatever. Now, how you put down the deck boards can be done a million different ways and they probably all work fine. This is what we did. We determined a dimension about center of the deck lengthwise that would allow the boards to end with about an inch overhang on the outer edge. We popped a chalk line and began running the boards off of that line. Now, we are using 16' long boards and pressure treated lumber can be wiggly. It can start to get out of square etc. the further you run it, so this way we are only running off our reference line 6 feet in both directions rather than 12 feet if we just started right off the house. Shorter runs make for less room for error. That goes for anything.
Well, that is all of my pics for now. I will show the almost finished product next; hopefully soon. I'm still trying to come up with a handrail design so that is not on yet and we have no steps either. Still climbing up a stupid ladder to get in the house! I will try to get back quickly and if I did not explain something right ( more than likely) please ask me to explain and I will reply. Work has been rough on me lately so I'm down a little on posting. We have had to work some overtime and I'm not as young as I used to be. I'm so bruised and cut up from the job that I am moving pretty slow right now. I need to get some deck furniture so that I can rest some on my new porch! Yeah, like maybe 10 minutes.

4 comments:

pablo said...

So why will you remove the support posts????

edifice rex said...

Hey Pablo! Well, when the other half of the house is built and connected to the deck, the support posts won't be needed because the house will support it just like the part of the house that is there now does on that side. The deck will essentially be suspended between 2 houses. I could still leave them but there will actually be some walkway areas under there and it would be nice not to have to walk around some posts. Does that help?

pablo said...

Yep, I thought that was the explanation, but it's nice to hear it from the voice of wisdom and experience.

edifice rex said...

HA! the voice of experience maybe...wisdom, I dunno.