Deck Design and Construction Forum

This forum is where we discuss things like planning, design ideas, construction techniques.

You will find these topics in more detail, and sometime building code or engineering issues.

It's a broad area and one of our most popular spots for visitors.

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Other Visitor's Questions

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Deck flashing details during home inspection 
I just bought a house (but I am not moving in until May) and I know nothing about buildings. But after reading a bit about decks, I'm starting worrying …

Problems making the deck framing square 
Hello to all! Having some problems making the deck framing square. Just completed the frame on my deck which is 8 x 24. Haven't attached it to the beam …

Maximizing view from deck 
We just bought a house with a nice view off the deck. The deck needs replacing and I'm trying to figure out design. We are looking at an 18'x18' deck, …

We Have A Deck Refinishing Problem 
We have a back deck in pretty rough shape. It has a thick kind of reddish colored almost paint stain that we dislike. A lot of the boards are in pretty …

Little deck with big footings? 
I'm designing a house suited to the lower elevation Hawaiian climate (Big Island). The walls are, for the most part, Textilene 90 screening. You could …

How to make pergola footings level with each other?? 
I'm constructing a pergola on a brick patio. The 4 corner posts won't be on the patio itself; I'm going to remove bricks in the corners and pour 18" …

Deck design ideas for my backyard 
I'm having some issues visualizing and coming up with a design for my deck. I have an irregular shaped home, and the patio door is 5 feet off the ground. …

An outdoor living space 
Our home is 5 years old and everything was fine except the old, unsightly, small deck. So, with some careful planning, our vision came to existence (for …

Outdoor tile for decks 
I added an adition to my house and over a part of the main floor I placed a roofline deck that is going to hold a hot tub. The construction was done …

Can we lower a deck after it is built? 
Our two tier deck is in the mid stages of completion. Now that the cedar deck boards are being installed I'm realizing that the lower level is too high …

I need to get a soil report 
I am building a second story deck off my bedroom and it is 9 feet of the ground. I need to get a soil report and do not know the first thing about doing …

Second story covered deck with overhang. 
I would like to build a 25'x19' covered deck off the second story of my three story house. The joist span would be 19' with the beam at 16'. Question, …

Building a floating deck on an epdm rubber roof surface 
I have an interesting problem. I am taking a 25x25 roof over a garage that was done in decking then tile and leaked. I tore everything up, replaced the …

Should a raised deck be built with a grade to it? 
I have a 14 foot deep deck over a walk out basement that runs the length of my house. I am planning to re-floor the deck with sheeting and a duradeck type …

Our summer and winter getaway 
I decided to rip off the old small decaying deck and build a more roomy area for family fun. I designed the deck by drawing a plan, using 1 cm for one …

My 1st DIY deck project, so why not start with IPE !  
It has been over 2 years and over 2 tons of lumber and my deck is, well almost done ;-) After a few quotes from reputable contractors, I decided to DIY. …

Vinyl deck leaking 
My builder used a vinyl deck covering on a southern exposed 2nd floor balcony. The problem is the deck leaked badly into the room below. It appears the …

Need to know load capabilities of my free standing deck. 
My deck is supported by 2 sets of posts (6x6) and beams (2-2x10's). Posts are 7' apart with beam and beams are 9' apart. Can anyone help me calculate …

Concerned about deck support... 
I have just had a deck built. It is 12ft. wide by 48ft. long. Attached to the house by a 2 by 12 ledger. Outside beams are also 2 by 12. Floor joists are …

Best Kind of decking materials and fasteners to use? 
I'm replacing 5/4 x 6 Western Red Cedar / Patio Grade / Select Knotty / S4SRE Radius Edge with the same type of material (not slotted). The original …

Rooftop deck construction questions 
Looking into building a deck on the rooftop of my apartment. The roof has recently been re-done (gravel). I am wondering how to anchor the deck to the …

Researching a deck surface replacement 
I have a 10-15 year old cedar deck (we just bought the house so not sure) that needs a new top. The PT framing looks solid! Cannot decide between Cedar …

Free Standing Decks - Building Code Issues? 
I am about to build a deck off the rear of my home but I would prefer not to attach it directly to the house using a ledger board etc... I would prefer …

True Maintenance Free Decking 
While they always say nothing is free - www.evolution-deck.com comes pretty close. We were among the first to install an Evolution Deck galvanized steel …

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California Fire Rating For Decks 
I heard that new decks in California have new fire standards they must meet and have to have certain burn rates? Do know anything about this or where …

Beam Spacing 
I'm building a 16x16 deck and I'm searching for how many beams and what spacing do I need to have between each beam. The beams are (3x)2x6x16 glued …

How to Extend a Deck and Fix Rotted Support Posts 
I have a 10x12 deck that is 10 feet high and 20 yrs old. Its attached to the house and supported by square posts made of 2x10. The support posts and beam …

Need Details on Deck Load Capacity 
I have read several articles regarding how to design a deck to support a particular load. For example, a deck to support 50 psf, 10 dead and 40 live. …

Weekend remodeler - Composite material and Moisture Question 
Basically i want to build a larger deck over a 6" high concrete slab, using PT 2 X 6 as joists. Most important question is the deck material. I'd …

Cantilever Deck Addition 
I have an existing 28 x 8 elevated deck. I want to extend it by 4 feet to allow enough room to screen in the deck. The joists are 2 x 8s on 15" centers. …

A Deck for A Small Backyard 
I had a really small backyard in a townhouse complex and decided to build a rather large deck with three levels. This view is from the upstairs window …

Securing Wood Post to Concrete with Vinyl Sleeve 
I would like to replace a 4x4 wood post that previously attached to a deck railing and the roof of my porch. It was about 7.5 feet tall attach to concrete. …

Looking for the perfect decking materials 
Currently we have a cedar deck and it's about 9 years old and needs replaced already. We live in IL and the deck faces the west so it gets a lot of sun. …

Deck support bracing without posts 
I would like to build a very small 4' deep x 5' wide deck off a back door for access from the back of a garage. Can I brace/support the outer deck back …

Walk Out Basement Deck Design to Maximize Light 
I am looking for design ideas for deck for a walk-out from the basement. I want to maximize the light coming to the basement and have as little of the …

Deck Stairs set into frame of deck 
We are building a deck at the cottage and would like to set the stairs back from the front edge of the deck by 4 feet. This will give us more run for …

Waterproofing to keep under deck area dry  
At present I have a deck that covers a portion of basement stairwell. The deck itself is vinyl covered plywood. I want to extend the deck and add …

Decking over raised concrete patio 
I understand that decking over concrete isn't a good idea due to rot. But, I can't imagine that someone hasn't figured out a way to frame and deck a concrete …

Raised concrete deck 
I have a wood deck which needs replacing. It is about 12 feet above ground level attached to the house and supported by 6x6 wooden beams. Can I replace …

Underdeck Waterproofing or on Top? 
We are planning on redoing our large deck. We have a room underneath our deck that has a dirt floor. I would like the deck to have a solid floor on …

Vinyl or Torch On Roofing for Leaking Deck 
Our deck is leaking and needs to be replaced. We have living space underneath it and are wanting to know if we should go with a vinyl or torch on roofing? …

Rim Joist to Ledger on Inside Corner of the House 
Just a quick question. They say to screw the rim joist to the end of the ledger. One side, no issues. The other side is on the inside corner of the …

Piles or Cement Blocks? 
What is the code in Canada for building a deck on a house in regards to piles or cement blocks? If the deck is not attached to the house, will cement blocks(pier …

Post hole auger depth? 
How far do I have do go with my auger for my post holes?

Cool Deck "Do-Over" 
We rejuvenated our deck using a combination of two-tone deck stain, metal ballusters, ambient candle lights, and surrounded it all with natural stone flower-bed …

Deck Load and Soil Capacity?  
My husband built a deck around our above ground pool. Problem is we had no permit. We are now trying to obtain one and the township wants to know the PSF. …

Building Deck on Top of a Raised Slab That is Warped 
I have a 19 by 34 foot raised patio (about 2 foot tall back filled with a concrete slab on top) at the back of my house. It had flagstone covering the …

Dock with a Boat Lift 
Can I use pressure treated lumber from my local home improvement center to build a dock with a boat lift or do I need to use specially treated wood that …

A Cantilevered Supported Deck 
I want to design a deck that will have its only support come from the wall (cantilevered) that its attached to. Because of our back yard there is no …

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Small Deck for Double Wide Mobile Home 
My mother lives in a double wide mobile home that has inadequate steps in the front. I have an area that is 128" long, 72" wide and 32" from the ground …

Roof Beam Size 
I have a ten foot span on a deck roof beam. Any idea what the roof beam size should be (pine/fir)?

Building a Sunroom on a Deck 
Is it possible to build a 4 season sunroom on a deck that is 9ft off the ground. If so what would the load rating be . What size footings would I need. …

Deck Ideas For Patio Stone Brick 
We have a 12x25 pressure treated wood deck that is about 10-15 years old. The boards are rotting and we must replace it. We have a very limited budget, …

Truss Spans Posts For Patio Roof Cover 
I would like to know if there is a chart that shows the span of 2x6's,4x6's.4x8's etc. I want to build a cover over a patio with the least amount of posts …

Concrete support post anchors free standing deck 
I'm starting with support posts for a free standing deck that are than 15" tall and secured to the concrete footing with a Simpson post anchor and a 1/2" …

How to stop movement of a deck 
I have a deck that is 12x12 and it has some movement side to side. I need to know how I need to brace it and make it more secure its about 10 years old. …

Looking for ideas for our deck (from 2nd level) 
I am looking for some ideas for a deck coming off our kitchen of our split entry home. Currently as you will see in the pictures we have just a square …

Building 2nd story deck and pouring concrete patio below 
I am going to be building a 2nd story deck but will be putting the posts right where I am going to be pouring a cement patio. What is the best way to …

Questions about deck footings and pier sizes for an average deck 
I am building a small deck at my back door (so I can let my dogs out). It will be 10 feet wide (against the house) and 6' 8'' out. It will be freestanding …

Do we have to install stairs when building a deck. 
We are building a deck on the second story of our house and want to know if there is any reason we must have stairs. Does building code require stairs? …

Hiding an A/C Unit with the deck? 
We recently built a new house and our builder put our (enormous) A/C unit right in the front of our house. Can we build a deck over top to hide the a/c …

Rejuvenating Poorly-Built Deck 
Please bear with me - I'm not a handywoman and am probably going to explain this badly as I don't know the terms to use! Our deck is approximately 10 …

Searching for 20' railing top cap 
I'm just completing a 10' x 20' deck with stairs along the shorter side. I am trying to find a solid 20' length of PT 2x6 or 5/4x6 for the railing top …

Spanning sixteen feet with doug fir 
I need to span sixteen feet over a deck. I am considering 2x6 doug fir on end. Do you think this will work?

Wood Decking of Paving Stones for Deck Surface 
I am looking at building a 16 x16 deck and wondering if lumber or pave stones would be more cost effective. What would you suggest?

Deck Building Specifications on Pacific Coast 
I am a member of an RV association that allows year long parking of our 5th wheel. The association is located on the Washington State Pacific coast. …

Raised Deck on Bedrock 
We live in Ontario, Canada and plan to build an elevated deck at the back of our house with stairs to access the main floor - which is above our walk-out …

Where to Find Deck Building Codes in Edison, NJ  
I just want to know where to find the building codes for my city. I called the township they told me over the phone that they follow the NJ state deck …

Flitch Plates and Deck Beams 
I am using a flitch plate to eliminate some 6 x 6 supporting columns. The outside beam is triple (2x10s). Where do you situate the flitch plate?

How Close to Overhead Power Lines 
In general how much clearance should there be for overhead power lines if I am building a deck on the side of my house where the lines run overhead?

Under Porch Cover Options 
I have a wrap-around porch on the front of my house leaving a 3' opening underneath that I would like to hide. Any suggestions other than lattice? …

Deck Clearances Over A/C Units, Furnace Exhausts 
I'm replacing my old deck (12x12) with a (12x16). With this extra 4 feet it will be over my A/C unit and also my furnace power venter. The bottom of …

Help, We're Surrounded! 
We've got a typically small and exposed suburban backyard. Our back sliding door elevation is higher then the neighbors behind & to the sides of us. …

Prefab Concrete Piers 
Do the prefab concrete piers (that 2x8 lumber can insert into) work well for supporting free standing decks (approximately 12 x 19 ft) and only 12 inches …

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Faux Deck Support Posts 
I currently have 4x4 posts under my deck (walk-out basement). I would like to "turn" these into 12x12 posts and cover them with faux rock material. …

Extending Cantilever For Deck Balcony  
My deck is cantilevered just under 24". It is built with 2x8 joists 24" on center. I plan to replace them with 2x8 joists 12" on center to accommodate …

Deck Attached to House or Free Standing 
How long or how high can a deck be before it must be secured to the house?

Nails or Screws...?? 
I'm in the process of getting ready to build my deck... I went to Home Depot and they prepared a basic design/plan to match my specs and they also estimated …

Deck Design Software & Material List 
We are looking to build a deck similar to the project #2, hot tub decks. Our deck will be raised to the height of our patio doors which would be around …

Design ideas for hot tub on deck 
I've been trying to come up with design ideas for a hot tub with a roof addition but am having great difficulty working up a plan that will tie in to my …

Pressure Treating Lumber Process 
I would like to know about how pressure treated lumber is prepared.

What Surface Underneath a Waterproof Deck? 
We have just had the rear of our house waterproofed and want to build a new deck. The gound cover is now just dirt infill. What type of surface or base …

Attaching Deck To House or Not? 
Does a backyard deck always have to be attached to the house?

Lifespan of Pressure Treated Lumber Dock 
Do you have a thought on the "lifespan" of a DOCK built of pressure-treated lumber if it is NEVER treated? The structure is located in northern New York …

Installing Deck Support Posts 
I would like to pour concrete to set my support posts? The majority of plans I read are using piers? I live In southern Michigan what would be the …

Exterior Finishing Ideas For Narrow Lot Home 
I have a beautiful narrow lot home and I love the inside. It reflects my individual taste. However, the exterior looks like everyone else's in my area. …

Levelling a Hillside Deck  
I am building a deck on a hillside. How can I make my deck level?

Windows Over Deck 
I have two windows covered with a screen sitting 4-5 inches above my deck. My question is do I need to replace these windows with glass tempered ones …

Waterproofing options for a deck over walkout area below Not rated yet
What waterproofing options for a deck over a walkout area below are there? I have a large upper deck over a walk out basement and would like to be …

Reducing The Width Of Stairs By Installing Posts Inside Stringers Not rated yet
I am planning on replacing my wood decking with Trex and have a question regarding the stairs. Attached is a picture of the stairs. The tread is 36" …

How To Change Direction Of Decking Boards From Parallel To Perpendicular To House Not rated yet
I would like to change the direction of the decking boards on my deck and am in the beginning process of redoing my deck. One question that I have …

What is the difference between kiln dried redwood versus other redwood for decking Not rated yet
My question is whether it is wise to use kiln dried redwood versus other grades of redwood for the deck flooring in a area that is exposed to a lot of …

Shrinking Top Railing Board Question Not rated yet
Rookie question here..... My top railing board shrunk at the corner. I recently attempted to install new pressure treated deck boards for my top railing. …

4x4 Posts for Screen Porch - PT or Cedar? Not rated yet
I'm in the process of building a 12 x 16 screen porch. Because the floor of the screen porch will be low (about a foot high), I decided that I would run …

Ideas for wrapping the back of built-in benches Not rated yet
I added some benches to a deck that I'm finishing up and I'm stumped on how to wrap the back of them. My only idea is to use deck boards (The surface of …

Floating Deck in Connecticut Not rated yet
I'm looking for information for the State of Connecticut. I was looking at putting in a small 8x10 deck on my above ground pool. I was trying to find …

Face Screwing Deck Boards From Underneath the Deck Boards Not rated yet
I'm installing Gossen (PVC) decking on a metal framed deck (light gauge steel framing). I would like to have a hidden fastener look with the connection …

Options for footings Not rated yet
I am building a deck in my backyard and have had a hard time finding the building codes for Hamilton, Ontario. The deck will only sit 2 feet off the …

Possible Problems With Different Deck Footing Sizes Not rated yet
I recently started building a backyard deck and need a little help. I set the perimeter support posts in a hole and poured concrete only around them. …

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Replacing deck and re-using ledger board lag holes Not rated yet
I have an existing 8'w x 6w' deck that I am planning to replace with a 16x12. The current deck has the ledger board at 16oc (2x8). To keep things …

Turning A Very Large Three Deck Flower Box Into A Deck Not rated yet
In my backyard I have a very large three tier flower box in the back of my house next to my concrete walkway that has stairs that lead down to my garage. …

A Deck Stairs Design Building Conundrum Not rated yet
We Have a Major Deck Stair Challenge: How can we get our little dogs to the grass for less than $8,000? We just bought a home with 2 decks, neither …

Can I use cedar for railing posts Not rated yet
I would like to know if I can use cedar for railing posts on my deck? The deck framing is 2x8 treated floor joists. I've been told that cedar it is …

How long to wait to stain deck Not rated yet
We had a deck built last summer. We still haven't stained it yet which I know is terrible. We're coming up on te rainy days of fall and we're trying …

Above ground pool deck board problem Not rated yet
We had a builder frame a deck against our above ground pool. The deck is roughly 16' x 20' x 4' high and we are going to trex it and put up railing …

Crushed stone underneath deck Not rated yet
My son is replacing his 12x10 deck due to age and condition. He told his mother that he needs to put in $200 worth of crushed stone in order to "level …

Pergola Construction Questions Not rated yet
Can I add a pergola to a second story deck?

Building Waterproof Balcony Deck in Florida Not rated yet
I am rebuilding a second floor balcony that exists above a backyard patio. This time I want it water tight as I have gotten very tired of the frequent …

Deck Ledger Board Questions Not rated yet
Read This Article First... A great place for you to start before you get into this specific article would be to read what I think is a seminal article …

Questions about deck joists and beams Not rated yet
I'm building a 20 foot by 14 foot deck. What size of lumber do i need to span the 14 foot distance?

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