Building a wood deck.

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Philip_T, Jul 14, 2004.

  1. Philip_T

    Philip_T Supporting Actor

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    My deck is pretty much shot and in need of serious repair work. So serious in fact, that Im planning on just tearing it out and building a new one. After talking with a friend who just had some deck work done, it looks like Im going to try and do it myself due to the costs of hiring a contractor. He spent $5K and that is not an option for me. I was wondering if their are some good 'how to' books or software out there that would help me design the deck and give me a good idea as to what I would need material wise. With some good instructions, I would be much more inclined to take on this project myself.
     
  2. Dave Morton

    Dave Morton Supporting Actor

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    I'm sure you can go to Home Depot or some store like that and look at the "how to" books. How much material you will need will depend on how big the deck is and the design. Will there be a lot of angles cut or will it be a simple square or rectangle? Make sure you get treated lumber. I think there is a composite type material that is supposed to last longer than treated wood, but I've not worked with it.

    Good luck.
     
  3. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    I've not done this but I hope to next Spring. I've been told that pressure-treated lumber is about $10 per square foot and the composite Trex is $20/ft^2. People I've talked to recommend the composite material. It's more expensive but it doesn't require annual maintenance.

    My guesstimates have been about $4000 for a 20' x 20' deck.
     
  4. Philip_T

    Philip_T Supporting Actor

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    My current deck is approximately 360sf (12x30), so at $10/sf that would be $3,600. Ouch. I never thought were that expensive. I was hoping $2,000 would get it done, but its not looking that way. Especially when I factor in delivery and haul away of the old deck after I demo it. I'm really torn on the composite vs redwood. There's nothing like the look of a nice redwood deck, but the maintenance free(ish) aspect of Trex is appealing. Colorado weather can be brutal on wood decks.
     
  5. CRyan

    CRyan Screenwriter

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    The 12x16' deck I built this spring out of pressure treated lumber was right at $350 including concrete and all fasteners. Now my deck is only 2' off the ground and did not require additional bracing etc. that a deck above 5' may require. It is very easy to do. I did it all by myself. However, if you are like 12' above ground, I would not even think of doing it myself. Too many things to go wrong imo.

    Oh and I bought the lumber at Lowes and the fasteneers at HD. Cheaper that way.
    C. Ryan
     
  6. Philip_G

    Philip_G Producer

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    Well, you're ripping out and replacing, right?
    I'd go around and take pics of the deck you're ripping out and build the new one the same way. You're probably going to use the same concrete blocks and joist hangers, right?

    I like the looks of the composite stuff too.

    You're welcome to borrow my air compressor to drive a nailer if you want [​IMG]
    I have a brad/staple gun, but no nailer so you'd have to borrow or rent one, unless you screw it together like I would.
     
  7. Philip_T

    Philip_T Supporting Actor

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    Yep, will be using screws and bolts. Although nail guns are quick and easy. Im also going to try and replicate what is currently there so Im hoping the existing footers will suffice.
     
  8. Philip_G

    Philip_G Producer

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    I wonder if you can rent a screw gun that uses the decking screws that come on a plastic cord, kind of like a belt fed machine gun. I can't for the life of me remember the brand name right now, it'll come to me in a bit.

    like this:
    http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg...&s=hi&n=552978
     
  9. Philip_T

    Philip_T Supporting Actor

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    Ooooooooo! Very nice! [​IMG]
     
  10. CRyan

    CRyan Screenwriter

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    I used lag bots and screws for the support members. However, I used nails for the decking. My dad used the same nails two years ago and not a board has pulled.

    Screws will double (maybe triple) your fastener cost. And unless you rent a gun, you will be very sorry come the 100th screw. Predrilling and screwing is a PITA. Then you get tired and start stripping them. Cutting them off is real fun. And you are looking at more than 400 screws. Ugh. You will have to rent a gun.

    Anyway, to each there own I guess, but screwing is just not worth it unless you have the cash and the equipment to make it easy.

    C. Ryan
     
  11. David McGough

    David McGough Second Unit

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  12. Philip_G

    Philip_G Producer

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    Aren't a lot of the decking nails now a days tipped with some sort of epoxy?

    Let me know if you want the compressor, or need help.
    Still no job so it's not like I'm doing fuck all.
     
  13. Philip_T

    Philip_T Supporting Actor

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    CRyan, screws may be more of a PITA, but unless there are some kinda new fangled nails that stay in place for decades without working themselves loose, I would prefer to do it right the 1st time. We get alot of heat/cold flucuations in Colorado which doesn't help the nails stay put. But, if what Philip says about the epoxy tips is true, I might go the nail route. In which case, I'll be calling you up about the compressor Philip [​IMG] .

    David, thanks for that website. Thats what I was looking for. [​IMG]
     
  14. CalvinCarr

    CalvinCarr Supporting Actor

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    Hmmm.....[​IMG]
     
  15. Kwang Suh

    Kwang Suh Supporting Actor

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    Yeah, screws are a pain. I just did two fences, one with nails, one with screws. Screws take waaaayy longer to install than nails. On the other hand, you're virtually guaranteed no movement with screws.

    Oh, and the deck. $10 sq ft for PT is _incredibly_ expensive. Not sure where you guys get your wood from, but that's highway robbery. At most, it should be $5 sq ft.
     
  16. Philip_G

    Philip_G Producer

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    gah, I could SWEAR I remembered stocking boxes of epoxy tipped decking nails at a tool supply place I worked at in college, but can't for the life of me find anything like it online [​IMG]
     
  17. Kwang Suh

    Kwang Suh Supporting Actor

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    Keep in mind that the composite material has not been fully field tested, as it were. It hasn't been around long enough. IMHO, I think it's overrated. PT and cedar/redwood don't actually require any maintenance for longevity.
     
  18. Philip_G

    Philip_G Producer

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  19. Jeff Ulmer

    Jeff Ulmer Producer

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    True to a point, but they do require finishing of some kind if you don't want a grey deck, which you'll have in a year or two depending on how much sun exposure you have. Unfinished wood will also rot in damp climates a lot faster.

    The last deck I built was cedar over PT 2x6. That wood was mostly still good some 7 years later, but I had to go back and repound nails (galvanised twist) due to shrinkage, and there was some rot in places. Also, some of the boards had started to splinter if they were flat grained. Nothing like driving a piece of cedar under the toenails to wake you up in the morning.
     
  20. David McGough

    David McGough Second Unit

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