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41 votes

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

Steps should always have uniform rise. In fact, codes require it (to within 3/8" maximum total variance per IIRC). Our brains expect that the step following the first will be about the same, and ...
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  • 104k
27 votes

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

Make every single rise absolutely identical, period. Video of people consistently tripping on NYC subway stairs which have a single non-uniform risen step I would test to see if 2 x 5.25 inch rises ...
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19 votes

How to straighten a twisted 2x6 deck board

Very little pressure treated lumber is straight, most of it is twisted, crooked, cupped, bowed, etc. If you have just one bad board you got much better wood than most. Just start at one end and try ...
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17 votes
Accepted

Is this hinged collapsible clothesline design stable enough?

Suggested construction: This spreads the torsional load over the entire banister railing instead of stressing only the cap or top rail. If there's any bending at the hinge, or other distortion, it ...
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17 votes
Accepted

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

Porch and floor paints are formulated to work well on floors and are self priming. Very few primers are rated for floor use, so what you would have is a "bad" primer layer followed by ...
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  • 26.6k
13 votes
Accepted

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

Summary - the post size seems questionable. Even at 12", it might have been insufficient. It depends very much on your soil type. The remainder of this answer is a huge estimate based on lots of ...
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  • 4,934
12 votes
Accepted

How to install deck railing top board slanted

You'd just slope the 4x4 posts, set the top rails on them, and fit your 2x4 rails underneath. A slight wedge gap would be present, but that's not going to look terrible. I'd reconsider for a few ...
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  • 104k
12 votes

How should I handle a deck beam member that's slightly shorter than the others?

I don't like any of the A-C options presented here, the beam is a very important structural component and incorrect beam installations can compromise the entire deck. Shims, shortcuts and hoping for ...
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11 votes

Will these DIY steel plates for post to beam connections work as well as the commercially available ones?

What makes the commercial product better than just purchasing steel plates and bolts? The commercial product doesn't rely on the screws in wood to connect the two sides. A sideways force would be ...
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10 votes

How long should I wait before painting or staining pressure-treated wood?

I am a painter and I build also and I personally will not warranty the work unless it's after 6 months. Pressure treated (PT) lumber takes months to shrink and re-contract on and off so the paint will ...
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  • 101
9 votes

I'm building a Deck. Is it cheaper to buy wood from a mill rather than a box store like Home Depot?

Most mills do not produce and sell treated wood rated for contact with the ground, so any wood in your deck that will be in contact with the ground should be treated, and gotten wherever it is to be ...
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  • 1,099
9 votes
Accepted

Electrical wiring under deck

Yes, PVC conduit is nice stuff. Make sure to keep water from entering it, or it may carry water to places you don't want water. (that said, all outdoor conduit is presumed to be 100% full of water ...
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9 votes
Accepted

Run new electrical wiring in backyard from existing wall outlet

I would suggest the use of a weatherproof (WR) box extender. One of which could be installed over the existing box giving you sides on to which to connect the PVC conduit. The following is an example....
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  • 1,330
8 votes
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Hurricane ties installed using joist hanger nails top AND bottom. Should I yank them out?

Nah - most of the strength is in shear, and joist hanger nails are nice and fat so they have good shear strength. also, yanking them is likely to be harder than you think. The actual nailing ...
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  • 132k
8 votes

Will these DIY steel plates for post to beam connections work as well as the commercially available ones?

The most dangerous thing I hear on construction sites is, "Aw, that ain't goin' nowhere." I can't tell you how many things I've seen go wrong because someone did some eyeball engineering ...
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8 votes
Accepted

Porch construction: orientation of flooring boards (perpendicular or parallel to siding)

That's a "breadboard end", and it's simply a design element. There is no requirement for it that I'm aware of. If you do an internet search for deck images, you'll see a wide variety of ...
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  • 28.9k
8 votes

Should the underside of a deck be stained?

This question is somewhat opinion based, but I'm going to answer anyway. If it's just a stain or oil, rather than a more solid surface/coating finish like Varathane, you're probably OK to just stain ...
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7 votes

How to fix a deck railing that is falling off?

It appears that the rim joist is pulling away from the joists to which it's nailed due to the outward forces on the railing. You could screw the rim joist to the joists (where those nails are now), ...
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  • 550
7 votes
Accepted

How will concrete fill in?

This is a reasonable concern, but not necessarily a problem. It is not uncommon to have concrete forms the way you describe. The solution depends largely on the consistency of the concrete mix. A very ...
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  • 13.7k
7 votes
Accepted

Why does the maximum deck overhang sometimes decrease with joist spacing?

Looks like data entry error to me. The values were reversed for several rows at some point. Considering that they spelled 'fir' as 'fire' in one case, one can assume that accuracy was not a high ...
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  • 104k
7 votes

Will these DIY steel plates for post to beam connections work as well as the commercially available ones?

That is made for structural building members, e.g. this is designed to support a composite main beam holding up a 2-story building. Home Depot doesn't even stock it. What you're actually after is this ...
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7 votes

How can I eliminate wobble in my surface-mounted deck railing posts?

Suggest replacing the existing post base connectors with this one, which is made from steel, and considerably much stiffer than what you have now.
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  • 3,261
6 votes

deck railing height with built-in benches?

The 2015 IRC changes section R312.1.2 Height of guards. From 2015 forward the section on guard height "shall not be less than 36" in height as measured vertically above the adjacent walking ...
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6 votes

Rebuilding an exterior deck is it better to use screws or nails?

Not the best answer, but: Use screws on the top boards where people will be walking barefoot. Every kid has had a wicked gash from nails (naturally) poking up a bit. Use big a** nails to attach ...
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6 votes
Accepted

Beefing up deck joists: Decrease spacing or increase joist width?

First of all, those load tables are for L/360 deflection, which is already pretty stiff. That means that fully loaded, the beam will only deflect 1/360 of the length of the beam, or in this case about ...
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  • 13.7k
6 votes

What kind of latch mechanism should I use for this movable ceiling under my deck?

I would look at seeing if you could use large size slider bolts. I used this type of device to provide the safety latch for a large hinged stairway I had built in my garage some 13 years ago. The ...
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  • 61k
6 votes
Accepted

Does composite decking hold more solar heat than wood decking?

No, you're not mistaken, you are perceiving the main drawback to composite decking material; compared to real wood it gets hot and stays that way longer.
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  • 14.4k
6 votes

How can I increase deck board gap without removing the boards?

You could install three identical blades in your circular saw with the teeth staggered, then run that down the channel. The saw should follow the gap fairly well, but you'll want to brace the saw with ...
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  • 104k
6 votes

How to protect stair stringers from water rot?

I had a similar problem with stringers in direct contact with cement that had water runoff. I sawed off 1/2" from the bottom of each of four stringers,screwed in 4- 2 1/2" stainless steel ...
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  • 53.1k
6 votes

How to straighten a twisted 2x6 deck board

Quick 'n Easy If you find that screwing it down without clamps won't resolve the issue (decking should never be nailed down), make half-depth crosscuts from underneath, centered over joists, at ...
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  • 104k

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