Exclusive Building a detached deck

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

  1. stampedehero

    stampedehero Play On>>>/ SRV

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    I like 6"x 6" column installation for multi story or large volume custom area decks. If a one story deck is planned, 4"x 4"posts cross braced with staggered mid span joist blocking is aok . The ledger attached to a house and column footings are vital.
    Stand alone decks are good choices for a low height deck such as Plt's project.
    Paving stones or patterned cement is a great idea for an on grade patio project. Plt's wife would then be attracted to an accessory foliage garden to match the effect. It keeps him working longer too.
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2020
  2. Orion Bailey

    Orion Bailey Well-Known Member

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    2x6 on the cross beams for sure.
     
  3. PtldPlatypus

    PtldPlatypus Global Moderator Staff Member Global Moderator Moderator

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    Yes, very much a do-it-all-ourselves deal.

    This has been very helpful. We had initially been thinking/talking about building this as one all inclusive piece (floors/posts/rolls/roof all interconnected, but I see there could be value in doing the deck surface and covering as two separate things. Definitely going to have the roof area hang close to two feet past the sides of the structure.

    We're attempting to till and level the construction area today, and she's concerned about the possibility of ground settling beneath the pavers, so she's pretty set on the deck blocks. I think I'll be able to get her to see the light on 2x6s underneath.
     
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  4. yankeesince59

    yankeesince59 "Oh Captain, my Captain".

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    This^^^...You can't beat Trex and Trex-like composites. I used it when I built a pool deck about 8 years ago and it looks just as good now as it did the day I built it...when I was shopping for wood and decking for my project I found some grey composite decking at Home Depot...yeah, it was more expensive but well worth it...no staining, no warping or cracking, no fading, not slippery at all even when wet, nearly indestructible and extremely good looking...I still get compliments on it.
     
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  5. wizenheimer

    wizenheimer Well-Known Member

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    sure, 4x4 works for the deck itself, although I'd recommend 6x6 if the height exceeds 8'. And you're right about the joist blocking. In the case of the 12x16 deck platypus is talking about, assuming the joists run in the 12' direction and one mid-span beam, a row of blocks directly on that beam would lock that fram up solidly

    But I was talking about 6x6 for the gazebo columns. Any time a substantial roof is involved, and I'd consider 200 square feet substantial, I want to have 6x6. It's the column cross-section area that resists wobble, racking, twisting, & bending. A 4x4 has a cross-section of 12.25 sq.in. A 6x6 has one of 30.25. And you can even order an actual 6x6 that has a cross-section of 36 sq. inches.

    and you shouldn't use piers with post stirrups either. Those offer no resistance to any kind of horizontal shear more than 4' above the stirrup

    I've built several free-standing and attached roofs for decks and patios. After the early days of seeing how poorly 4x4 performed, I always advised 6x6. And I advised them being embedded in the pier. Generally, that would be a 16-20 inch sonna tube concrete form, and the post embedded 18-20 inches. You do that and the roof will be solid.

    of course, if money is no object, you can use steel with a baked enamel paint cover. I was sub-contracting finish carpentry on a 2 million dollar home one time. IIRC, it was about 11,000 square feet. Anyway, they built a 24x36 foot gazebo a little ways from the 'main' house. It was a contractor from Eugene who built it. They had steel columns resting on concrete columns that were 3 feet above grade. Spaced 12 feet apart. The roof-beam stirrups were designed for 6x12 number 1 doug fir imported from Canada. There was no blemish on those things. Full hip roof on top with, again, #1 doug fir rafters, Perlins, and blocks. And all of the lumber was kiln dried. Then, believe or not, the owner had them install a copper roof. All the lumber was stained and sealed. And the deck/patio was some kind of expensive paving stone, that had 3' high walls of expensive blocks around some of the walls (remember those concrete piers the posts were on. And of course, there was electric, water, and gas supplied to the gazebo, in part for the bbq kitchen they had out there

    yeah, kind of insane, but the owner was rich (owned a surgical group and commercial real estate). I got to know him a little so I asked him how much it cost. He said it was up to 174K and that was before the copper roof. Funy thing was there was a 6' paving stone walkway that just terminated out in the yard a ways from the gazebo. I asked about that and he said that was headed to the pool and pool house, plus tennis court they planned on doing the following summer. yeeeeeesh
     
  6. wizenheimer

    wizenheimer Well-Known Member

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    if you're doing it yourself, then paving stones probably aren't an option. Those are labor-intensive. There would be no settling problems though because you dig out to the undisturbed soil, then add 6" of gravel, then compact the hell out of that gravel. Then add sand for the bed of the paving stones. And you need a big stone/saw.
     
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  7. andalusian

    andalusian Season - Restarted

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    The only problem with Trex is that it is clear that it is not wood - which really bothered my wife and why we went for the Cali Bamboo option - all the advantages of composite with a more organic look. IIRC, the difference in price at the time was not too huge - but obviously it was more expensive than the mass produced stuff from the big box stores.
     
  8. PtldPlatypus

    PtldPlatypus Global Moderator Staff Member Global Moderator Moderator

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    So let's say that I'm only planning on spacing my posts 4' apart, both on the 12' and the 16' sides--so I'd basically have 14 posts around the perimeter of this thing, in addition to 6 more underneath the floor. Would 4x4s still be insufficient in that scenario; do I still need 6x6s at least at the corners?
     
  9. wizenheimer

    wizenheimer Well-Known Member

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    I'd say that depends of the weight of your roof

    in that case I'd recommend x-bracing on all sides that don't have t-1-11. Not for every space, but on every corner, both directions. When I think about it if you're going 4' O.C. with your 4x4's, maybe a type of V-bracing would work, but that always looks incomplete

    [​IMG]

    this is one way, although I've used a modified version before. The best angle is 45 degrees although I suppose you could go down to 30 degrees and still have an impact. I'd want to go from the deck all the way up and tie into your beams. But yeah, that's going to look pretty industrial and you probably couldn't get approval from your war department

    it's prettier to do something like this (imagine a roof instead of a deck):

    [​IMG]

    but to clean it up you'd use this modification:

    [​IMG]

    notice how the brace is the same dimension as the post & beam. That would mean you'd use 4X4 braces, cut on 45 degrees and then lag bolt the braces to posts and beams. That takes some time to get clean cuts and to cut/drill mortises for the lags to rest on, but it looks the best

    also notice the blocking in between each rafter. You should put blocking on top of each beam in your deck, and on top of each beam in your roof. You should also use some type of Simpson hurricane clip to tie each rafter to your beam. They are easy to install (after blocking), and there's the bonus that at least once you'll hammer your thumb (when you do, remember what Mark Twain said: "profanity offers a comfort not available in prayer")

    by the way, I don't think adding an extra post to each side is going to do much for wobble. I probably wouldn't bother

    I don't know what type of roof you're planning on. There are shed roofs, gable roofs, hip roofs, etc. Now, a shed roof is easiest to frame

    [​IMG]

    but you'll notice that one end is taller than the other. So, you could have 8' posts on one end and 11' posts on the other...welcome to wobble city. Now, you mentioned T-1-11 on one end so if you had that sheath on the tall end you'd mitigate that problem

    if you're going to use composition shingles, the minimum slope is 2/12. That's 2 inches of rise for every 12 inches of run. So, for a 12' roof, if your low-side posts were 8', your high side posts would be 10'.

    you can also consider a metal roof with a baked enamel finish. Comes in lots of colors, is much lighter than comp, is much easier to install, and can be applied to less of a slope than 2/12. Plan on bleeding though. I always do whenever I work with metal. Now, if you go that route it's important your finish roof dimension matches the width increment of your metal roofing. 1 foot roof panels can be attractive and easy to install. But that means you want your roof frame to be 14' or 15' or 16', not 14'5"

    a gable roof is a little more complicated:

    [​IMG]

    notice that there is a ridge rafter that runs the length of the roof. You'll want one of those. And it should be 0ne dimension larger than your rafters. In other words, if you're using 2x6 rafters, the ridge should be 2x8. Which brings up what you support that ridge rafter on. I'd recommend running your roof beams on all 4 sides. If the 16' run is your bearing beams for the rafters, than you'd use inside 4X hangers to install the two 12' beams (11'5"). Two advantages to that (and I'd install them in the shed roof too). One is that you can support the ridge rafter with a short stud on top of the beam. The other is this allows you options to add bracing to mitigate wobble, if it's too much when you get to that point

    also, notice the collar ties/ceiling joists in that frame. You should put at least one at the mid point

    if your wife wants a hip roof, you should probably just shoot yourself
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2020
  10. PtldPlatypus

    PtldPlatypus Global Moderator Staff Member Global Moderator Moderator

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    Gable roof is the plan. This is awesome. And we've been talking about the angled cross braces like you recommend, so I'm glad to see that you say they'll be helpful.

    I'm also grateful that my wife has now decided we're going to take down all our arbor vitae before we start building. Gives me time to digest all of this information.
     
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  11. SlyPokerDog

    SlyPokerDog Woof! Staff Member Administrator

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  12. wizenheimer

    wizenheimer Well-Known Member

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    I cut the board 3 times and it's still too short
     
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  13. wizenheimer

    wizenheimer Well-Known Member

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    you could also consider building your own trusses. There are all kinds of tutorials for that on the net, and youtube has a ton of DIY for trusses:

    https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=build your own trusses

    the big advantage is you do most of the work on the ground and not off of ladders. The disadvantage is you will look up and see all those framing members and gussets (although those metal gussets are less obtrusive than plywood gussets); it can look rather industrial. By the way, don't believe in any of those so-called trusses that don't have a bottom cord. That horizontal member is essential to prevent 'spreading' of the support beams in the center of span. And of course, that spreading would be accompanied by a sag in your ridge-line....ridge-bone-connected-to-the-beam bone/beam-bone-connected-to-the-post-bone

    if you're clever enough, you'll leverage this project and all the work you'll do into your wife agreeing to let you buy a compound miter saw big enough to cut thru 4 inches of wood. That would be a 10" or 12" blade depending on the saw. Every DIY project a husband does should see him accumulate at least one power tool.

    * important tip: make sure to crown all your beams, joists, & rafters. The crown (camber) should always be installed up. Which brings up another tip. You can just order all your material and have it delivered. But that way you have little control of the quality of wood you get. It's more time-consuming, but better, to select the wood yourself. That way you can reject boards with too much crown, too much wang, too many knots. etc.. Of course, if you have no way to haul all that wood, that's probably not an option. So then, if it's a delivery, bite the bullet and order extra of everything so you have a margin of error. Some lumber yards will allow returns with a re-stocking fee

    * if you do go with a plywood deck and outdoor carpet (picture me sighing and shaking my head right now), make sure to glue the plywood to the joists. I'll assume 3/4 plywood (although you could go with 7/8 strand board). For a plywood floor, I'd always go with 16" o.c. spacing for the joists even though 24" spacing is allowed. Just feels more solid. And I'd definitely recommend tongue & groove plywood/strand. It's a pain in the ass to install....you'll need a long-handled sledge hammer and a couple of toe boards (to hammer against and protect the edge of the plywood). But the pain pays off because you won's have dips and bumps between the joists

    * count on ordering more random 2x4 than you think you need. All your posts will need temporary braces, as well as rafters etc.. And you'll find other places to use 2x4 for infill blocking. Speaking of temporary, get a pound or two of 12d duplex nails (if you aren't using screws). They are easier nails to pull out. Speaking of that, here's your opportunity to get a couple of Gorilla pry bars to store next to your new miter saw. And you really need a good new 18volt screw gun don't you?

    * another tip: there will likely be times when you'll be angling nails thru your boards to attach. Before you do, flip the nail over and hit the point solidly a couple of times to blunt the tip. This mitigates the potential of splitting wood. A sharp point will spread the grain of the wood causing splitting. A blunt point doesn't nearly as much
     
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  14. SlyPokerDog

    SlyPokerDog Woof! Staff Member Administrator

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    How many beers would you charge to go over and consult with him for an afternoon?
     
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  15. Lanny

    Lanny Original Season Ticket Holder "Mr. Big Shot"

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    I know that code but I really needed a rail even for one step before the landing which makes for two steps. Without the rail to grab a hold of and even with the aid of a cane I'd fall on my face crandc style on my concrete patio
     
  16. Lanny

    Lanny Original Season Ticket Holder "Mr. Big Shot"

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    I'd demand some form of grilled beast to go with those beers if it were me. Maybe some grilled potato to go with it. Yeah, that's it, meat potatoes and beer. What a great combo. Dessert? More beer.
     
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  17. wizenheimer

    wizenheimer Well-Known Member

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    it's a long drive from Salem, so that alone moves the discussion from beer to single-malt scotch. And I'd have to be guaranteed to see an actual living platypus, not some fake one
     
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  18. SlyPokerDog

    SlyPokerDog Woof! Staff Member Administrator

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    Hahahahaha!
     
  19. SlyPokerDog

    SlyPokerDog Woof! Staff Member Administrator

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    [​IMG]
     
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  20. BLAZINGGIANTS

    BLAZINGGIANTS Well-Known Member

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    If you google about the use of 2x4's, you'll receive all you need to know within 5 minutes about the support and size of support beams. 2x4 ain't gonna cut it. In fact, when converting my detached garage to a man cave/lair/office, I added a small loft that currently has a queen mattress. I read enough that I was talked into 2x8 beams, but sx6 should have been sufficient.

    As far as TREX, do some research. Not all TREX is create equally. Even from the main producer. Make sure you pick a product that is specific to our weather, the exposure it will face specific to your yard, and the size/type of your project. A friend had a legit TREX product that started breaking down 4-5 years in because he did not consider several factors when choosing the TREX product for his project.
     
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