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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 ...
isherwood's user avatar
  • 139k
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 ...
MonkeyZeus's user avatar
  • 16.6k
20 votes
Accepted

Can you identify the source of these grooves/notches on the edge of the deck?

Squirrels. I have a number of homemade plant pots made of synthetic decking scraps, and squirrels often gnaw at them and my plastic plant pots out of curiosity or hunger. Once they know it's not tasty ...
isherwood's user avatar
  • 139k
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 ...
batsplatsterson's user avatar
19 votes

Why are deck joists supposed to be on top of posts, not bolted to the side?

For a steel bolt in steel beams there is no differential thermal expansion (the beam and bolt expand and shrink the same with temperature changes) and no hygroscopic swelling and shrinking, since ...
Ecnerwal's user avatar
  • 218k
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 ...
A. I. Breveleri's user avatar
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 ...
JPhi1618's user avatar
  • 28k
16 votes
Accepted

How to build a concrete form tube?

There's really nothing magic about tube forms. They're just a receptacle to shape the concrete until it sets. Anything with enough strength and moisture tolerance will do the job. Get creative! A few ...
isherwood's user avatar
  • 139k
14 votes

Does wiring under a waterproof deck need conduit?

If this is outside in any fashion, it's considered a wet zone, even if the area is totally dry. A deck with Trex is no different from a standard wood deck in that regard. Generally speaking, conduit ...
Machavity's user avatar
  • 24.9k
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 ...
StayOnTarget's user avatar
  • 5,585
13 votes

How to efficiently use my decking boards (and look nice)?

Subject to adjustment (waste happens) based on where your joists land. full board 0.6m + 2.4m 1.2m + 1.8m 1.8m + 1.2m 2.4m + 0.6m full board Repeat until done. So, rather than pile all the scraps on ...
Ecnerwal's user avatar
  • 218k
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 ...
isherwood's user avatar
  • 139k
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 ...
Fredric Shope's user avatar
12 votes

Does wiring under a waterproof deck need conduit?

Wire is not allowed without conduit. All exterior conduit is defined as wet. All wire in exterior conduit must be wet-rated. It usually is wet, from condensate if nothing else. A "waterproof deck&...
Ecnerwal's user avatar
  • 218k
12 votes

Does wiring under a waterproof deck need conduit?

Be more concerned about rodents nibbling. They love the shelter of decking, and even if not living there, will visit for the odd meal - of plastic. Conduit will supply the necessary protection from ...
Tim's user avatar
  • 5,308
12 votes

Bugs getting into screen deck through metal roofing gaps

The roof manufacturers have a foam seal "closure strip" that's shaped to exactly fit the corrugated gap, which should have been used: It's possible, but a bit of a pain to retrofit that ...
Ecnerwal's user avatar
  • 218k
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 ...
Robin Bennett's user avatar
11 votes

How to build a concrete form tube?

Form tubes are mostly a convenience. They make the concrete look nice, make it easier to accurately calculate the quantity of concrete that must be ordered, and reduce the over-use of concrete which ...
Greg Hill's user avatar
  • 30.9k
10 votes
Accepted

Recommended footings for deck built on rock with 5-10% grade?

1" of organic matter on rock? remove all the organic matter from the locations where the footings go, pour concrete footings or piers on the rock surface directly. Might be a good idea to drill ...
Ecnerwal's user avatar
  • 218k
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 ...
Harper - Reinstate Monica's user avatar
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....
Dan D.'s user avatar
  • 1,360
9 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 ...
batsplatsterson's user avatar
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 ...
FreeMan's user avatar
  • 47.4k
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 ...
George Anderson's user avatar
8 votes
Accepted

45 degree beveled deck board ends butt joint at same joist

I've done it myself with both wood and synthetics and seen it on many other decks. I don't think there's anything wrong with a slanted lap. Protruding edges are no more likely or severe than they ...
isherwood's user avatar
  • 139k
8 votes

Why are deck joists supposed to be on top of posts, not bolted to the side?

This is an engineering thing, and I don't pretend to totally understand it. But there are plenty of instances, beyond just decks, where how things are connected/positioned can make a huge difference. ...
manassehkatz-Moving 2 Codidact's user avatar
8 votes
Accepted

How can I support overhanging Trex decking without adding more framing below?

No. Add the framing. Even if you could fasten the ends to the crosswise board, you'll just end up with the composite board splitting at some point.
KMJ's user avatar
  • 11.8k
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 ...
isherwood's user avatar
  • 139k
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 ...
Harper - Reinstate Monica's user avatar
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.
r13's user avatar
  • 3,392

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