New Deck

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Project by richgreer posted 04-25-2012 08:43 PM 3239 views 1 time favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I just completed building this small deck for a friend. The decking material and the railings are made of a composite material with a hidden screw mounting system. This was my first time working with this composite material. I’m impressed by how hard this material is. It sawed like a hardwood. My finishing nail gun would not penetrate the material until I cranked the air pressure up to 110 psi. I normally use it around 90 psi.

As an FYI regarding the material – - Even when securely screwed down, the boards will still slide in their mounts if hit on an end. I put a single finishing nail through each board (in an inconspicuous location) to prevent the boards from sliding.

A unique feature is that I resawed some of this decking material, making pieces 3/8” thick and used that material to make treads for the steps.

I will add that the strange “box” you see under the lower step is bolted directly to a concrete pylon. There are also pylons under each post. I also bolted the steps to the deck. Yea – It’s solid.

The owner wanted a solid, maintenance-free deck. I think she has that.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

12 comments so far

View wiswood2's profile


1138 posts in 3841 days

#1 posted 04-25-2012 09:08 PM

Nice looking job,Is there a big price difference in price between it and treated.

-- Chuck, wiswood2

View grizzman's profile


7836 posts in 3448 days

#2 posted 04-25-2012 09:30 PM

yea its a great job with the decking being so durable, but i noticed they didnt use treated wood for the joists, the top boards will last forever but the joists and such will wear out..but its there deck, you did a great job..i really like the decks on your house, that is a pretty sweet home you have, nice shop…nice to be retired huh…

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 3220 days

#3 posted 04-25-2012 11:25 PM

In response to Grizzman – I used pressure treated for all the wooden parts – including the joists.

In response to wiswood – These 10’ long boards of composite material costs $19.90 each. Pressure treated would have been less than $5.00. Hence, the composite material costs about 4 times more. Cheaper composite is available at $14.90 without the grooves in the side, which accommodate a hidden screw installation technique.

In my opinion, the really expensive part is the composite railing. It works out to about $13 per linear foot.

As an FYI – My personal deck is made of ipé which costs a little more than twice as much as the composite material. I tried to sell my friend on ipé and she was not willing to spend that much.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View grizzman's profile


7836 posts in 3448 days

#4 posted 04-26-2012 12:08 AM

hey rich i hope you know i wasnt bad mouthing the deck, its just that the joist i could see looked like regular stuff, the treated i see down here is a light green color or a darker color, so please dont think i was saying anything bad, i totally respect your work and consider you a top notch carpenter..i didnt know that ipe was that expensive, holy cow….but i understand it to be some of the best to use….grizz

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

View Martyroc's profile


2712 posts in 2451 days

#5 posted 04-26-2012 12:15 AM

Looks good Rich, and solid. I plan on something similar but I am not going to use composite material. I have used it before and it worked good, I just am partial to wood, gives me something that needs maintenance. Since my daughter is getting older, in a few years she probably wont realize I exist, so I will need more things to keep me busy :)

-- Martin ....always count the number of fingers you have before, and after using the saw.

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 3220 days

#6 posted 04-26-2012 12:34 AM

Grizzman – I never thought you were “bad mouthing” me or my work and I understand where you are coming from.

I find that pressure treated lumber can have a variety of looks and a variety of moisture content (weight). Much (but not all) has a greenish tint, is still quite moist and is quite heavy. Stuff that has dried longer at the lumber yard can be just the opposite.

As a personal comment. I used the composite because that is what my friend wanted. I would never use it for myself. I’m a wood guy. If i could not afford ipé, I would probably opt for pressure treated. Fortunately, when I built my deck about 13 years ago (see my last project) my stock options from my employer were looking very good.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View Woodwrecker's profile


4191 posts in 3721 days

#7 posted 04-26-2012 02:58 AM

Nice job Rich.
That should last a good long time!

View canadianchips's profile


2606 posts in 3142 days

#8 posted 04-26-2012 01:42 PM

That deck turned out very good.
I might add: Yes the extra cost initially on the boards, BUt then , NO staining every couple of years, No screws showing, NO warping,

-- "My mission in life - make everyone smile !"

View DocSavage45's profile


8699 posts in 2988 days

#9 posted 04-26-2012 02:12 PM

Nice work. Hope you were a mask. LOL!

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 3220 days

#10 posted 04-26-2012 05:15 PM

Doc, Interesting comment. Were you able to observe that the house has asbestos siding?

I did have to drill some holes through that siding to mount the headers and I used a mask when drilling through the siding.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View GenerationWW's profile


521 posts in 2395 days

#11 posted 04-26-2012 06:37 PM

Nice job, I recently used something very similar on a couple of decks. The only thing I did different was I put a nosing around the perimeter first. With the perimeter baords, I used a biscuit jointer to cut grooves for the fasteners, and shot stainless nails to really secure it. Great stuff to use!

-- list your handcrafted treasures @ for free!

View MuseumQuality's profile


15 posts in 2396 days

#12 posted 04-26-2012 09:50 PM

We have a big deck made out of this stuff where I work and it is not holding up well. I’m not sure if it was the installation, or the product or what, but the thing is sagging bad in the corners and almost all of the boards are warped. I always hear good things about the stuff, so I was surprised with the results at my work. I think its only 5 years old. Anyone else run into problems with this? Also, I should not that it is the kind that you screw down through the top, not the kind shown here.

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