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

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7
votes
2answers
888 views

What are the proper steps for staining a deck?

My deck just past its 10-year mark and is starting to look quite tired. It's time to restain it. What steps do I need to take to make sure I do everything right, from start to finish?
6
votes
5answers
6k views

Can I build a deck this low to the ground?

I want to build a deck off the back of my house. The door is near grade level, about 1' above. The grade doesn't have very large slope, so that means that the beam at the far end would be below grade: ...
10
votes
4answers
9k views

How do I improve Pergola Stability?

The deck is nearly finished but I have a small structural problem with the pergola. A left or right force near the top of the pergola (such a a tall person leaning on the post) leads to a bit of ...
7
votes
2answers
302 views

How should I attach a deck on the corner of my house?

I am building a deck on a part of my house where it will go up agianst two sides of the house (see picture). I know I'll have a ledger on the longer side of the deck (below the two windows) but do I ...
6
votes
1answer
7k views

How can I attach a ledger board to my house?

Spring is here so I finally started to take measurements for materials I will need to build a new deck on my recently constructed home. I just realized that this isn't going to be quite so simple as I ...
6
votes
1answer
453 views

What is a good strategy to support this deck?

I am planning a potential DIY job for a new deck that I want to put on my house. This is roughly what I think we want The house is roughly 36' long and the garage roughly 22'. The door from the ...
4
votes
2answers
6k views

How should I build the concrete footings for my deck?

I plan on making a small deck and I live in Howard County Maryland. The deck code here says that the concrete footing must be 30 in below ground level and have a thickness of at least 8 inches (i.e. ...
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.. ...
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
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 ...
2
votes
1answer
221 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
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
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 ...
1
vote
2answers
439 views

What header joist sizes do I need for a loft bed?

I've decided to design and build a king-sized loft bed for our bedroom. Basically, I've got an 80" x 89" frame, 54" off the floor, covered with slats instead of plywood (see image, below). I'm sure ...