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New Deck #1: Starting the new deck.

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Blog entry by Karson posted 04-21-2008 03:19 AM 12325 reads 5 times favorited 20 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of New Deck series Part 2: Day 3 of the deck build »

Well I was working on building the deck and I kept saying. Take some pictures. But, it didn’t get done. These pictures are from before putting on the deck surface.

The deck is placed just outside a small deck that goes between the screened porch and the Solarium. We have a spa in the Solarium room.

The deck is basically 16’ X 16’. It’s 14 feet to the beginning of the curved edge. One end is tapered to match the sidewalk that goes around the house.

I’m using deck blocks that are just placed on the ground. No digging involved, except in my case I had to dig to make the blocks level. What you could do is stick a 4X4 in the top of the bolck and cut the 4X4’s level. In that case no digging.

I got a day laborer to help place the blocks. The 65 yr old knees do do well getting up and down and leaning on knees all day. We set all of the blocks on the first day.

The blocks are placed in rows 24” apart. I’m using 2X6’s as my deck surface. If you use 5/4 wood then you need the block rows 16” apart. The cost is greater using 5/4 lumber. You use more blocks and the deck boards are $3.00 more expensive. The blocks are not suppose to have more than 5’ between them in a row.

I used 2X6 as my frame and for all of the edge boards. The curved boards are 5/4 that I was able to bend with the help of some pipe clamps. All of the edge boards are screwed with 3” screws into the ends of the joists. The curve section had 2X6 stub joists screwed onto the last joist.

I then used some plastic conduit to mark the curve. Put screws on each side of the conduit at the end and one in the middle. I shaped the curve to what looked good and marked it on the joist sections. I then cut them off to the marked line.

The deck surface will be at ground level on the outer right corner.

It sits on the existing deck, at the house side.

It is actually a little off the cement on the solarium side.

The job is being overseen by my “Construction Supervisor”

The plywood is being used to lay on as I did the electric work.

When we bought the house there was a tree in this spot and a light went up the tree. Last year i noticed that the tree was leaning. This year a took the electric off the tree and I just pushed it over. Cut up all the wood. Now a deck is sprouting in its place. The electric is now being rerouted to the edge so that if I need to get to it, It will require removing a couple of deck boards.

The plans are to use a rope light across the edge of the deck where it meets the old deck and the sidewalk side. We are creatures of habit. I didn’t want us to fall and not remember that the deck is now there when it used to be grass.

My helper Dan, my son, is helping to screw down deck boards.

You will notice that we are using pipe clamps to pull all of the deck boards tight together.

I wonder how do i get 17’ pipe clamps. The wood is quite wet so I assume that the cracks between the boards will appear as they dry.

The supervisor back again. He never leaves for long.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware karson_morrison@bigfoot.com †



20 comments so far

View Dan'um Style's profile

Dan'um Style

13258 posts in 2730 days


#1 posted 04-21-2008 03:24 AM

that is a big project.

looks good so far.

-- keeping myself entertained ... Humor and fun lubricate the brain

View Todd A. Clippinger's profile

Todd A. Clippinger

8791 posts in 2846 days


#2 posted 04-21-2008 03:48 AM

Karson,

Did you totally pull the boards tight together? Or did you leave a little gap? You should leave some gap for drainage. Many guys in the field use some 16 penny nails, or a couple of speed squares. I have a set of gap gauges specifically for decking that are a bit hard to come by.

Some 1/8 inch thick material attached to wider blocks of wood works well. The blocks are wide and stay on top of the deck without falling through the crack. The 1/8 material projects in between the boards and you have to leave a little bit off the tension so that you can remove them.

Yes, the boards do dry and shrink a bit but it may not be enough really.

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana, http://americancraftsmanworkshop.com

View Todd A. Clippinger's profile

Todd A. Clippinger

8791 posts in 2846 days


#3 posted 04-21-2008 03:54 AM

Another good reason for the gap:

As you get closer to the sides, you may find things are not playing out even. You can slightly fudge the gap over several pieces so that it does not show and your final board will have an even overhang or meet the house evenly.
This is a very good reason for a little gap.

A 16 penny nail in a block of wood works good too. The block keeps them from falling through the crack all the time.

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana, http://americancraftsmanworkshop.com

View Karson's profile

Karson

34912 posts in 3147 days


#4 posted 04-21-2008 03:54 AM

Todd:

On the five rows that I’ve placed they are pulled tight together.

I’ll use a screw as a gap and unscrew it out, when the deck boards are screwed down.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware karson_morrison@bigfoot.com †

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27251 posts in 2569 days


#5 posted 04-21-2008 04:06 AM

Hi Karson,

This is a major project. I really like the curved front section of the deck. It adds a nice element to the overall design. I am glad to see you using screws as well. They hold much better than nails.

Keep us posted on the progress you are making.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View Todd A. Clippinger's profile

Todd A. Clippinger

8791 posts in 2846 days


#6 posted 04-21-2008 04:15 AM

The screw could work.

I did get a bit hung up on the gap thought and neglected to comment on how impressed I was with the curved design. Most contractors I know won’t even deal with such a feature.

Nice design.

Good luck!

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana, http://americancraftsmanworkshop.com

View Richard Williams's profile

Richard Williams

162 posts in 2539 days


#7 posted 04-21-2008 04:36 AM

Judging by the pictures you sent it looks like you are well underway with your project. I have to make a couple of observations here however. Looks like you are using treated lumber and mind you I am not a carpenter in any stretch of the imagination. I remember when I had a deck built for us because it was just too much for one guy to build, especially me. It was also two stories high. When they started to nail the floor boards down I questioned the procedure because they did not leave any gaps. They told me that there would be a gap between 1/3rd and 1/2 inch after the lumber dried out and I was skeptical but they were right of course. I noticed the electrical wiring there too. From what I could see of it, it looks okay but I hope you used the correct outdoor wiring cable. Also, those standard jem boxes are supposedly only good for one two wire cable w/ground to enter the box with one device like a switch or receptacle. So you are not legally allowed to go in and out of them with two cables to continue the circuit. Deeper boxes would be okay but local codes must be used. You need so much air circulation around each wire to allow for cooling as per the National Electrical Code. Current flowing through any conductor produces heat. More than likely you are doing it correctly my friend and I’m only judging things from the pictures. I have no idea if you are getting this inspected or not but please make sure you have a GFCI breaker protecting the circuit from the inside panel someplace. I love the way you were able to bend that lumber around the outside edge. I guess that took a little doing. Please post the pictures of the finished project. I think it looks spectacular. Great job, Karson.

-- Rich, Nevada,

View Blake's profile

Blake

3439 posts in 2621 days


#8 posted 04-21-2008 05:04 AM

This is gonna be really nice, Karson. I love the curved end. It makes for a very “custom” look. I like your son’s hair too :)

-- Happy woodworking! http://www.openarmsphotography.com

View Grumpy's profile

Grumpy

19693 posts in 2598 days


#9 posted 04-21-2008 05:23 AM

Plenty of hard yakka there Karson. I see you are well supervised. Are those concrete supports very deep?, do you pour them in a mould or buy them at the local hardware. That has the potential to be a great deck. I agree with you & the Jocks to put them in tight as there will be shrinkage. A lot of the decking timber down under comes grooved on one side, the groove goes underneath to allow for drainage. Is that what you do over there?.

-- Grumpy - "Always look on the bright side of life"- Monty Python

View Brad_Nailor's profile

Brad_Nailor

2532 posts in 2704 days


#10 posted 04-21-2008 05:28 AM

Wow, your lucky..you can use pier blocks. I had to dig 12” Dia. concrete piers 42” deep for my deck. 7 of them! Looks great so far. I decked mine with composite, and I used Tiger Claw hidden fastners. No screw holes and they gap the boards flawlessly!

-- http://www.facebook.com/pages/DSO-Designs/297237806954248

View Karson's profile

Karson

34912 posts in 3147 days


#11 posted 04-21-2008 06:34 AM

Thanks Richard for the comments on the electrical. Yes I’m going to do GFI’s. I just checked and the circuit braker on this line is not a GFI circuit breaker and it was currently feeding outlets and lights in an outdoor environment. I’ll correct that.

The wires going into the box contain two different circuits. One will feel a rope light and will be controlled by a dusk to dawn circuit. The other one will be for 110 circuit if I need. Waterproof covers are being used for a cord that will be inserted permanently. The Dusk to dawn circuit will also be used on other lights.

Thanks for giving me a heads up. I appreciate it.

I’ll put another connector box in the feed the Dusk to dawn sensor and then feet the current to the appropiate places.

All of them being fed with the one circuit. And yes I’m using outdoor wiring even though it is not exposed to direct sunlight nor is it direct buried.

Thanks for keeping me honest.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware karson_morrison@bigfoot.com †

View Karson's profile

Karson

34912 posts in 3147 days


#12 posted 04-21-2008 06:42 AM

Grumpy:

The blocks set on top of the soil. These have all been placed on tamped soil. They weigh 48 lbs apiece and are allowed per building codes. The deck is just sitting on the ground. Nothing is buried into the soil. No building permit required. It’s like building a storage shed that sits on top of the ground.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware karson_morrison@bigfoot.com †

View Grumpy's profile

Grumpy

19693 posts in 2598 days


#13 posted 04-21-2008 12:22 PM

Great technique Karson Thanks for the information.

-- Grumpy - "Always look on the bright side of life"- Monty Python

View Zipsss's profile

Zipsss

181 posts in 2860 days


#14 posted 04-21-2008 07:51 PM

Let me know when the deck chairs and the ice tea arrives and I will go personally to check the quality of the labor. It looks great.

-- Zipsss

View Karson's profile

Karson

34912 posts in 3147 days


#15 posted 04-21-2008 10:40 PM

Todd:

I checked the Mfg of the wood product brochure and they state to put the boards side-by-side and they will shrink enough to give you a gap. They stated as much as 3/4” on a 6” board.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware karson_morrison@bigfoot.com †

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