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

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1answer
1k views

Does anything need to be done to prep the ground before building a low height deck?

Previously I asked about How to add on to a concrete patio? I am still considering my options and am now considering making a wood deck instead of a concrete patio. The deck would be about 14 feet by ...
4
votes
4answers
8k views

How can I remove paint from a deck?

I bought my house 3 years ago. The deck surface and decorative fence around the edge are painted with a latex-based paint. After shoveling snow each winter, the deck surface is chipped with raw wood ...
4
votes
3answers
460 views

Replace rotting porch treads with trex?

My front porch has some treads and the bottom riser are rotting out. I'd like to replace the surface with Trex if possible. Is it as simple as removing treads and risers and replacing with Trex ...
4
votes
1answer
6k views

Attaching a pergola (or deck) to vinyl siding

Building a structure which is attached to a house usually involves a plate which is bolted to the existing building, typically a 2x8, or 2x10. I understand how to structurally attach this, my concern ...
4
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4answers
6k views

What type of lag bolts should I use for a deck?

I am looking at galvanized lag bolts (for the ledger) and carriage bolts (for attaching the beam to the post) for a deck. I can't find "hot-dipped galvanized" bolts/lag screws only galvanized. Is ...
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2answers
4k views

What should I do about deck footings near the house?

I was going to build a free standing deck at the back of my house. The first set of footings would be 1'9" from the concrete basement/foundation for the house. The house is a new construction built ...
4
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2answers
3k views

Does a deck band board go over or replace wall sheathing?

I can't find an existing question that completely addresses my question, so here goes. My outside deck was recently rebuilt by contractors selected by my HOA. The deck is effectively on the second ...
4
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1answer
2k views

How high should I make my yurt platform?

I am building the floor/platform for a 30' yurt. It's basically a deck. 30' diameter circle pre-cast concrete pier blocks 4" x 6" pressure treated joists, 4' o.c. 1 1/8" tongue-and-groove plywood ...
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2answers
184 views

Will a tarp over the deck allow me to paint the deck during a Seattle winter?

I spent a few weekends in September stripping the paint from my deck. It's now stripped to the wood. Due to some unforeseen timing issues, I wasn't able to get the new paint down before fall arrived. ...
4
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1answer
293 views

How to build deck starting in yard, ending on concrete slab?

Here are some photos of my backyard with rough dimensions. Needing help with how to end a deck from cemented posts in yard (at rear of house), to my back door. My trouble area is above the concrete. ...
4
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1answer
3k views

Do I need to do anything at the base to support deck steps?

I want to add some wood steps off my wooden patio deck (which is in Iowa). The deck surface is around 30 inches above the ground, in which the steps would go from the ground to the deck. At the ...
4
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1answer
337 views

How do I fix a vinyl covering that is coming away from the outside deck support beam?

I live in a townhouse with a deck over the garage. I noticed that under the deck, along the board that is on the outer edge, some of the vinyl covering is popping out of place and hanging down a ...
4
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2answers
590 views

Will my wood platform support my generator?

I built a wood platform out of pressure treated lumber 6ft X 4ft 2x6 with beams every 16 inches and 2x6 deck. It is bolted into the house 2x10 on the 6 ft rear wall and carriage bolted to an existing ...
4
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2answers
2k views

How can I build deck stairs flush with the end of the deck?

I have a deck design where I want stairs coming down perpendicular to the joist starting at the end of the joist. You can see the picture as a generic not to scale drawing of what I mean. I had ...
3
votes
4answers
4k views

Can I build a deck from reclaimed 2x4's?

As we've remodeled the house, I've replaced some of the structure with more modern woods (ie: 2nd floor ceiling joists that were 2x4's are now 2x6's) Because of this, I have an excessive amount of ...
3
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3answers
710 views

Should I shovel snow off my vinyl deck?

Will there be damage if I don't shovel the snow off (due to snow thaw/freeze/thaw)? Is it safe to use a metal shovel on vinyl decking? Is it ok to allow the stuff to melt naturally if I don't plan to ...
3
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3answers
1k views

Is it normal to install (pvc) decking like hardwood flooring?

Forgive me I'm a newb. We have become the proud owners of a new deck. One of the features that we thought was great was that the boards are installed fairly snugly and diagonally nailed into joists ...
3
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4answers
228 views

Rebuilding an exterior deck is it better to use screws or nails?

I have a deck that is old and falling apart so it is time to replace it. To replace the deck boards I plan to remove existing, measure boards, cut new board and put the same size and board back into ...
3
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2answers
307 views

What can I do to prevent injuries from the corners of a wooden deck?

We recently had the floor of our wooden deck replaced and in the process, the contractor changed it from having cut-off corners to having real corners. I am concerned with how the new corner sticks ...
3
votes
1answer
305 views

I'm building a Deck. Is it cheaper to buy wood from a mill rather than a box store like Home Depot?

I'm building a Deck. Is it cheaper to buy wood from a mill rather than a box store like Home Depot? Are there any benefits to choosing one over the other? Should I expect to see better quality from a ...
3
votes
1answer
2k views

What is the best way to fill in the holes in aluminum siding?

In about 2 weeks I'm doing a little cathartic destruction of a deck on the back of my house. The deck came with the house and has suffered YEARS of neglect, it's beyond repair, built incorrectly, and ...
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3answers
23k views

What is the proper way to join two beams on a post?

I'm working on a deck that will involve two 10ft wooden beams across three wooden posts. One of the posts will be in the middle of the two beams. What is the proper method for joining the beams to the ...
3
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2answers
270 views

deck railing height with built-in benches?

If a deck (more than 30" off the ground) has a row of benches built-in to the perimeter, do the guard rails need to be measured from the height of the bench? I've been reading building codes they all ...
3
votes
1answer
628 views

How can I stop PVC decking from squeaking?

We recently installed a TimberTech deck using all-PVC flooring. They use a clip fastening system (non-nail and non-screw)that recommends the floor joists be spaced for 12 inches on center, if ...
3
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1answer
1k views

How do I build a deck that is easy to take apart?

I spent the day taking apart the platform for a yurt. It was a real pain, and I want to make it easier to take apart next time. Old deck construction details: Decking was 1 1/8" tongue-and-groove ...
3
votes
2answers
8k views

How do I treat / maintain IKEA Platta wood patio tiles?

Over a year ago we put a good sized set of IKEA Platta deck tiles on our patio. After exposure to the elements, they are now dis-coloring and becoming a bit 'rough'. What exactly do I need to do to ...
3
votes
2answers
91 views

Can I use the Simpson Strong Tie EB-TY product with ChoiceDek?

I want to use the Simpson Strong Tie EB-TY hidden deck fasteners with my ChoiceDek decking. The decking is 1 inch thick and has slots in both edges. I am looking at the EBTYLC product in particular ...
3
votes
1answer
2k views

How do I install concrete blocks to support deck stairs?

I just had a deck constructed and it failed inspection, partly because of missing concrete blocks where the steps meet the ground (see also my related question Deck handrail bracket). How would I go ...
3
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1answer
12k views

Can I build a pergola on an existing deck, without digging more footers?

A couple of years ago I built a deck onto my house. It is 32' x 14' I used a cantilever design at 12' with 2x8" floor joists, with 2x6" decking boards. The Cantilever beam was set on 6x6" posts that ...
3
votes
1answer
2k views

How much structural support does a Gazebo require?

We are having a gazebo built on the end of a new deck. The deck is about 4 feet off the ground at the point where the gazebo will go and the contractor wants to use 4x4 posts dug into the ground all ...
3
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1answer
3k views

How can I extend a deck post on an existing deck?

I have an existing deck (built in 1991) that I am making repairs to. As part of the work I want to extend the deck cover that's already there. Existing deck Desired outcome So I know I need to ...
3
votes
1answer
167 views

Does a long deck beam need a post at staggered joints?

I am designing a deck that requires 40' beams. In that design I plan to fabricate the beams with 2-2x12 pressure treated lumber. I have tentatively planned to arrange the plies in this fashion: 1st ...
3
votes
2answers
104 views

Dimensional treated yellow pine lumber, non-standard widths?

I ordered lumber from Lowes for building deck beams, but now I realize after putting up the beam that while they are all level, the boards are of slightly different widths. Of the 2x10 boards I had ...
3
votes
1answer
192 views

How can I improve this deck ledger and the flashing around my ledger?

I'm planning to replace the current warped ledger board with a new one new using galvanized lag bolts. How can I protect the exposed black paper and OSB between the two vents? Is more flashing ...
3
votes
2answers
5k views

Can I reasonably build a pergola on top of an 8'x12' deck?

I've been having trouble coming to a conclusion on whether I can reasonably build/mount a pergola to my existing 8'x12' deck. The main issue is I can't attach it to my house because of the roof ...
3
votes
2answers
299 views

What would be the ramifications of applying a semi-solid oil based stain on a virgin 4 yr old pressure treated pine deck?

We had our deck built of pressure-treated pine in 2009, and left it completely untreated up until a couple weeks ago. This is in south-eastern Minnesota. So far, I've power-washed (and a week later, ...
3
votes
1answer
309 views

My deck dies in a funny pattern — does that mean this board is upside-down?

My deck looks like this after it rains. One board and parts of others are damp for a long time after everything else has dried. What could cause this and is it hard to fix? My only guess is ...
3
votes
1answer
38 views

Should there be waterproofing between the rim joist and ledger on new construction?

My new house is being built with a deck and I noticed that the framer has fastened the ledger directly to the rim joist without any sort of waterproofing between. The sheathing which is Zip system ...
2
votes
5answers
10k views

How do I attach a ledger board if I have no interior access?

I would like to build a small, 24" high deck, for a new entry door to the house. I have the deck plans all laid out, and am in need of a 2x10 ledger board under the door to attach the deck to. Most ...
2
votes
2answers
207 views

Can salt be used to create a slip resistance surface in concrete?

Is it true that salt can be used to put a slip resistant surface in fresh concrete?
2
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7answers
72k views

How long should I wait before painting or staining pressure-treated wood?

My husband is installing a new deck with pressure-treated lumber at our home in Tennessee. How long does he need to wait to paint, or should he stain the deck now?
2
votes
2answers
1k views

Deck handrail bracket

I just had a deck built and it failed inspection, partly because of the lack of a graspbable handrail (see also my related question Concrete blocks supporting deck stairs) . The current rail is a ...
2
votes
1answer
106 views

How can I repair and repaint a deck whose planks were caulked?

So, parent's deck was looking ok, until for some reason some painters convinced my mother to "seal" the deck so water wouldn't fall down to the patio furniture below. They applied some sort of caulk ...
2
votes
3answers
19k views

What will happen if I try to apply paint/stain to damp wood?

I'm 1000 miles away from home working on a deck for a family member who recently suffered a stroke. He's recovering, but for the time being he's very unsteady on his feet. The deck in question had a ...
2
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2answers
517 views

How do I interpret the American Wood Council's Design for Code Acceptance table of cantilevered joists?

In designing a deck I've been looking at this Deck Construction Guide (PDF) Table 2 lists the max joist spans (Lj) for joists that are cantilevered by a maximum of Lj/4. How do I calculate Lj/4? For ...
2
votes
4answers
431 views

How can I hold a nut underneath a deck with no clearance while screwing a bolt into it?

I have an existing deck with composite wood planks. My kids bought me a gazebo for my grill that I would like to bolt to the deck. Is there a tool I can use to hold the nut and washer in place under ...
2
votes
2answers
1k views

Where can I store outdoor patio or deck furniture over the winter?

I have a variety of plastic / wood / metal patio furniture that I am looking to store over the winter. Unfortunately, I don't have space inside to store it. We usually see temperatures of about 10 ...
2
votes
2answers
3k views

How should I finish and protect outdoor wooden steps?

My house has a wooden staircase leading up to the front door. It gets a lot of traffic and is uncovered, so its exposed to New England winters. This means snow, ice, ice-melt, sand, shoveling, etc.. ...
2
votes
2answers
77 views

How can I remove paint from a wood deck so I can stain it?

We recently purchased this house and the deck was painted. It now needs to be repainted, but we want to stain it. We are in the mountains and can not use a pressure washer since we do not have ...
2
votes
4answers
1k views

Should I set deck post footings deeply or use concrete footings?

I am building a deck. How about setting 6x6 p.t. posts down on a concrete footing at 4 feet deep (the frost line here) and fill with gravel and soil, and then let the posts run high for the railings? ...