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

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5
votes
9answers
147k 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?
8
votes
2answers
2k 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?
7
votes
6answers
12k 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: ...
6
votes
4answers
25k views

How do I vertically connect two 4x4s on a deck to build a roof?

I have a deck I am going to put a roof over. It has 4x4s for vertical supports that I need to extend upward to attach my trusses to. What is the best way to connect two vertical 4x4s?
1
vote
2answers
155 views

Using old roof footings for a ground-level deck

I had a 40 year-old, asphalt shingled, hip roof (14x18) over a concrete patio that had 4 posts w/footings that supported it in a line opposite the house. The footings, that are still there and were ...
67
votes
12answers
34k views

Is there a case where nails are better than screws, from an engineering/structural standpoint?

Is there a case where nails are better than screws, from a structural standpoint? For instance: Say you used screws instead of nails on a backyard deck, when the design specifically called for nails. ...
6
votes
1answer
20k 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
3answers
68k views

What is the process for power washing and staining a deck?

I am planning to power wash my deck and stain it afterwards. But I am not quite sure the correct procedure for this process. After power washing the deck, can I stain the deck immediately or should I ...
12
votes
5answers
27k 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
1answer
758 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
2k 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
4k 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.. ...
5
votes
3answers
806 views

How will concrete fill in?

So I am pouring some footings for a deck I am building and my current plan is to dig a hole that is 18" wide and 18" deep. I'm then going to suspend a sonotube about 6 inches above the bottom (using ...
4
votes
2answers
27k 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. ...
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
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
516 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
729 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
2k 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
1answer
47 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
2k 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 I'...
1
vote
2answers
367 views

Is deck joist sistering a sloppy repair?

I have a few bad deck joists that I replaced with new PT joists. These repairs are great. Now I have a few more not too bad joists that will be rotted in a few years. I am thinking to add new PT ...