Playing catch-up: #4 The Deck

Project run summer 2010.

With the living room, dining room and kitchen all set we turned our attention outside.  We had already tackled the jungle of shrubs that had blocked the house from the street (an all-day affair that we will have to post about).  But now it was time to tackle the back yard.

The previous owner had built a blue stone patio just off the back steps.  They had used large “broken” slabs of blue stone on a gravel and sand base.  However, thanks to the slope of our yard (no retaining walls around the patio) and our own preoccupation with the inside of the house the patio was no longer serviceable.

Enter the deck!  We had always wanted a deck, someplace where we could entertain without having to worry about tripping on a piece of blue stone.  With the summer quickly approaching we decided that it was time to make the move.  Being the home improvement people we are we figured we could handle this job; after all we had never tiled, or made our own molding before and that had worked out fine, how hard could a deck be?

We settled on 24’ x 16’ as an ideal size, and after drawing up the plans and getting the permits we got started.  First order of business was tearing up the old patio, which went deceptively quick.  We had scheduled an entire day to demo the patio but were done in about 2 hours.

The time we saved on tearing out the patio was put to work on taking out the old concrete steps.  We had originally planned to demo the entire three step poured concrete form.  So we rented a jack hammer and got three of our friends to show up…that was a long day.  Our original plans quickly turned to hoping and praying to at least get the top step off!  Which we accomplished after some four hours of work.

Next was digging the footings… Have you ever gotten a two person auger stuck all the way in the ground?  They never show that stuff on DIY, it is always the host and some homeowner who quickly knock 6-50 footings out in 5 minutes .  The one day of quick digging 8 holes turned into a week of hell crawling down the holes to pull out more rocks than I ever want to see again.

Next was the framing, we built the deck out of pressure treated 2×10’s, 12 oc with double beams on the side, triple on the front and a triple laminated carrying beam bolted together every two feet with carriage bolts.  We used joist hangers on each end of the joists and hurricane beams to strap them to the carrying beam.

After all the framing was done we laid down Trex boards and put up a white Trex railing. As a final touch we wrapped the apron with white board from Azek to match the railings.

Later we ran electrical and we still have to put the lattice work around the bottom.  Maybe this summer?

As always, enjoy the pictures.


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