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Forum topic by Gene Howe posted 09-02-2010 01:50 PM 853 views 0 times favorited 2 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Gene Howe

8101 posts in 2850 days

09-02-2010 01:50 PM

We’ve been re constructing our decks. Made a very bad decision 12 years ago and built them all from untreated fir except for the piers, which are redwood. Then, my wife had an automatic watering system installed for her trees and plants around the house, including bordering the decks. The constant moisture exposure, even though EVERYTHING was painted with good primer and oil based paint, began to rot.
The main deck is 25X20, with two smaller decks of 10X12. All the rim joists (headers) and about half of the interior joists had to be replaced. These decks are all free standing and, in certain areas, as much as 5’ off the ground. None of the deck areas were roofed.
So, while we were at it, we decided to roof the main deck. This required 14 new 4X4 redwood posts and numerous hand mixed wheelbarrow loads of cement. Not to mention a bunch of 2X8 rafters, hurricane ties, rafter hangers and tiedown straps for each rafter. I went wild with the Simpson catalog. We get wind gusts of 50+ MPH occasionally and 25-30+ regularly during our May and June windy season.
We researched a lot of composite decking and finally decided to go back with wood. We wanted to use Ipe, a very hard and rot resistant wood, but could not justify the cost plus shipping and saw blades. So, we opted for Redwood. It looks good and, with an application of a product called Cetol from Sikkens, should be maintenance free for at least 5 years. Especially with a roof to protect most of it from the sun.
3 days ago, Phyllis and I finished installing the rafters and yesterday, I finished all the steps/stairs (4 sets). Today I’ll finish the hand rails. One of our sons and another fellow will install the plywood and metal roof. Wife and I did all the rest of the work, but at 62 and 70 years of age, neither of us feel too good about getting on that roof and manhandling those materials. The last roof we did was also 12 years ago, for our woodshop. We won’t be doing any more roofs.
As soon as I finish the hand rails on the steps, we’ll be heading for the cabin for 4 days of R&R. Then back at it, passing materials up to the roof.
Our other son and wife and two grandkids (2 and 4 y.o) will be coming for a visit from Okinawa on 10/1/10. So we’ve been pushing hard…shoulda started sooner, huh?

BTW, Pics to follow when we get back.

P.S. I can’t wait to get back to the shop!

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

2 replies so far

View Knothead62's profile


2581 posts in 2382 days

#1 posted 09-02-2010 02:20 PM

FYI, WOOD magazine had an article comparing different types of wood and composites for decking. I was considering composite for the floor of my deck. The article noted that composite gets very hot! Scratched it off the list as my treated wood gets hot enough.

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

8101 posts in 2850 days

#2 posted 09-02-2010 02:37 PM

Hi Knothead,
I didn’t see that article and I subscribe, too. But then, I seem to miss a lot.
Yeah, a couple of the wife’s relatives used it in IL. They said it was way to hot to walk on in bare feet. They also complained of sagging, mold and crumbling/rotting. Some manufacturers mix wood dust in with the old tires and I assume that’s the cause of the mold and rot the relatives have experienced. At $65 per 24 foot 2X6, I would expect a better product. Of course, my cost on Ipe was about that + shipping and saw blades :-(

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

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