Questions tagged [deck]

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

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79
votes
12answers
59k 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. ...
19
votes
3answers
3k views

Should I make my two steps have the same rise or keep one closer to a typical height?

I have a 10-1/2" rise outside from my concrete patio to my deck. Should I put in one step at the halfway point or a shorter step with a 3" rise with the 2nd step being 7-1/2"?
17
votes
6answers
290k views

Do I need to sand my entire deck before staining?

I recently cleaned my deck using Behr deck cleaner and want to re-stain it before the winter. Do you recommend sanding the entire deck, or just the affected areas where the stain has come off? I was ...
15
votes
5answers
82k 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 ...
14
votes
1answer
64k views

Which is better for deck flooring: 2x6 or 1x6 deck boards?

My current deck flooring is done with 2x6x10' boards, however they have degraded to the point now where they need to be replaced. I'm wondering if there are any specific pros or cons for using the ...
14
votes
2answers
83k views

How should I clean and repaint a painted wooden deck?

My deck appears to have been painted with just a single layer of paint, which is now peeling off. I like the look of the paint (when it's in better condition, of course), and am uninterested in ...
12
votes
9answers
428k 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?
12
votes
1answer
2k views

Why would porch paint say "do not prime horizontal surfaces"?

A can of floor and porch paint says "do not prime horizontal surfaces". The obvious question is, how are horizontal surfaces different from vertical surfaces? But my real question is, what ...
10
votes
4answers
18k views

Does decking board orientation really matter?

I've been told that decking boards should always be installed "bark side up" so that the boards crown (and shed water) as they age rather than cup (and collect water). But then I've also heard that ...
9
votes
2answers
4k 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?
9
votes
1answer
9k views

Should I powerwash and waterseal a pressure treated deck?

Is there any maintenance that I should be doing such as yearly power-washing and water-sealing for a pressure treated deck?
8
votes
2answers
6k views

Can I support 6x6" deck posts on 10" diameter poured concrete footings?

I am building a new 13x10 deck. So far I have the ledger board in place, and yesterday I finished building 3 concrete footings, 9 ft away from the ledger board. I use tubing, 36 inch deep with gravel ...
8
votes
4answers
70k views

Can I use 4x4 posts as the primary support for a deck?

I have an old cedar deck, and most of the decking and vertical support posts are rotted out. I'd like to rebuild the deck as-is, just replacing the rotting pieces. The current design is as follows: ...
8
votes
5answers
113k 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 ...
8
votes
5answers
132k 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?
8
votes
2answers
5k 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 ...
8
votes
3answers
129k views

Should I finish staining my half-stained deck with rain coming?

We were supposed to have two weeks of perfect weather conditions so I started the process of staining my deck, I cleaned it, sanded it and yesterday applied the first coat to half of it. Now the ...
8
votes
2answers
6k views

How long can I wait before staining a new deck?

I just moved into a new (well, old) house. The previous owners put in a deck probably about 1 year ago. It's treated lumber, but they hadn't yet stained it. Winter is approaching quickly here in ...
8
votes
1answer
370 views

Are there wood sealers that are safe for fresh or saltwater marine use?

I have a wood dock over a lake. It is time to clean and seal the dock. I am planning on pressure washing the dock first, then I am planning to have a clear seal. Looking at products in Lowe's and ...
8
votes
4answers
49k 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) ...
7
votes
1answer
5k views

Is it OK to build a deck with OSB?

I have left over 2x4s and OSB from a project a few months back (lean-to shed). It is just enough to make a 12'x8' deck, and I was wondering if this would be "OK" to use for decking? The main purpose ...
7
votes
2answers
21k views

How can I tell where my inground sprinkler hoses are?

I'm going to be building a deck next week in my backyard! I'm very excited for the project, but I'm concerned about one thing: digging the foundation holes. I have an inground sprinkler system, and I'...
7
votes
3answers
4k views

How can I frame this multi-level deck?

I'm designing an addition onto my existing deck (the existing deck is not pictured below). The addition will be roughly 20' by 15', and I'm planning on making a portion of it a single step lower. ...
7
votes
4answers
2k 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
995 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
4answers
27k views

what is the best way to restore teak outdoor furniture?

What is the best way to restore outdoor teak furniture to the original or better looking color? Teak is so beautiful when it has not been weathered. But after a few years in the rain and sun, it ...
7
votes
1answer
29k 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 ...
6
votes
4answers
4k views

How to straighten a twisted 2x6 deck board

I have a 2x6 deck board (treated lumber) that is 14 feet long and it's lying across 6 joists and a ledger on the east end and a frame board on the west end. Right now it's not screwed in anywhere. If ...
6
votes
3answers
7k views

Is toenailing necessary for a joist-to-ledger attachment?

Is it sufficient to rest joists on joist hangers or should you always toenail (drive screws/nails at an angle through the joist). And does the toenail have to drive into the ledger or just hold the ...
6
votes
4answers
4k views

Easiest way to cut, shave, or chisel bottom 8" of posts to fit footings

I got some 6x6's and deck post brackets that are similar to the picture below, except they're 8" high: Come to find out, the 6x6 is slightly too large to fit inside this bracket. Now I see how this ...
6
votes
6answers
18k 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
2answers
16k views

What are the best practices for a low deck built half on a concrete slab?

In our current place, we moved the main access door from going into the kitchen, to entering an old laundry room converted to a mud room. In order to do so, the front door was moved over about 4', ...
6
votes
3answers
28k views

How to install a proper deck ledger AFTER the fact?

We just purchased a house that has a roughly 10X20 deck on the back. It's relatively low to the ground (maybe 1-3 feet high). The house is cedar lap siding. The problem is that the deck was built ...
6
votes
1answer
31k 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
530 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
6k views

Is there a correct orientation for hurricane clips?

When installing hurricane clips to joists where it crosses a beam, is there a preference to mounting the clips on the inside or the outside of the beam? And should the ears on the clips point inward ...
6
votes
1answer
21k 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 ...
6
votes
5answers
42k 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
6k views

In a cool damp climate, should I use hardwood or synthetic decking material for a deck that will be near a large tree?

We're building a 12x24 deck in our south-facing backyard in Seattle (aka rainy Pacific NW). There's a very large willow tree in our backyard that doesn't directly hang over the deck, but certainly ...
5
votes
4answers
1k views

Is this hinged collapsible clothesline design stable enough?

I need help validating my clothesline design. It'll be on our deck for convenience (I don't want to lug a heavy basket of wet laundry down to the backyard). I want it to be collapsible so we can hide ...
5
votes
7answers
89k views

How do I make a deck glossy?

I went to Home Depot and Sherwin Williams and I was unable to find a deck stain that looked like the shiny blondish color of the following image: At Sherwin Williams they said that their stains were ...
5
votes
3answers
3k views

How do I properly paint a wood floor made of plywood?

I have built a yurt platform, which is basically a deck with 1 1/8" tongue-and-groove plywood as the decking. Usually that stuff is used as a subfloor, but in this case it's the floor itself. Call it ...
5
votes
4answers
41k views

Electrical wiring under deck

If I run electrical wiring under a deck, what conduit and strap material / grading do I need? It doesn't have to be the underground / metal materials, right? I like to build something similar to this ...
5
votes
4answers
738 views

How much can the topmost segment of a stair stringer be reduced without compromising strength?

Let me try this a different way. My question is about the 2x12 stringer and if there are certain dimensions I need to keep in mind to not undermine the structural integrity of the wood. Using the ...
5
votes
4answers
938 views

How to install 2x10 joists of slightly different sizes?

We are trying to install the joist hangers and the joists, but the 2x10s are slightly different sizes. The problem is that some of the boards are 9.25" and some are 9.5" and some in between. So if all ...
5
votes
3answers
5k views

Why are my deck boards of uneven width?

I bought 12-foot-long 5/4 x 6 in pressure-treated pine deck board from Home Depot. Not until I laid them down did I notice that the boards' width tapers significantly toward the ends of each board. ...
5
votes
3answers
1k views

What is the best approach to repair outside cantilevered wood deck joists with dry rot?

I have a cantilevered deck that was needing new decking boards. As it turns out it also has some dry rot on the joists that are cantilevered from the house (14ft high, extending 6ft from the house - a ...
5
votes
2answers
45k 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. ...
5
votes
4answers
45k views

Do deck coatings work as claimed?

Home improvement stores have been stocking products in the paint section that appear to put a thick coating on the deck boards, giving them the appearance of synthetic decking. They claim to offer ...
5
votes
3answers
3k views

How to plan for the future when installing a new roof?

We're hiring a contractor to take off the existing roof, repair/replace any rotted sheathing and rafters, and install a new roof. We've also asked that they add a new plumbing vent stack for a new ...

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