Exclusive Building a detached deck

Discussion in 'Blazers OT Forum' started by PtldPlatypus, Jun 26, 2020.

  1. PtldPlatypus

    PtldPlatypus Global Moderator Staff Member Global Moderator Moderator

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    Actually more like a rectangular gazebo (12x16). Planning on using concrete deck blocks and 4x4 posts every four feet. Wife wants joists and crossbeams to just be 2x4s to keep the deck surface close to the ground, but I'm not sure that's reasonable and/or wise.

    With zero experience in framing a structure, I'd be interested in any tips any of y'all have for making this thing solid without costing me an arm and a leg.
     
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  2. andalusian

    andalusian Season - Restarted

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    What are you going to use for the deck itself? I am a big fan of Cali bamboo and we used their products when we built our deck. Termites are a big problem here and heat can cause stuff to bend - our old deck had both these issues. As for height - we live on a hillside, but generally I think you want some space from the ground.
     
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  3. PtldPlatypus

    PtldPlatypus Global Moderator Staff Member Global Moderator Moderator

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    Some space sure, but how much? I mean, if we're using 12" deck blocks, then 4" beams, then 4" joists, we're close to 20" off the ground already before a flooring surface is placed.

    We're doing this on a budget and she wants to paint everything anyway ( :confused: ), so we're probably just using pressure-treated doug fir.
     
  4. UncleCliffy'sDaddy

    UncleCliffy'sDaddy Circling the bowl.....

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    2X6 on the joists and cross beams. If you can afford Trex, go for it. If not, use a good quality stain. Paint is NOT a good way to go on a deck, especially in Oregon. Paint can get slippery (Stained decks can get slippery also but not like paint IMHO) and can also chip and peel. Stain holds up better. Be very, very choosy with your wood when buying it. Take the time to sort through it as you buy to make sure you’re not getting any crap wood (split, dog eared, etc, etc, etc). Just my thoughts from p[ast experience.....
     
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  5. PtldPlatypus

    PtldPlatypus Global Moderator Staff Member Global Moderator Moderator

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    We're actually going 3/4" plywood and outdoor carpet on the flooring surface. Also putting a roof on top of it.

    See, I was thinking 2x6's for the floor supports as well. I fear I'm going to lose this battle though.
     
  6. julius

    julius Global Moderator Staff Member Global Moderator

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    Use torx screws. Never use Phillips screws or nails. Never.
     
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  7. wizenheimer

    wizenheimer Well-Known Member

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    wow....a surprising lot of 'between-the-lines' questions pop up

    structurally, 2 X 4 joists and crossbeams don't make sense. You can't span more than 3-4 feet with 2X4 and even then, you'll get deflection and bouncy action

    * start with the profile...your wife wants it as low to the ground as possible. right? Well, that means your deck piers (concrete) need to be in holes so your beams need to be supported an inch or less above grade. A 12 X 16 deck? I'd use pressure treated 4X6 as the beams (all your structural wood should be pressure treated. If the beams span the 12' dimension, I'd space 4 of them evenly them at 0' - 5'4" - 10'8" - 16'0". Then run 2X6 joists supported by joist hangers. Depending on the type of becks surface you use, you might get away with joists running 24" on center. But if you're decking is some composite material you might be better using 16" on center spacing.

    * anyway, with that you'd only be spanning about 5' with your joists. Considering that pressure treated is a little lower grade of lumber that span gives you a safety margin and a solid feel. As for the 4X6 beams, you could probably get away with just one row of intermediate piers, meaning you'd have to dig 12 holes.

    * speaking of those holes: you will never be able to make the support plates of all 12 piers level with each other. Just won't happen. The solution, unfortunately, if you're doing it yourself, is to dig each hole 3-4 inches deeper, pick a control pier, cut a 4x4 post that may be 3-4 inches long, and level & string from there. It will be those midget posts that support your beams. And you'll want some type of hardware bracket to tie the posts and beams together. But don't do that until you have squared the entire deck framing

    * which brings up another trick: plan on cantilevering your beams over those posts. In other words, your beams should cantilever at least a foot over the posts. That way, when the decks is done you won't be looking at a pier and the hole it's in. This will also reduce the span of the beams and make one intermediate row of piers adequate.

    * speaking of those beams, for a 12' deck, they won't be 12' long. Theoretically, they should be about 11'8" long. That way you can have your end joists cover the ends of the beams. That would require a pair of 16' pt 2X6. Now, for appearance, those 2X6 as well as the ones on either end could be a standard 2X6 rather that pressure treated. PT can be kind of ugly. You can also dress up the face of the deck by attaching 1X6 cedar around the 4 sides.

    * another trick: when you are ready to stat running your decking, pick a starting end and use a chalk-line or string to cut the beam ends straight and attach that outside 2X6. But do not cut the other end of the beams yet. Run your decking almost all the way to the end; then use the decking dimension to set the ends of the beams. That was you won't have to rip your final piece of decking

    * use you bionic eye, but don't trust it too much. Keep checking that you are running the deck straight and even with a string line. And keep measuring either end and center of the installed decking to make sure you're square and even. Nothing like getting 2/3 of the way done and have 94" of installed decking on the left and 95" on the right. Unless of course you like trapezoids.

    now, you mentioned a gazebo as part of the deck, but that introduces about a bazillion more variables. Then the first thing you have to do is build the support columns for the gazebo and in-fill the deck from there. And you'll need significant precision with those columns. And that will require more that standard deck piers, otherwise you could be looking at a collapsed gazebo after the first big wind...and yes, the wind can impact even a minimal structure

    I don't mean for all that to be intimidating. It just takes plenty of planning. The work itself isn't too hard, although about 3 hours in your back be wishing the deck was 20" above the ground than 6"
     
  8. ABM

    ABM Happily Married In Music City, USA!

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    Trex is really great stuff. It ain't cheap, but a great look and virtually maintenance free. If you're going to be there a number of years, worth considering.

    TREX1.jpeg TREX2.jpeg
     
  9. SlyPokerDog

    SlyPokerDog Woof! Staff Member Administrator

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    Need pics of the area.
     
  10. riverman

    riverman Writing Team

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    use 2x6s for anything bearing weight 2x4s won't cut it for a deck..my 2cents and whatever you do...use deck screws and not nails!
     
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  11. wizenheimer

    wizenheimer Well-Known Member

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    so, at least 200 square feet of roof, likely a bit more. You want the roof to overhang enough on all sides to mitigate your outdoor carpet getting wet. Don't use standard plywood either. Use pressure treated T&G or marine plywood

    but you will build a sailboat if you use standard deck piers. You'll need much better anchors and IMO, you'll want 6X6 columns as roof support. 4x4 would wobble like crazy in any wind, even if anchored well.

    have you considered paving stones instead of a deck? That way your 'patio/deck' would be at grade. And none of it will ever get dry rot. I'm betting overall there may not be a wildly significant difference between a framed deck and paving stones, and that's even assuming you get a paving stone contractor. And many of those contractors could include pouring concrete for your gazebo columns. There is almost no maintenance to paving stones. There will be maintenance for a deck
     
  12. SlyPokerDog

    SlyPokerDog Woof! Staff Member Administrator

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    That's exactly why I asked for pictures of the area.
     
  13. HailBlazers

    HailBlazers RIPcity

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  14. PtldPlatypus

    PtldPlatypus Global Moderator Staff Member Global Moderator Moderator

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    Wife's pretty set on a wooden structure with a roof (and a small cupola) and rails. I've been concerned about stability with 4x4s as well, however she also wants sheets of T1-11 across the back side, so I'm hoping that should help with the wobble.

    By the time I'm done, I feel like she's gonna ask for sheet rock...
     
  15. SlyPokerDog

    SlyPokerDog Woof! Staff Member Administrator

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    That roof will be ripped off the 2nd big windstorm. The first will loosen things up, the 2nd will kill it.
     
  16. barfo

    barfo triggered obsessive commie pinko Staff Member Global Moderator

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    Sounds like a lot of work, probably you should just get a divorce.

    barfo
     
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  17. wizenheimer

    wizenheimer Well-Known Member

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    ok, but that sounds like you're talking more about the gazebo than the deck...?

    if you have decided on a deck like you describe...ok. But, I will say as a carpenter/re-modeler/contractor of 40 years, mostly in Oregon, what you're describing seems like you're asking for problems. It's too wet in Oregon for that kind of floor surface unless your roof extends far enough in all directions to keep the carpet dry. And you'd probably need at least a couple of full walls blocking the directions of prevailing weather so rain can't blow in. If you do build it like you describe, I'd recommend applying two layers of felt/tar-paper before installing the carpet, with the 2nd layer running perpendicular to the first. But then maybe you couldn't adhere the carpet to the felt

    now, I understand if you are operating under a real tight budget....although I would think your S2 moderator's salary would allow you to have a luxury gazebo. But maybe you're paying for a Lamborghini right now.

    as I said, considering your wife wants a low profile "deck", it sounds like a good situation for paving stones. I've actually built a couple of Gazebo's over paving stones. I don't have pictures with me here, but there are lots of examples on the net. They can be pretty handsome

    something you need to consider...if you're sitting in your gazebo and you look up, you'll be looking at the framing and the underside of the roof sheathing. So build with that in mind. If what you have looks like cheap lumber and plywood with paint on it, you won't like staring at it for years

    is this a do-it-all-yourself project?
     
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  18. wizenheimer

    wizenheimer Well-Known Member

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    give me a break....as a dog, all you see are those posts
     
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  19. Lanny

    Lanny Original Season Ticket Holder "Mr. Big Shot"

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    Deck joists should be 2 by 6s. Decking either needs to be artificial or cedar. Everything needs to be fastened with corrosion resistant screws.
    I had a new deck installed made out of T-Rex artificial material that won't fade or warp. The replaced a previous deck that used a lower grade artificial material that just didn't last. The supporting posts and joists were still good but just inferior decking. Came out beautiful although my wife changed her mind about the color but too late. I like the color. Kind of a dark brown.

    Edit:
    We also had a wrought iron rail installed because I have trouble with even the single step down to the patio. You can get those rails lighted if you want.
     
  20. stampedehero

    stampedehero Play On>>>/ SRV

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    The railing is a good idea. You don't need railing if three or less step risers are in place. In NJ, we require railing four risers and more and guards if the deck is 30 inches high or more. The International Residential Code is what dictates what is acceptable. NJ has a more restrictive edition. I like the deck style!

    Teko metal supports and Simpson Strong Ties recommend hot dipped galvanized nails as long as it's their product. The problem with screws is that the torque builds heat and can distort the screw. Additional live load weight further promulgates the distortion. Special products like Ledger Loks are made for decks that are attached to the house sill/studs. Nails made for deck joist hangers attached to ledger or side trimmers are acceptable. I would use metal supports and never rely on toe nailing or screws.
     

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