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

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4
votes
1answer
219 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
votes
1answer
211 views

How soon can we stain a freshly-sanded deck after it got drenched in the rain?

My family and I are refinishing our deck. We live in area with wild weather so, even though it called for a week of sun, immediately after finishing sanding our deck (to a very beautiful underneath) ...
4
votes
2answers
347 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
646 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
votes
4answers
2k 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
votes
3answers
848 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
votes
2answers
191 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
1k 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 ...
3
votes
4answers
12k 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
votes
3answers
383 views

Which types of decking are easiest to maintain?

I live in Portland, OR. Rainy city. I will be expanding the deck at my house and in the process, I'm thinking I might upgrade to something nicer than pressure treated doug fir. I have a cousin that ...
3
votes
1answer
268 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
votes
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
6k 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
61 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
1k 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
votes
1answer
6k 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
708 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
votes
1answer
2k 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
2answers
78 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
89 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
349 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
1answer
115 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
289 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
2answers
774 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
319 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 ...
2
votes
5answers
6k 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
925 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
2answers
168 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
votes
2answers
165 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
1answer
505 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
3answers
90 views

Is a porch just a deck with a roof?

I'm thinking about building a back porch but I've never had experience with such a big project. I'm finding plenty of books and documents on how to build a deck but very few about building a porch. Is ...
2
votes
1answer
220 views

What should I do on the sides of a deck ledger?

I plan on hanging my ledger board similar to the picture described here. I am going to be bending coil stock for the drip cap and the Z flashing. The diagram though doesn't depict what should be ...
2
votes
3answers
5k 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
2k 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
1answer
47 views

Can 6x6 Glue Lamm Post be installed on the exterior and be exposed to the weather?

Can I use a 6x6 glue lamm post as a support post for an upper deck and can this type of post be exposed to the outside elements (rain, snow, etc..)
2
votes
2answers
151 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
1answer
2k views

How do I seal a painted deck?

The builders of my home painted my front and back porch. The railings are white, and the decking itself is the same color as the house. It looks great, but the paint has all peeled up. I'm in the ...
2
votes
1answer
52 views

Can I bolt over an existing ledger board?

I am rebuilding my pergola and all that remains of the previous structure is the 2x10 ledger board, which is bolted through the fascia into what I assume must be the brick wall behind.Taking the thing ...
2
votes
1answer
73 views

different sizes for joists on a deck

I am building a deck. One section of the deck will come out from the house 4 feet furhter than the rest of the deck. This pushes my joist spans to the next larger size. This part of the deck is ...
2
votes
2answers
192 views

How do I attach plywood over 2“ x 6” deck boards in preparation for a waterproof cover?

My two decks (12'x26' and 12'x14') are in good shape. Minor rot has been repaired. I am applying 5/8" Tongue & Groove plywood over the 2x6 deck board as a base for 68 mil vinyl covering. I know I ...
2
votes
1answer
668 views

How should I build large concrete footings for my deck?

I live in Howard County Maryland. You may find out deck guide useful for this question, although probably not needed. It requires 18 in diameter footings 30 inches in to the ground and must be 8 in ...
2
votes
1answer
192 views

Is flashing required to attach a landing to the exterior of a house

I will have a landing running from the back door, then four or five steps to ground. Do I need to place metal flashing where the landing attaches to the house, or some other means of protecting the ...
2
votes
3answers
3k views

How can I remove paint from a deck?

I bought my house 3 years ago which has a latex-based painted deck surface and decorative fence around the edge. After shoveling snow each winter, the deck surface is chipped with raw wood exposed. ...
2
votes
1answer
516 views

Need to attach deck ledger to house covering a vent

I am building a deck attached to the house, and on one side I will need to have the ledger covering a section of wall that has a crawlspace vent cover. If I have a big enough gap between the ledger ...
2
votes
0answers
39 views

How do I use hidden deck fasteners without compromising the integrity of the flashing?

I am using hidden deck fasteners which screw in to the joist and then hold the board via a notch in the side of the board, pretty standard I think. This fastener will sit on the ledger to hold the ...
1
vote
2answers
166 views

Would it be safe to leave charred wood on a deck until repairs can be made?

Had a small fire incident outside on our wood deck. There didn't appear to be any structural damage to any of the supporting material, just a few surface boards which need to be replaced. Can the ...
1
vote
2answers
2k views

What is the strongest way to join a deck joist to a corner joint?

I'm working on designing the support frame for a deck for my backyard. The basic shape of the deck: It's essentially a square with one corner chopped off. The red line is the joist in question, ...
1
vote
2answers
62 views

Rail spacing & Child proofing a deck

For a deck to be considered child proofed, what is the recommended spacing between the rails?
1
vote
2answers
1k views

What are the drawbacks of not attaching deck to house?

I am planning on building a small deck on the side of my house where there is no door or window. The level of the deck is below the top of the basement, so I need to drill through the concrete for the ...
1
vote
1answer
662 views

How close to plumb to deck posts need to be?

I'm building a deck as the floor of a 30' yurt. Construction is 4" x 6" joists on 4" x 4" posts, on pre-cast concrete pier blocks, on tamped gravel footings. Posts are 20" - 30" long. Lumber is ...