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

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4
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4answers
26k views

Applied stain to deck and still not dry after a week, what can I do?

I decided to restain my deck last week since it was looking pretty worn after a New England winter. The deck is only 1 year old since we bought new construction. I contacted the builder and purchased ...
4
votes
4answers
3k views

How do I sand stamps off of lumber?

I just finished building a deck. The boards have stamps 1–2 ft from each end, and I could not bring my self to be as wasteful as to always cut them off. I tried to place the boards with the stamp ...
4
votes
3answers
166 views

Is it acceptable to attach elevated deck joists to rafter tails?

I'm having an attached patio built by a contractor. I am concerned about the quality of the construction. In particular the attachment of the patio joists to the house rafters. Instead of using a ...
4
votes
4answers
165 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
2k 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
12k 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
504 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
54 views

Good way to fix a notched railing post?

My front porch has a corner railing post that is notched on two sides. The top is 4x4, but only about 1.5"x1.5" goes below deck and it's fastened to the rim joists there. It is quite wobbly, and not ...
4
votes
1answer
8k 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
votes
1answer
349 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 ...
4
votes
5answers
12k 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
5k 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
votes
2answers
4k 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
votes
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 ...
4
votes
2answers
371 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
votes
1answer
517 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
votes
1answer
7k 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
votes
1answer
397 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
2answers
768 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
votes
2answers
3k 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
5answers
12k 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 ...
3
votes
4answers
6k 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
744 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
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
votes
2answers
123 views

Do I need to screw down both sides of a composite deck board at each joist?

I'm going to be using 6" composite deck boards to redo our front porch. I'm going to use a hidden screw system where you screw it down diagonally along the edge. The typical screw pattern looks like ...
3
votes
1answer
939 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
2answers
366 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
3answers
385 views

What is the right way to mount a support column to a deck and to a header?

Situation: I have an existing deck with a roof overhang. I'm in the process of planning a rebuild and need to detail how the columns will A: attach to the existing roof and B: to the deck. I can find ...
3
votes
1answer
3k 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
3answers
29k 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
2answers
1k 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
880 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
3answers
35k 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
2k 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
9k 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
94 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
votes
1answer
46 views

Sealing seams between outdoor composite decking

To make the space under my deck more usable when it rains, I've installed rubber screen spline between the seams on my composite deck and also installed gutters at the low ends to channel rain water ...
3
votes
1answer
32 views

Attach rim joist to post supporting roof

I am going to build a small deck for a front porch to replace a concrete slab. The slab had a column that held up a post going to the roof above. If I replace the slab with a deck, the corner post ...
3
votes
1answer
14k 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
votes
1answer
4k 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
80 views

How do cedar and pine compare as decking materials?

I'm replacing an old deck in my backyard. The existing deck is about 15X15 and is at ground level. I'm trying to decide between treated pine (Ac2) and cedar. Synthetic/composite wood is too ...
3
votes
1answer
150 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
126 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
230 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
10k 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
370 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
317 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
1k views

Can I hang a swing from 2 by 8 roof beams?

I have a deck where the roof overhang goes out about 5-6 feet. I'd like to hang a porch swing from the roof beams. I'm looking at three person swing (similar to this model). The adults in the house ...