Author Topic: My deck replacement project  (Read 4174 times)

zolotiyeruki

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My deck replacement project
« on: July 19, 2017, 09:15:43 AM »
There's this thing attached to the back of our house.  The original builder tacked it on.  I think they wanted to call it a deck, but it's the sorriest excuse for a deck I've ever seen.  All pressure-treated wood, wasn't maintained, tiny, and useless.  A piece of junk.  So here, I will chronicle our adventures in replacing it.


(I had already cut back some of the bushes to make digging them out easier)


Time for it to go.  DW and I have been talking about getting rid of it for a long time, and my sister's visit (with her two strapping sons) prompted us to go ahead, make the design, and pull the permit.

Step 1: demolition.  I let the teenager do this one.  The 20-something and I worked on rooting out the bushes.  They had a rapt audience :)



All done with the deck.  Still some mature, deep-rooted bushes to go, though.  It looks like the sheathing is in pretty bad shape where the deck was attached to the house, so we will likely strip back more of the siding and replace the rotted sheathing.



Next steps:
--finish removing bushes
--purchase sonotubes
--rent augur
--dig holes and insert sonotubes and backfill and call the city for a hole inspection

zolotiyeruki

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Re: My deck replacement project
« Reply #1 on: July 20, 2017, 09:37:49 AM »
Day 2: 
--Bought the sonotubes.
--Removed all but 1 bush
--Rented augur
--Dug 1.25 holes.  Stupid rocks.  It was quite a workout to wrestle the augur around.  The massive thunderstorm that rolled through this morning was the last straw.

No pictures yet--I'll post when I can.  When I have the chance, I'm going to rent the larger, towable augur.  I wish I had opted for that one first--it's only a few bucks more expensive than the 2-man model.

zolotiyeruki

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Re: My deck replacement project
« Reply #2 on: July 24, 2017, 02:01:13 PM »
Day...I'm not sure what.  Saturday, we rented the towable augur from HD.  It worked great, until a shear pin broke.  Turns out some previous renter broke the original, and replaced it with a smaller pin.  I replaced the broken, smaller pin with a properly-sized bolt.  Finally got the holes dug.

And then Mother Nature promptly dumped about 6 inches of rain on us.

Also completed:
--stripped siding where the new ledger will be
--cut all joists to length
--put up new housewrap and tape where the old ledger was
--temporarily attached new ledger.  It's clear that my level isn't exactly level--across the 16' length of the ledger, it was a good 3/4" off.  Ugh.

Next steps:
--pass hole inspection tomorrow morning
--pour concrete and attach post base plates
--permanently attach new ledger
--mount flashing for the ledger

lisa_mustache

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Re: My deck replacement project
« Reply #3 on: July 24, 2017, 05:46:26 PM »
I'm following along!  We're about to start building a deck in our backyard, so this is of timely interest to me.  I wish you luck!

zolotiyeruki

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Re: My deck replacement project
« Reply #4 on: July 25, 2017, 10:13:53 AM »
Day 5:
--Got ledger properly fastened with 1/2" lag screws.
--Got all the muck and water out of the holes we worked so hard to dig
--Installed flashing over the ledger
--Salvaged the post supports from the old deck.  This will be like $85 saved :)
--Finished breaking apart the old wood from the deck.  Put about half out for garbage collection.
--Pulled a bunch of 2x8 stuff from the old wood that I'm hoping to salvage for blocking in the new deck. It's in good shape.
--Passed inspection on the holes!  Woot!  The inspector walked around back, took a look, said "looks good" and handed me the sticker.


craiglepaige

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Re: My deck replacement project
« Reply #5 on: July 25, 2017, 11:36:06 AM »
Nice work ;)

Those two man augers are useless unless you are using them in soft sand.
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zolotiyeruki

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Re: My deck replacement project
« Reply #6 on: July 26, 2017, 08:45:45 AM »
Day 6: we got the concrete poured!

(sorry, no pictures for now--it was dark when we finished, and I had no time this morning).

I learned something interesting the other day:  a 10" sonotube (cylindrical cardboard concrete form) actually comes in two sizes, one slightly smaller than the other, so that they pack better on the truck and on the shelves.  I did the math, and realized that the smaller tube will take 10% less concrete.  I also did the math to figure out that a 48"x10" tube will take 4.4 60# bags of cement mix to fill.  So I opted for the smaller tubes, in the hopes that I could use four bags per hole.  It came out to be the perfect quantity.

We made the unpleasant discovery that one of our four holes was 6" off from where it should be.  Fortunately, it wasn't too hard to lengthen the hole so that the footing would be in the right place.  I'm really glad we used the 12" augur when digging the holes, because it allowed me to align the forms with their intended locations.

I think I've salvaged enough 2x8's from the old deck that most if not all my blocking can come from them.

Next steps:
--Wait.  :)  I'm out of town for a few days on a business trip, which will give the concrete time to set
--Install post supports, align them perfectly, and snug them down
--Set up a string marking where the top of the posts will be
--Purchase 6x6 posts, mark them for length and cut
--Nail 6x6 posts to their supports
--Attach beam to posts

This is where it starts getting more fun :)

zolotiyeruki

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Re: My deck replacement project
« Reply #7 on: August 08, 2017, 09:51:17 AM »
Finally, an update!  The footings turned out nearly perfect--within 1/4" in all cases.



I got the posts, propped up the beam, and installed the first couple joists.




At that point, I realized that the posts weren't exactly vertical.  After a bit more measuring, I discovered that the outside of the sheathing was a full 1.5" further out from the foundation than I thought.  So I recut all of the joists, and things look much better.

Next steps:
--perfectly align the bottoms of the posts, install a nut to hold them down
--cut and install the remaining two posts
--install the remaining joists

After that:
--install tie-backs (connect deck joists to the interior floor joists through the ledger)
--cut the stringers
--install lots of blocking
--install posts for hand/guard rails

oneday

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Re: My deck replacement project
« Reply #8 on: August 08, 2017, 11:04:04 PM »
Lookin' good!  I know what most of the terms mean, except beam. Is the beam the one going between the two posts, perpendicular to the joists?
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gooki

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Re: My deck replacement project
« Reply #9 on: August 09, 2017, 02:51:06 AM »
Omg how on earth could they have built that pitiful set of steps. That's the perfect spot for a big ass deck. Should give the back of your house some shape as well.
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zolotiyeruki

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Re: My deck replacement project
« Reply #10 on: August 09, 2017, 09:14:27 AM »
Lookin' good!  I know what most of the terms mean, except beam. Is the beam the one going between the two posts, perpendicular to the joists?
Yes, the beam runs parallel to the house, and rests on the posts.  The joists hang from the ledger (attached to the house) and the beam.

zolotiyeruki

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Re: My deck replacement project
« Reply #11 on: September 09, 2017, 08:38:29 PM »
Wow, I've been pretty terrible about updating this thread.  So here are a few pictures.  I swear, it's all the little things that take forever.  Like the hold-downs that go through the ledger into the house.  I failed to build the deck so that the joists lined up, so that took extra work to get it correct.  Also, attaching posts and getting them plumb is kinda hard, especially when all the joists/beam/ledger want to curve/twist/bow every which way.



^^^ All the joists installed, and the sway bracing.  I recycled some of the handrail posts from the old deck as the sway bracing, and recycled 2x8 joists into blocking.

I failed to take pictures of the form for the landing pad at the bottom of the stairs, but it's just a rectangle made with 2x4's.  After I framed out the stairs, I was dissatisfied with how rigid the posts were, so I rebuilt the bottom with more bracing (recycled 2x8's again!), and it turned out like so:



I've heard that cutting stringers is a tough job, but it wasn't that bad.  I used a piece of paper to make a template (10 3/4" run, 7.5" rise), traced it onto the first 2x12, and then used that 2x12 as a template for the other 4 stringers.

I'm using lots of bolts and lag screws and blocking on all the handrail posts, because I really hate rickety-feeling railings.  And glue, too.



I had the second inspection (for framing) on Wednesday, and passed with flying colors.

This past week, I've been working on the treads and risers for the stairs.  I chose to do the stairs first, because the decking  on those will affect the layout of the decking on the main part of the deck.



Today, I had the great pleasure of working on the decking for the main part of the deck.  It goes really fast when all you need to do is slap a piece of decking down, space it with a piece of wood, and drive a couple screws.  Here's (almost) all the decking in place:



They say a poor craftsman blames his tools.  Well, the lazy craftsman builds his own tools.  I made this little jig to help me accurately drill the pilot holes for all the screws:



It fits in the space between the planks, and has a bit that sticks down, so that it set up right next to the joist below.  And then it gives me two holes perfectly located to drill.



And here's the result from using that tool:



Ehh, it's a little hard to see, but they're nicely lined up.

Next steps:
--re-attach the two posts next to the house so that there's enough space between them and the side of the house, and so they're actually plumb
--add the last couple planks of decking around said posts
--drive another 1,000+ screws.  I'll need to get a couple more T20 bits--it seems like one bit lasts for about 100 screws before it wears out and starts camming.

Noahjoe

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Re: My deck replacement project
« Reply #12 on: September 19, 2017, 11:06:16 AM »
Get impact drive rated bits. got a 5-pack of Milwaukee bits from the Home Depot for probably 5-7 bucks, and they're all in as-new condition. I built a deck about that big last year, and a playhouse/fort for the kids. And a thousand other projects. Seriously, I can't say enough good things about them.

zolotiyeruki

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Re: My deck replacement project
« Reply #13 on: September 20, 2017, 01:00:10 PM »
That's actually what I have, but they still don't seem to last.  I've noticed that once they cam out once, they very rapidly decline. 

Oh, well.  I have all but one last row of screws done.  The next step is making sure all the posts are fully vertical before I start building railings.

bearvalleyak

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Re: My deck replacement project
« Reply #14 on: September 21, 2017, 07:18:13 PM »
I've used countersinking screws with a square drive head and was able to use the one bit for a 12x24 deck.  My favorite part was no pilot holes..just drive them through the Trex to the right depth. But you are almost done so maybe this is info for the next build.  You did a great job on this deck, really impressive!

zolotiyeruki

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Re: My deck replacement project
« Reply #15 on: September 30, 2017, 10:51:46 AM »
Ok, I need some feedback.  We are trying to decide what type of spindle to use.  The options:
A) composite square-profile spindles
B) 3/4" black round spindles
C) 1" black round spindles

I mocked up a couple sections of railing with each option.  Our original plan was to use the composite spindles, but we're concerned that having the decking, posts, railings, and spindles all out of the same material will make it look bland and monotonous.  But once I put together a section, it didn't look as bad as we had feared.  Here's a picture of the three options.  Which do you think looks the best?


oneday

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Re: My deck replacement project
« Reply #16 on: September 30, 2017, 06:18:59 PM »
Will it be painted/stained, or are those final colors?  Personally, I don't think a deck made out of one material would look monotonous, rather it would be "pulled together", if you know what I mean. 

If the material is paintable, I would go with the square spindles, paint them black, and if you get tired of it, you can change it.

The 3/4" round spindles seem too thin.
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zolotiyeruki

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Re: My deck replacement project
« Reply #17 on: September 30, 2017, 09:49:32 PM »
Will it be painted/stained, or are those final colors?  Personally, I don't think a deck made out of one material would look monotonous, rather it would be "pulled together", if you know what I mean. 

If the material is paintable, I would go with the square spindles, paint them black, and if you get tired of it, you can change it.

The 3/4" round spindles seem too thin.
The railings and decking and post sleeves are all composite, so they will not be painted.  If we go with the composite spindles, they'll likewise be left unpainted, and will be the same color.

I sent the question out to my family as well, and the consensus seems to be that between the two black options, the thicker spindles are more attractive.  So far, though, they're split about evenly between the composite and the black.

oneday

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Re: My deck replacement project
« Reply #18 on: October 02, 2017, 08:20:09 PM »
Would it look weird to do some kind of alternating pattern?  Like: support post, 4 round blacks, 1 square, 4 round blacks, 1 square, 4 round blacks, support post.
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zolotiyeruki

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Re: My deck replacement project
« Reply #19 on: October 02, 2017, 08:22:44 PM »
Would it look weird to do some kind of alternating pattern?  Like: support post, 4 round blacks, 1 square, 4 round blacks, 1 square, 4 round blacks, support post.
Hmmm, that's an interesting idea, but we're pretty conservative when it comes to decoration.  I think we've settled on doing the thin, round, black spindles.

oneday

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Re: My deck replacement project
« Reply #20 on: October 02, 2017, 08:35:34 PM »
It was gonna look good no matter which one you chose; that's why it was so hard to choose :)
A year from now you may wish you had started today. ~ Karen Lamb

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zolotiyeruki

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Re: My deck replacement project
« Reply #21 on: October 22, 2017, 05:21:07 PM »
An update!  I've been working on railings this week.  The spindles are lengths of 1/2" EMT, sanded and painted black.  It's a bunch of extra work, but we're very pleased with the result.  I have one guard rail plus the stair rails left, then a bit of cladding to go.




bacchi

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Re: My deck replacement project
« Reply #22 on: October 22, 2017, 11:33:24 PM »
Good choice on the spindles.

Minnowstache

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Re: My deck replacement project
« Reply #23 on: October 23, 2017, 12:42:54 AM »
Looks fantastic! It sort of made me cry though.... I have just revealed in my journal that we are not good at DIY and have paid $20k and waited 9mths for someone to repair a deck very similar to yours (ours is elevated though on a second storey but even so....

Love the water view! It will be so nice to sit out there in evening with a beer :) Donít forget to hav3 a deck warming party :)

zolotiyeruki

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Re: My deck replacement project
« Reply #24 on: November 12, 2017, 04:05:39 PM »
I've been pretty terrible about consistent updates, but I finished the project yesterday (finally!).  Here are a couple pics:





This was before cleanup--I was losing light and wanted to take a couple pictures before it got too dark.

I still need to figure out what I'm going to do about that section of siding next to the deck.  That was an oopsie on my part (cut the wrong pieces), and unfortunately, I can't order less than 100 sq ft of the stuff, even though I only need to fix two square feet.  :\  I might steal a section from a nearly-invisible spot on the house to fix the area by the deck, get a single (cheap!) piece of (non-matching) siding to fill in the invisible spot, and call it good.

Hotstreak

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Re: My deck replacement project
« Reply #25 on: November 12, 2017, 05:41:20 PM »
Looks good!

oneday

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Re: My deck replacement project
« Reply #26 on: November 12, 2017, 07:30:34 PM »
Wow, all those geometric lines are beautiful!  Your idea to fix the oopsie sounds good, and doesn't involve a trip to the store.  That would be my deciding factor :)
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bacchi

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Re: My deck replacement project
« Reply #27 on: November 12, 2017, 09:28:47 PM »
Siding: Craigslist. People are always selling/giving away building supplies.

paddedhat

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Re: My deck replacement project
« Reply #28 on: November 13, 2017, 05:09:50 AM »
Don't forget that vinyl siding fades, often significantly, within a few years of being installed. So, for most folks, unless they are lucky enough to have the exact manufacturer, part # and correct color information, it can be pretty tough to be positive that you end up with the correct stuff for replacement.  If you do find the correct stuff, it can often take years, if ever, until the patch fades to match. Older vinyl siding is even more of an issue as it not only fades, but the finish sheen can really flatten out, and make patches stand out. Even when their is extra siding stored in the attic by the homeowner when the place was first sided, I have taken the time to carefully remove a piece or two, hidden in the bushes, to do patch work in a visible area, then put the new stuff behind the bush.

zolotiyeruki

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Re: My deck replacement project
« Reply #29 on: November 13, 2017, 05:52:16 AM »
@oneday - Thanks!  We're pretty pleased with how it turned out.  Although after having a tarp up for a week to stop the rain while I cut the cladding, I kinda wish it had a cover of some sort.  No.  No, I don't want to do the extra work!  Never mind...

@paddedhat - That's a good point.  The house is 12 years old, and this is a south-facing wall, so fading is going to be a real thing.

@bacchi - I think I'll just hit up the clearance section at our local Menards to get a cheap piece of siding.  It'll be like $3 :)

craiglepaige

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Re: My deck replacement project
« Reply #30 on: November 15, 2017, 01:41:18 PM »
Great work. The finished deck looks awesome.
-The conqueror will always become a slave to his conquest.

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