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56

Screws are a "superior" fastener over a nail (they have far superior tensile strength) - especially if you're talking about screwing down decking. However there are many scenarios where a nail is the proper fastener for the application (attaching joists is one example - screws are brittle and will fail when subjected to the forces of a shear loaded ...


24

Nails are considered an "elastic connection". They handle wood movement much better than screws. Many times if you have severe wood movement with nails you will see things like nails that tilt or seem to back out. This is actually a good thing. Many times if a screw had been used in that case it would have caused the wood to split as it moved.


16

1X stock is fine if you have 16 inch on center joists, and the joists are themselves sized properly. Using 2X stock over undersized joists does help make the deck feel more solid. If you have 24 OC joists, I'd definitely stay with the 2X decking. An other option if you have wider joist spacing is to add a joist between each one if possible, then you can use ...


10

The key to any finishing or refinishing job is proper preparation. 1) Clean the deck, railings etc well, removing as much dirt, grime etc with a power washer on medium setting 2) Wet the area with a mixture of 2/3 gal water, 1/3 gal bleach, and 1/2 cup TSP. 3) Let the mixture set for 5 minutes, then scrub it in with a stiff bristle push broom wetted in ...


10

if you use one of those powerful floor sanders, be sure to use fine grit paper and go easy. Plywood can damage easily and those sanders are aggressive and designed for hardwood. A good 6 or 7 inch DA sander would be a good bet, especially around the edges. Be careful, don't tear up the plywood with a monster sander!!! lol. As far as paint, select a good ...


9

The pergola is much like a stick framed house--the framing itself resists vertical forces (gravity) but in and of itself, has no resistance to shear forces (side to side). For a house to stand up on its own, the sides need to be braced against shear forces...typically that's done with plywood sheathing. Barring that, diagonal bracing can be used. On the ...


8

You should always nail your joists to the joist hangers, using the type and quantity of nails recommended by the hanger manufacturer for the type of hangers you're using. Double-shear hangers, the most common type, will have special nail holes designed to direct the joist nails at an angle through the joist and into the ledger or header. Typically you'll ...


8

Technically when using joist hangers, a specific kind of hardened galvanized nails are supposed to be used. This is because regular deck screws probably don't have the necessary shear strength. For a deck though, I've used screws before without any problem. Although if you were planning to put a lot of weight on the deck (say, a hot tub) I would be a bit ...


8

I would say crown side up and shed water. The deck that was on my house when I bought it was cup side up and is in horrible shape. That could be from the fact that the people never took care of it but being in a rather wet/snowy climate didn't help. I'm sure pooled water of any kind can't be good, even on treated wood.


8

I thought this would be a fun thing to do (and perhaps set a precedent on diy.stackexchange.com)- post a picture with the results of my question. Thanks to the tips here on this question, as well as another I asked, I have completed my deck project. I ended up with what was described above- a ground-level deck, mostly on the slab. I took Shirlock's ...


8

You need to have a graspable (grippable) handrail... in other words something that you can get your hand around and hold onto if you fall off the steps. The 2x6 is too big for your hand to grab around and does not qualify. Standard handrail brackets usually look something like this: Also see this article (Deck Stair Handrails) for a picture of a ...


8

The other answers not withstanding, please keep in mind that a glossy finish will probably be more slippery when it is wet (maybe even when it is still dry). This may be why you are having a hard time finding a glossy deck finish. I think you will find that surfaces that are great for traction and safety (rougher, sandpaper like) will be the exact opposite ...


7

I found the following VERY detailed tutorial on determining joist span based on expected live and dead load: American Wood Council The weight your deck will need to support will depend whether you get snow and how much, whether there will be a roof over the deck, whether the deck will be sheltered by any other means, what do you expect to do with the deck ...


7

Do you have (or can you acquire) any pieces of aluminium or other non ferrous metal at all? If so you could cut small squares that will fit over the holes, screw them over the hole using self tapping screws and seal round the edges of the patch. Painting would give it an extra layer of protection. It might not look particularly pretty, but will do the job ...


7

Painting a pressure treated wood deck is always tricky. Pressure treated wood does not seem to hold paint well, even with a good primer. Stain is usually a better alternative, but since your deck already has paint, it would have to be stripped completely before using stain. In order for the paint to stick fairly well, the surface needs to be as clean and ...


7

You're going to shave the sides, not the bottom. The stability will come from the down force on the bottom of the post - a milimeter shift laterally inside a mounted bracket is nothing. That said - easiest approach IMO will be to set your circular saw to an extremely shallow depth and notch 8" height to that depth on TWO sides, not all four - and repeat ...


6

I spent a couple summers in college installing underground sprinkling, so I know a little bit about this. Typically you will have a large valve box somewhere in your yard. These will usually have an access hatch (or several small hatches) for maintenance, so they should be easy enough to find. Typically a pipe will run from the water supply to the valve ...


6

Nails are used in almost all framing and structural applications. Most code books are designed with nails in mind and will have specific minimum nailing requirements and patterns for different applications. Structural screws are coming more and more on the market every day, but because most code books don't include them you will need an engineer's approval ...


6

I would not build a deck that way for a couple of reasons. First, decks should have some space between the boards for drainage. Otherwise water pools, accelerates rotting of the wood and makes the deck slippery. Second is expansion. Given that outdoor boards are alternately soaked and baked, there is significant shrinking and expanding of the boards ...


6

Although both ways are advised by different sources, I have built dozens of decks in Maine as a contractor and have found that pressure treated and cedar boards almost always crown to the bark side and recommend the bark side face outward. Obviously this helps shed water and doesn't collect ice in pockets in the winter. Don't mix the methods as this can ...


6

DANGER DANGER DANGER.... As we speak, I am replacing an entire 5 foot knee wall 20 feet long, jacking the floor joists, new studs, mold remediation, new sills, new top plates, new insulation, floor joist sisters, a very expensive 6 foot slider is in jeopardy. This fix is gonna cost my customer over $3,000 minimum Ants and rot everywhere, all the way to the ...


6

You didn't say where you are located, but i figured in a cold area like me in Maine. First of all, 12 inch joist spacing a a waste of time and money. 16 inches will be fine especially if you plan to use 5/4 decking of any type. If you are in a non ground freeze area, just use simple blocking to support the additional 4 foot off the concrete. Assuming you ...


6

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but there is no magic solution you can spray on and restore the original beauty. As an owner or an older Carver with lots of teak, the only solution is to sand it down. We solved the every year restoral ritual by using Seatrol medium sealer by Sikens. (found in marine stores) Couple of coats of this stuff and your teak ...


6

Around here, 4x4s are not uncommon. This table shows that a 4x4 pine post that is 6 ft or shorter can support a load area of up to 10 ft² assuming 50 lbs/ft². Don't trust me or a random table on the internet; make our own calculations from tables in the building code or other trusted sources and consider having them checked by an engineer.


6

How old is the wood? If we're talking 70 years or so, definitely don't burn that stuff as that'd be old growth wood which you just can't get anymore (easily). I'd even have a hunch that a 70 year old 2x4 might carry as much of a load if not more than a modern cheap pine 2x6. All that said, as you state, it's not treated lumber. Unless it is cedar, you ...


6

First off let me quote the American Wood Council PRESCRIPTIVE RESIDENTIAL WOOD DECK CONSTRUCTION GUIDE (which I recommend looking through). MANUFACTURED WOOD I-JOIST: Many new homes constructed with wood I-joists include 1" or thicker engineered wood products (EWP) – such as oriented strand board (OSB) or structural composite lumber (SCL) including ...


6

To let rain water drain off the deck, and prevent pools accumulating in joints/cracks and causing mold and rot. It also lets a deck dry faster to avoid slippery surfaces. Further, it spreads the dripping water over a broader area and allows it to soak into the ground underneath faster and more evenly, avoiding heavy drip lines at the edge of the deck. ...


5

I've never noticed that before, but Home Depot sources their lumber from different mills, so they may vary slightly from batch to batch. It may also even out a bit as the wood dries. One thing I did find, at least in my area, is that the 5/4 deck boards from Home Depot are significantly different than the ones at Lowes. The Lowes ones are slightly ...


5

They do make stain specifically for marine use. Doesn't say specifically that it's environmentally friendly, but the MSDS sheet does say it's water soluble. The same manufacturer has environmentally friendly stains as well, but I have no idea how well they might work (or exactly what "environmentally friendly" means to them).



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