For questions generally relating to outdoor, semi-elevated, non-enclosed structures such as decks, gazebos, pergolas, etc.

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Should pergola posts be set into concrete, or elevated with chemical anchors & footings?

So I have researched this extensively online, but the results are contradictory. Some will say 'set in concrete', others 'set in gravel' and them some will advice 'compact the surrounding dirt'. All ...
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1answer
28 views

Composite deck stair overhang vs. flush

I am installing composite decking stair and I found there are two ways to do it: One inch overhang: Flush and show fascia edges: What are the pros and cons of each method? I tend to go with the ...
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0answers
16 views

How to install Trex decking board as top rail?

I like to install the Trex decking boards on top railing like this The goal is not showing screws on top. So I must screw in from the bottom through the top Universal Rail. But what is the "...
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1answer
42 views

Can I attach a freestanding deck to concrete block garage wall?

I'm certain you can't attach a ledger to cinder block that is why the deck is going to be free standing. However, I would like to know if the deck could somehow be secured to the garage. Kind of like ...
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2answers
39 views

Sagging Deck rail repair

This question below that someone else asked fits my situation. One of the answers said to use double wedges. What are those? How can I raise the railing slowly so as not to break or crack the ...
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1answer
11 views

Wooden deck butting up to retaining wall not square

My husband built a deck from our house out toward our retaining wall. The wall is not square with the house. We are on a budget and want to make this aesthetically pleasing now, and will redo the ...
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15 views

poured piers for deck but j-bolts are loose

I've poured some piers for a deck (deck will be ~20 inches off the ground). As I was tightening nuts that hold on the fitting, the j-bolts kept getting loose. On the first one, I re-tightened a few ...
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1answer
30 views

Duplicate/extend outdoor GFCI outlet with above ground PVC conduit?

So I am in the final stages of a deck rebuild, and at the last minute thought about a slight change. To the right of this photo you can see an power outlet on the wall, currently has a yellow ...
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19 views

Use Textured Strand Lap Siding or concrete board to attach outside deck trim

I want to "cover" the outside of the deck trim because the look of treated wood isn't good. But if I use deck material (composite) to run around, it's going to be expensive. I am planning to just use ...
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1answer
31 views

Polishing Metal Rail

I'm hoping someone can identify what type of metal this outside balcony rail is and offer advice on how to polish it. I tried Brasso. It did not seem to really do anything. Possibly I need to scrub ...
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1answer
27 views

How to protect outdoor transformer plugging into in-use outlet?

I have an outdoor DC transformer for lighting system that must connect to an outdoor outlet. It's not hardwired. So if I plug this transformer to an in-use outlet permanently, how do I ensure that ...
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1answer
24 views

Is it OK to mount outdoor electrical outlet box to deck trim board?

I see most places have outdoor outlet either standing by itself (via post or something hard) or mounted to wall. If I run my wiring under the deck and when it comes out, can I mount it on the side of ...
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12 views

Outdoor wire gauge for deck post cap light

I am installing deck post cap lights and have a few questions on the type of wire to use. My deck is large, around 50 feet x 35 feet. So the wiring must go around for all the posts. I plan to use LED ...
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1answer
34 views

Is this base idea sufficient for a ground level, not attached to the house wooden patio?

I have a rough plan for a ground level deck. The deck will not be attached to anything though it will sit under and extend a bit from a free standing pergola. My plan is to bury most of a cinder ...
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2answers
76 views

What tools to cut square post hole in composite decking board?

I need to cut 9 holes in potentially 9 pieces of decking board (composite). I am thinking about using this method: Drill a big hole ~1.5" using hole saw bit (for the door knob) in the middle Drill 4 ...
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2answers
79 views

Run new electrical wiring in backyard from existing wall outlet

I am planning to run a new electrical wiring in my backyard and start from where the current outlet is at the wall (behind my kitchen): It's right above the deck and here is the picture under the ...
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1answer
34 views

Where is the ledger supposed to attach to the rim joist?

If you look at the pic there's a gap right under the door way, about 5 inches deep and high. The rim joist of the house is halfway behind the brick and the other half is exposed right under the door. ...
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1answer
58 views

Am I required to use footings when building a deck or can I just have the posts resting on the ground? (Wisconsin)

I want to build a deck for my house but I don't really want to dig holes and pour concrete for the footings. Can I just build the deck on ground level using something like this to support the posts? ...
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1answer
75 views

How can I attach angled beams to a post?

I'm designing a deck with 3-2x10 beams supported by 6x6 posts. I know when the beams go straight across the posts I can use any number of brackets designed for that purpose, like Simpson AC4 (or AC6, ...
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1answer
170 views

Why does the maximum deck overhang sometimes decrease with joist spacing?

The deck construction guide for my area contains this table: Look at the "Allowable Overhang" columns. It's odd that a wider joint spacing (24") permits a longer overhang. For example, look at ...
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3answers
124 views

Electrical wiring under deck

If I run electrical wiring under a deck, what conduit and strap material / grading do I need? It doesn't have to be the underground / metal materials, right? I like to build something similar to this ...
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1answer
21 views

How to find a deck sealant that is compatible with some old sealant that I can't find anymore

I am cleaning and re-sealing a wood deck. I have an old half-can of sealant that I would like to use up. I asked the manufacturer how to find the current product, and they told me this is the one: ...
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0answers
14 views

Removing part of a railing to create an opening for a gate

I have a deck railing that I'd like to remove part of so I can create an opening in which I can install a gate. I see two ways that I could do this and would like some perspective on which is best. ...
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1answer
46 views

How do I put a recessed light in a wet location, where the can itself will get wet?

I have an underdeck porch that has a ceiling made of metal roofing panels, that diverts deck drainage into a gutter. I would like to install recessed lighting in the ceiling. However, the cans will ...
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1answer
19 views

Which floor sander do I need to tidy a room and to strip paint off a deck?

I'd like to sand the hardwood in a bedroom and a somewhat weathered deck. The bedroom is mostly in good condition, but in a couple of spots the wood is worn from traffic and furniture. I could forego ...
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14 views

How should I fix a railing to a suspended concrete slab

I am building a suspended terrace as per the image below The terrace is 1.5 metres deep, and has two long sides of around 9m and 4.5 metres. At A, B, C, and D are concrete foundation piers We ...
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1answer
40 views

Do I get away with the wrong screws and holes on a deck if the paint will cover both?

Before sanding and then painting a deck, I've turned the screws a little inside so they will not rip the sandpaper. Before I ask my questions, let me just mention that I've found it easier to unscrew ...
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1answer
52 views

What would happen if I covered my deck in pavers?

I have a deck. A very strong deck. Instead of sealing it every year, could I cover it in pavers instead? The wood is treated, and the deck is raised so it would drain. Also, the pavers would protect ...
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2answers
63 views

Metal bracket to hang stringer below joist?

I need to hang a stringer (basically another 2x8) right below my deck joist 2x8. Look like this photo Can you tell me what kind of hanger / bracket is it in the red circle? The article is from ...
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54 views

Attach one-step to ground level deck

I want to do something like this photo but I don't know how to attach the one-step platform thing: I circled two areas that should be attached by nails (assuming 16d Common Nail). But the photo ...
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2answers
82 views

What to use as a spacer where deck joists overlap?

I have a long deck that must do sister joists on top of a beam. I was reading this thread Is deck joist sistering a sloppy repair? and look like it's better to use spacer in between. Is it OK to use ...
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1answer
39 views

Cutting joist for skewed joist hanger

Do I need to cut the joist lumber's end at an angle so that it sits flushed to the beam when installing skewed joist hanger? The below video tells me that it's not necessary. https://www.youtube....
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29 views

Maple/helicopter seeds stuck in deck gaps

The gaps in my deck are routinely jammed with "helicopter" maple seeds, which lodge with the hard seed just above the gap. The "blade" of the seed anchors them so firmly that no blower or pressure ...
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2answers
44 views

Nails for deck framing

I was told (as well as read online) that I should use 16d nails for deck framing. However I have been using nails labeled "Grip-Rite 5-lb 16D 3.5-in Hot-Dipped Galvanized Smooth Box Nails" in the ...
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1answer
34 views

Cosmetic fix for installing decking board when not parallel to house?

I am expanding the deck that goes very far (35 x 48 feet ~ 1000 sqft). So I am pretty sure the further end will not perfectly parallel to the house. It could be 1-2 inch off from one end to the other ...
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1answer
22 views

I need a concrete footing to be 5 feet tall. What circumference and reinforcement do I need?

I am building a deck which will be 24 feet off the ground. In order to use shorter posts can I build footings that will be approx. 5 feet tall from the soil line? If so, how wide around (...
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1answer
45 views

Correct grit and sander for sanding a cedar railing?

We have a cedar railing around a deck. The railing needs to be sanded prior to applying a water sealer. Two questions: What is the best grit of sandpaper to use? I read that using too fine of a grit ...
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0answers
35 views

Deck trimming lumber option

I am building a deck with 2x8 joists so the trim would be around 2x10 to have a look like these: OR However, I am not sure which materials to choose. Option 1 This one is pressure treated but ...
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0answers
17 views

The right size beams for deck [closed]

Building a 16'x16'two tiered deck, both sections equal,highest point approx 40"and one step down for second section with steps coming off that to ground.can I sandwich 2 2x8 together for beams or do I ...
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1answer
28 views

Safe deck surround distance for tree

I plan to build a deck around this small bing cherry tree. It's 3" diameter. I will have a beam running around 1 feet next to it on one side. The other 3 sides are flexible in term of what I can do. ...
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1answer
59 views

How to build deck posts into clay soil

I am a novice diyer and I am attempting building a ground level deck in my back garden. I have seen so many different ways to dig and fill the hole it's left me more confused than when I started. What ...
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1answer
50 views

Fix the big crack on wood post

We moved in a house at Dallas area and the wood post at my deck has a big crack in it, I read some post that it is normal, but if I don't treat it, will it keep cracking. Thanks a lot of any ...
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2answers
117 views

Can I frame over an existing deck with a new deck to raise the level?

I was looking at below photo and realized they basically put the trim joists of the platform on top of the bottom joists / beam. Is that allowed? I thought you have to actually put footings for the ...
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1answer
71 views

Does the granite countertop on my deck require separate footings?

If I want to have a granite countertop as a table on top of my deck, do I need to support the 4 corners with actual footing, like 4x4 with concrete? Or it is possible to just bold the 4 legs on the ...
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2answers
46 views

Do I need ledger board when expand deck?

I have a deck like below and I want to expand the direction where the arrow shows (sorry for an ugly photo). Do I need to put a ledger board right on the trim joist, or can I just hang the new ...
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1answer
33 views

Different joist spacing of extended deck

I have an old deck with 16" joist spacing but that was because they used 2x8 joists and span 9 ft with 3 ft overhang. I am planning to extend the deck but won't go further than 9 ft. So with short ...
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1answer
111 views

Can I use two 2x8 beams instead of one 4x8 beam for deck?

I am trying to "optimize" materials purchase when building a deck. So I got two questions: Is two 2x8x16 beams the same as one 4x8x16 beam for deck support? Do I need to bolt / nail them together or ...
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2answers
52 views

Do deck footings need to be spaced evenly?

I am planning to create a deck around 2 trees. Because of a irregular shape of the deck, it's hard to make the footing spacing uniform. I plan to have them 53" apart but some area will have footings ...
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1answer
88 views

Footing for deck on slope with one side near grade

I am extending my deck and plan to make it a freestanding deck (just to avoid attaching to the current one but it will be close on top). I plan to have a row of 4 posts on the lower level (left). ...
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1answer
62 views

Should I protect a freshly sanded, untreated deck from the weather?

I just Sanded my Deck. Unfortunately weather forecast has changed and it looks like it's going to rain for a week, so I don't have time to weather-proof it. Should I cover my freshly-sanded deck with ...