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Chronology of My Free-Standing Cedar Deck Build

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  • Dec 11th, 2015 12:51 pm
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[OP]
Sr. Member
Nov 20, 2008
816 posts
383 upvotes

Chronology of My Free-Standing Cedar Deck Build

Here we go....off and on maybe 6 months stretched over two years as I was mainly working by myself on my free time. The following posts will be separated into a few sections namely:

1) [post=23035491]Planning and Costs[/post]
2) [post=23035503]Initialization, Pouring Footers and Random Stuff[/post]
3) [post=23035509]Framing Take #1 (The WRONG way)[/post]
4) [post=23035513]Framing Take #2 (The CORRECT way)[/post]
5) [post=23138829]Finishing Up, Lights, Railings, Action[/post]

Costs incurred throughout the project, some things I had, some things I didn't. I went on a tool splurge shortly after and replaced the stuff I was using with better things!

Code: Select all

[table]
[tr][td][center][b][u]LUMBER[/u][/b][/center][/td][td][center][b][u][/u][/b][/center][/td][td][center][b][u][/u][/b][/center][/td][td][center][b][u][/u][/b][/center][/td][/tr]
[tr][td][center]QTY[/center][/td][td][center]NAME[/center][/td][td][center]PRICE[/center][/td][td][center]TOTAL[/center][/td][/tr]
[tr][td][center]6[/center][/td][td][center]4x4x12' PRESSURE TREATED[/center][/td][td][center]13.52[/center][/td][td][center]81.12[/center][/td][/tr]
[tr][td][center]1[/center][/td][td][center]2x6x12'[/center][/td][td][center]10.63[/center][/td][td][center]10.63[/center][/td][/tr]
[tr][td][center]14[/center][/td][td][center]4x4x10 BROWN COPPER PT[/center][/td][td][center]10.91[/center][/td][td][center]152.74[/center][/td][/tr]
[tr][td][center]26[/center][/td][td][center]2x8x12 [/center][/td][td][center]14.79[/center][/td][td][center]384.54[/center][/td][/tr]
[tr][td][center]7[/center][/td][td][center]2x8x10[/center][/td][td][center]12.47[/center][/td][td][center]87.29[/center][/td][/tr]
[tr][td][center]15[/center][/td][td][center]2x8x8[/center][/td][td][center]10.16[/center][/td][td][center]152.4[/center][/td][/tr]
[tr][td][center]2[/center][/td][td][center]6x6x12'[/center][/td][td][center]37.98[/center][/td][td][center]75.96[/center][/td][/tr]
[tr][td][center]1[/center][/td][td][center]2X4X10'[/center][/td][td][center]6.35[/center][/td][td][center]6.35[/center][/td][/tr]
[tr][td][center]2[/center][/td][td][center]2X4X8'[/center][/td][td][center]4.47[/center][/td][td][center]8.94[/center][/td][/tr]
[tr][td][center]4[/center][/td][td][center]2X8X12'[/center][/td][td][center]14.79[/center][/td][td][center]59.16[/center][/td][/tr]
[tr][td][center]1[/center][/td][td][center]2X8X12'[/center][/td][td][center]15.2[/center][/td][td][center]15.2[/center][/td][/tr]
[tr][td][center]5[/center][/td][td][center]2X6X14' CEDAR[/center][/td][td][center]25.06[/center][/td][td][center]125.3[/center][/td][/tr]
[tr][td][center]2[/center][/td][td][center]2X6X16'[/center][/td][td][center]28.64[/center][/td][td][center]57.28[/center][/td][/tr]
[tr][td][center]4[/center][/td][td][center]2X8X10'[/center][/td][td][center]25.9[/center][/td][td][center]103.6[/center][/td][/tr]
[tr][td][center]2[/center][/td][td][center]2X8X14'[/center][/td][td][center]36.26[/center][/td][td][center]72.52[/center][/td][/tr]
[tr][td][center]1[/center][/td][td][center]2X8X8'[/center][/td][td][center]20.72[/center][/td][td][center]20.72[/center][/td][/tr]
[tr][td][center]4[/center][/td][td][center]2X6X8'[/center][/td][td][center]11.88[/center][/td][td][center]47.52[/center][/td][/tr]
[tr][td][center]18[/center][/td][td][center]2X6X10'[/center][/td][td][center]14.62[/center][/td][td][center]263.16[/center][/td][/tr]
[tr][td][center]16[/center][/td][td][center]2X6X12'[/center][/td][td][center]19.01[/center][/td][td][center]304.16[/center][/td][/tr]
[tr][td][center]21[/center][/td][td][center]2X6X12'[/center][/td][td][center]22.36[/center][/td][td][center]469.56[/center][/td][/tr]
[tr][td][center][/center][/td][td][center][/center][/td][td][center][/center][/td][td][center]2498.15[/center][/td][/tr]
[tr][td][center][b][u]TOOLS[/u][/b][/center][/td][td][center][/center][/td][td][center][/center][/td][td][center][/center][/td][/tr]
[tr][td][center]QTY[/center][/td][td][center]NAME[/center][/td][td][center]PRICE[/center][/td][td][center]TOTAL[/center][/td][/tr]
[tr][td][center]1[/center][/td][td][center]PASLODE NAIL GUN RENTAL[/center][/td][td][center]42.9[/center][/td][td][center]42.9[/center][/td][/tr]
[tr][td][center]1[/center][/td][td][center]PASLODE FUEL CELL[/center][/td][td][center]12.49[/center][/td][td][center]12.49[/center][/td][/tr]
[tr][td][center]4[/center][/td][td][center]PROTIP ROBERTSON DRIVER BITS[/center][/td][td][center]2.69[/center][/td][td][center]10.76[/center][/td][/tr]
[tr][td][center]1[/center][/td][td][center]DIABLO 7-1/4" SAW BLADES (2 PACK)[/center][/td][td][center]13.99[/center][/td][td][center]13.99[/center][/td][/tr]
[tr][td][center]1[/center][/td][td][center]SWANSON SPEEDLITE SQUARE[/center][/td][td][center]7.98[/center][/td][td][center]7.98[/center][/td][/tr]
[tr][td][center]1[/center][/td][td][center]BOSCH 25618B IMPACT DRIVER[/center][/td][td][center]89.99[/center][/td][td][center]89.99[/center][/td][/tr]
[tr][td][center]1[/center][/td][td][center]BOSCH DAREDEVIL SPADE BIT SET[/center][/td][td][center]19.99[/center][/td][td][center]19.99[/center][/td][/tr]
[tr][td][center]2[/center][/td][td][center]DEWALT SOCKET IMPACT ADAPTERS[/center][/td][td][center]5.99[/center][/td][td][center]11.98[/center][/td][/tr]
[tr][td][center]1[/center][/td][td][center]SKIL MAG77LT WORM DRIVE SAW[/center][/td][td][center]152.1[/center][/td][td][center]152.1[/center][/td][/tr]
[tr][td][center]1[/center][/td][td][center]GRK T10 3" BITS (2 PACK)[/center][/td][td][center]6.45[/center][/td][td][center]6.45[/center][/td][/tr]
[tr][td][center]1[/center][/td][td][center]2" HSS SAWTOOTH FORSTNER BIT[/center][/td][td][center]20.4[/center][/td][td][center]20.4[/center][/td][/tr]
[tr][td][center]1[/center][/td][td][center]BOSCH T101 JIGSAW BLADES (5 PACK)[/center][/td][td][center]11.99[/center][/td][td][center]11.99[/center][/td][/tr]
[tr][td][center]1[/center][/td][td][center]BOSCH JS470EB JIGSAW[/center][/td][td][center]143.1[/center][/td][td][center]143.1[/center][/td][/tr]
[tr][td][center]2[/center][/td][td][center]IRWIN 24" QUICK-GRIP XP600 CLAMP[/center][/td][td][center]34.99[/center][/td][td][center]69.98[/center][/td][/tr]
[tr][td][center]1[/center][/td][td][center]IRWIN 12" QUICK-GRIP XP600 CLAMP[/center][/td][td][center]29.99[/center][/td][td][center]29.99[/center][/td][/tr]
[tr][td][center]1[/center][/td][td][center]RYOBI 7-1/2" FLEX BIT[/center][/td][td][center]5.99[/center][/td][td][center]5.99[/center][/td][/tr]
[tr][td][center]1[/center][/td][td][center]BOSCH 1-1/4" DAREDEVIL SPADE BIT[/center][/td][td][center]6.99[/center][/td][td][center]6.99[/center][/td][/tr]
[tr][td][center]1[/center][/td][td][center]BOSCH GCM12SD AXIAL GLIDE 12" SLIDING COMPOUND MITRE SAW[/center][/td][td][center]573.01[/center][/td][td][center]573.01[/center][/td][/tr]
[tr][td][center][/center][/td][td][center][/center][/td][td][center][/center][/td][td][center]1230.08[/center][/td][/tr]
[tr][td][center][b][u]BRACKETS[/u][/b][/center][/td][td][center][/center][/td][td][center][/center][/td][td][center][/center][/td][/tr]
[tr][td][center]QTY[/center][/td][td][center]NAME[/center][/td][td][center]PRICE[/center][/td][td][center]TOTAL[/center][/td][/tr]
[tr][td][center]8[/center][/td][td][center]SIMPSON LUC26Z END JOIST HANGER[/center][/td][td][center]1.73[/center][/td][td][center]13.84[/center][/td][/tr]
[tr][td][center]50[/center][/td][td][center]SIMPSON LUS28Z JOIST HANGER[/center][/td][td][center]0.25[/center][/td][td][center]12.5[/center][/td][/tr]
[tr][td][center]8[/center][/td][td][center]SIMPSON ML26 90� ANGLE[/center][/td][td][center]1.46[/center][/td][td][center]11.68[/center][/td][/tr]
[tr][td][center]6[/center][/td][td][center]SIMPSON MP24 MENDING PLATE[/center][/td][td][center]0.8[/center][/td][td][center]4.8[/center][/td][/tr]
[tr][td][center]2[/center][/td][td][center]SIMPSON MP36 MENDING PLATE[/center][/td][td][center]1.4[/center][/td][td][center]2.8[/center][/td][/tr]
[tr][td][center]15[/center][/td][td][center]6x6 POST BRACKETS[/center][/td][td][center]6.84[/center][/td][td][center]102.6[/center][/td][/tr]
[tr][td][center]100[/center][/td][td][center]SIMPSON H2.5A HURRICANE TIE[/center][/td][td][center]0.62[/center][/td][td][center]62[/center][/td][/tr]
[tr][td][center]18[/center][/td][td][center]SIMPSON POST CAPS[/center][/td][td][center]4.45[/center][/td][td][center]80.1[/center][/td][/tr]
[tr][td][center][/center][/td][td][center][/center][/td][td][center][/center][/td][td][center]290.32[/center][/td][/tr]
[tr][td][center][b][u]HARDWARE[/u][/b][/center][/td][td][center][/center][/td][td][center][/center][/td][td][center][/center][/td][/tr]
[tr][td][center]QTY[/center][/td][td][center]NAME[/center][/td][td][center]PRICE[/center][/td][td][center]TOTAL[/center][/td][/tr]
[tr][td][center]6[/center][/td][td][center]SIMPSON 1-1/2" SCREWS[/center][/td][td][center]8.93[/center][/td][td][center]53.58[/center][/td][/tr]
[tr][td][center]1[/center][/td][td][center]SIMPSON 1-1/2" SCREWS[/center][/td][td][center]0.01[/center][/td][td][center]0.01[/center][/td][/tr]
[tr][td][center]2[/center][/td][td][center]PASLODE 3-1/4" FRAMING NAILS[/center][/td][td][center]10.99[/center][/td][td][center]21.98[/center][/td][/tr]
[tr][td][center]2[/center][/td][td][center]NAILS[/center][/td][td][center]12.99[/center][/td][td][center]25.98[/center][/td][/tr]
[tr][td][center]2[/center][/td][td][center]SIMPSON 9X2-1/2" SCREWS[/center][/td][td][center]12.42[/center][/td][td][center]24.84[/center][/td][/tr]
[tr][td][center]4[/center][/td][td][center]SIMPSON 10D NAILS[/center][/td][td][center]5.92[/center][/td][td][center]23.68[/center][/td][/tr]
[tr][td][center]3[/center][/td][td][center]PAULIN 8X3" DECK SCREWS[/center][/td][td][center]11.49[/center][/td][td][center]34.47[/center][/td][/tr]
[tr][td][center]8[/center][/td][td][center]EYE SCREW[/center][/td][td][center]0.51[/center][/td][td][center]4.08[/center][/td][/tr]
[tr][td][center]2[/center][/td][td][center]TURNBUCKLE[/center][/td][td][center]1.48[/center][/td][td][center]2.96[/center][/td][/tr]
[tr][td][center]2[/center][/td][td][center]NAILS[/center][/td][td][center]6.28[/center][/td][td][center]12.56[/center][/td][/tr]
[tr][td][center]3[/center][/td][td][center]1/2x8" CARRIAGE BOLT (BOX OF 10)[/center][/td][td][center]41.09[/center][/td][td][center]123.27[/center][/td][/tr]
[tr][td][center]1[/center][/td][td][center]1/2" NUTS (BOX OF 25)[/center][/td][td][center]4.99[/center][/td][td][center]4.99[/center][/td][/tr]
[tr][td][center]5[/center][/td][td][center]1/2" NUTS[/center][/td][td][center]0.44[/center][/td][td][center]2.2[/center][/td][/tr]
[tr][td][center]1[/center][/td][td][center]1/2" WASHERS (BOX OF 26)[/center][/td][td][center]4.99[/center][/td][td][center]4.99[/center][/td][/tr]
[tr][td][center]6[/center][/td][td][center]1/2" WASHERS [/center][/td][td][center]0.49[/center][/td][td][center]2.94[/center][/td][/tr]
[tr][td][center]1[/center][/td][td][center]PVC COATED AIRCRAFT CABLE KIT[/center][/td][td][center]13.99[/center][/td][td][center]13.99[/center][/td][/tr]
[tr][td][center]1[/center][/td][td][center]GRIP-RITE 2-1/4" STAINLESS STEEL TRIM SCREWS[/center][/td][td][center]44.98[/center][/td][td][center]44.98[/center][/td][/tr]
[tr][td][center]8[/center][/td][td][center]HILLMAN POWERPRO 8X3" STAINLESS STEEL TRIM SCREWS[/center][/td][td][center]5.97[/center][/td][td][center]47.76[/center][/td][/tr]
[tr][td][center]5[/center][/td][td][center]HILLMAN POWERPRO 10X2-1/2" STAINLESS STEEL SCREWS[/center][/td][td][center]5.97[/center][/td][td][center]29.85[/center][/td][/tr]
[tr][td][center]18[/center][/td][td][center]HILLMAN POWERPRO 10X3" STAINLESS STEEL SCREWS[/center][/td][td][center]5.97[/center][/td][td][center]107.46[/center][/td][/tr]
[tr][td][center]2[/center][/td][td][center]PAULIN 8X2-1/2" DECK SCREWS[/center][/td][td][center]9.99[/center][/td][td][center]19.98[/center][/td][/tr]
[tr][td][center]22[/center][/td][td][center]GRK RSS 5/16X5-1/8" STRUCTURAL SCREWS[/center][/td][td][center]1.29[/center][/td][td][center]28.38[/center][/td][/tr]
[tr][td][center]2[/center][/td][td][center]GRK RSS 5/16X6" STRUCTURAL SCREWS[/center][/td][td][center]0.94[/center][/td][td][center]1.88[/center][/td][/tr]
[tr][td][center]5[/center][/td][td][center]GRK R4 10X4" STRUCTURAL SCREWS[/center][/td][td][center]14.99[/center][/td][td][center]74.95[/center][/td][/tr]
[tr][td][center]2[/center][/td][td][center]GRK PHEINOX 8X2-1/2" STAINLESS STEEL TRIM SCREWS[/center][/td][td][center]21.9[/center][/td][td][center]43.8[/center][/td][/tr]
[tr][td][center]1[/center][/td][td][center]FASTENMASTER THRULOCK 8" 6 PACK[/center][/td][td][center]34.75[/center][/td][td][center]34.75[/center][/td][/tr]
[tr][td][center]1[/center][/td][td][center]DECK RAILING OPEN CLIPS[/center][/td][td][center]5.17[/center][/td][td][center]5.17[/center][/td][/tr]
[tr][td][center]2[/center][/td][td][center]DECK STAIR RAILING KIT[/center][/td][td][center]35.57[/center][/td][td][center]71.14[/center][/td][/tr]
[tr][td][center]7[/center][/td][td][center]DECK RAILING KIT[/center][/td][td][center]43.57[/center][/td][td][center]304.99[/center][/td][/tr]
[tr][td][center]2[/center][/td][td][center]CAMO MARKSMAN JIG[/center][/td][td][center]19[/center][/td][td][center]38[/center][/td][/tr]
[tr][td][center]1[/center][/td][td][center]SIMPSON 10X2-1/2" SCREWS[/center][/td][td][center]13.77[/center][/td][td][center]13.77[/center][/td][/tr]
[tr][td][center]2[/center][/td][td][center]1.5" SCREWS 707392977001[/center][/td][td][center]9.99[/center][/td][td][center]19.98[/center][/td][/tr]
[tr][td][center]1[/center][/td][td][center]622412295432 NAILS[/center][/td][td][center]12.99[/center][/td][td][center]12.99[/center][/td][/tr]
[tr][td][center]1[/center][/td][td][center]CAMO 2-3/8" PROTECH SCREWS (BOX OF 700)[/center][/td][td][center]69.95[/center][/td][td][center]69.95[/center][/td][/tr]
[tr][td][center]1[/center][/td][td][center]FASTENMASTER THRULOCK 8" 24 PACK[/center][/td][td][center]84.99[/center][/td][td][center]84.99[/center][/td][/tr]
[tr][td][center][/center][/td][td][center][/center][/td][td][center][/center][/td][td][center]1411.29[/center][/td][/tr]
[tr][td][center][b][u]MISC[/u][/b][/center][/td][td][center][/center][/td][td][center][/center][/td][td][center][/center][/td][/tr]
[tr][td][center]QTY[/center][/td][td][center]NAME[/center][/td][td][center]PRICE[/center][/td][td][center]TOTAL[/center][/td][/tr]
[tr][td][center]2[/center][/td][td][center]6PK LILIES[/center][/td][td][center]9.88[/center][/td][td][center]19.76[/center][/td][/tr]
[tr][td][center]1[/center][/td][td][center]GARDNER 12[/center][/td][td][center]5.97[/center][/td][td][center]5.97[/center][/td][/tr]
[tr][td][center]3[/center][/td][td][center]12CM PERENNIAL[/center][/td][td][center]4.97[/center][/td][td][center]14.91[/center][/td][/tr]
[tr][td][center]1[/center][/td][td][center]COPPER II WOOD PRESERVATIVE[/center][/td][td][center]19.99[/center][/td][td][center]19.99[/center][/td][/tr]
[tr][td][center]2[/center][/td][td][center]TRIPLE MIX[/center][/td][td][center]5.98[/center][/td][td][center]11.96[/center][/td][/tr]
[tr][td][center]3[/center][/td][td][center]PEAT MOSS[/center][/td][td][center]5.832[/center][/td][td][center]17.496[/center][/td][/tr]
[tr][td][center]2[/center][/td][td][center]CUT & SEAL WOOD PRESERVATIVE[/center][/td][td][center]14.98[/center][/td][td][center]29.96[/center][/td][/tr]
[tr][td][center]1[/center][/td][td][center]WEED-X LANDSCAPE FABRIC[/center][/td][td][center]19.88[/center][/td][td][center]19.88[/center][/td][/tr]
[tr][td][center]1[/center][/td][td][center]WASTE MANAGEMENT BAGSTER[/center][/td][td][center]39.99[/center][/td][td][center]39.99[/center][/td][/tr]
[tr][td][center]1[/center][/td][td][center]POST HOLES PLUS DIGGING & POURING[/center][/td][td][center]700[/center][/td][td][center]700[/center][/td][/tr]
[tr][td][center]8[/center][/td][td][center]10" SONOTUBE/BUILDER'S TUBE[/center][/td][td][center]12.49[/center][/td][td][center]99.92[/center][/td][/tr]
[tr][td][center]1[/center][/td][td][center]3 TONS 3/4" GRAVEL[/center][/td][td][center]152.9[/center][/td][td][center]152.9[/center][/td][/tr]
[tr][td][center]1[/center][/td][td][center]LOWE'S TRUCK RENTAL[/center][/td][td][center]19[/center][/td][td][center]19[/center][/td][/tr]
[tr][td][center]1[/center][/td][td][center]LOWE'S TRUCK RENTAL FUEL[/center][/td][td][center]3.54[/center][/td][td][center]3.54[/center][/td][/tr]
[tr][td][center]1[/center][/td][td][center]8OZ TITEBOND3 WOOD GLUE[/center][/td][td][center]6.9[/center][/td][td][center]6.9[/center][/td][/tr]
[tr][td][center]1[/center][/td][td][center]HOME DEPOT TRUCK RENTAL 1H6M[/center][/td][td][center]24.95[/center][/td][td][center]24.95[/center][/td][/tr]
[tr][td][center]1[/center][/td][td][center]HOME DEPOT TRUCK RENTAL 2H24M[/center][/td][td][center]60.95[/center][/td][td][center]60.95[/center][/td][/tr]
[tr][td][center]2[/center][/td][td][center]GARDNER BENDER 1/4" PLASTIC CLIPS[/center][/td][td][center]2.48[/center][/td][td][center]4.96[/center][/td][/tr]
[tr][td][center]1[/center][/td][td][center]SUNCAST 99 GALLON NEWPORT WICKER RESIN DECK BOX[/center][/td][td][center]99.99[/center][/td][td][center]99.99[/center][/td][/tr]
[tr][td][center]1[/center][/td][td][center]VIGORA[/center][/td][td][center]11.48[/center][/td][td][center]11.48[/center][/td][/tr]
[tr][td][center][/center][/td][td][center][/center][/td][td][center][/center][/td][td][center]1364.506[/center][/td][/tr]
[/table]

[table]
[tr][td][center][b][u]TOTALS[/u][/b][/center][/td][td][center][b][u][/u][/b][/center][/td][td][center][b][u][/u][/b][/center][/td][/tr]
[tr][td][center]ITEM[/center][/td][td][center]TOTAL[/center][/td][td][center]TAXED[/center][/td][/tr]
[tr][td][center]HARDWARE[/center][/td][td][center]1411.29[/center][/td][td][center]1594.76[/center][/td][/tr]
[tr][td][center]BRACKETS[/center][/td][td][center]290.32[/center][/td][td][center]328.06[/center][/td][/tr]
[tr][td][center]TOOLS[/center][/td][td][center]1230.08[/center][/td][td][center]1389.99[/center][/td][/tr]
[tr][td][center]LUMBER[/center][/td][td][center]2498.15[/center][/td][td][center]2822.91[/center][/td][/tr]
[tr][td][center]MISC[/center][/td][td][center]1364.506[/center][/td][td][center]1541.89[/center][/td][/tr]
[tr][td][center]DISCOUNTS[/center][/td][td][center]51.56[/center][/td][td][center]58.26[/center][/td][/tr]
[tr][td][center]TOTAL[/center][/td][td][center][/center][/td][td][center]7619.35[/center][/td][/tr]
[/table]
DISCLAIMER: I built my deck to comply with the bylaws and code for the City of Markham - they may or may not be the same in your area, DO YOUR RESEARCH!

Here's what 2 years of neglect and weathering did to it:

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22 replies
[OP]
Sr. Member
Nov 20, 2008
816 posts
383 upvotes
Marking the location of the footings:

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Decent enough experience with these guys, since I was short on reliable help, and the fact that we ended up deciding on 15 post footings, it cost maybe $100 more to have someone come out and dig as well as pour the concrete vs doing it ourselves. Money well spent IMO at the time, but read the third post for more details. In short, I'd not recommend them.

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Don't waste your money on the Waste Management Bagsters unless you have a tiny amount to throw out. $40 gone because we didn't do the math and the collection fees are outrageous. Guess that's why Home Depot does not carry the bags anymore...

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Digging the drainage ditches at the edge of the gravel pit.

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Started laying out the landscape fabric, bought the 20 year guarantee stuff from Wal-Mart, thicker and denser than the stuff the local landscaping supply company had for sale (where I got my gravel from, Farmer Jack's).

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Decided to call it quits for the day, got the first layer done, second (final) layer will account for the sloping grade and make it look all even.

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Leveled as best as I could, ran out of gravel because of the following...new flower garden, put down a layer of gravel for drainage, will follow up with smaller pebbles, some more landscaping fabric, topsoil and finally black mulch.

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[OP]
Sr. Member
Nov 20, 2008
816 posts
383 upvotes
Got the main beams up for the lower level of the deck, will start on the upper level tomorrow, then we can move onto blocking and joints. And nailing down 50 something joist hangers. Yay. Aim is to get all the structural and electrical run before the end of this week (when rain is forecasted), slow going because I only have one helper (my dad), been rushing like mad to get it all done and the flowerbed filled before Mother's Day (two years ago heh!).

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Fairly level, will fix the gravel afterwards. Probably going to go with cedar, but thicker stuff than the norm. Stain the outer two boards a different colour for a border. May cut off the protruding stubs with a recip, don't know yet.

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Finished the flowerbed, fairly basic construction (installed some braces to help prevent blowouts). Used some of that new brown PT wood with the micronized copper coating. Looks better than the dreary green.

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Got most of the blocking done, nailed the center rows by hand hence the offset, got a new nail gun for the other blocking, so much fun! Need some more practice with it, not a lot of room to maneuver with it, used to a smaller gun.

Will be tackling the plumb of the deck next and level it, then do the railing posts (yes, they are cut purposely long, just in case I want to add on a skirt after, I'm really liking the horizontal slats idea). Lifting the framing isn't going to be fun, unless I have a jack, which I do :) .

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My first go at it, a bit wavy. Toenailing such short pieces is incredibly difficult, I decided to tack them in first then toe nail.

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Dug a trench for some emflex/conduit (water feature). Direct buried some low voltage wire for the landscape lights as well.

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Need to figure out the lighting layout and reposition some of them. Getting more lights in over the next few days.

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Milestone reached! Finished up all the shimming (really just ripped a spare 2x into properly sized strips) and leveling and major structural work. Will be tying everything together next using liberal amounts of hurricane ties and 8D nails. Perfect excuse to buy a palm nailer. Seems like I need to add some bracing to the deck - because of the layout of the girders, front to back movement is inevitable, but some diagonal bracing and the hurricane ties should stop all movement.

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That Paslode gun is AMAZING. Shot probably around a thousand 3-1/4" nails already and still on the original fuel cell. Aside from the size, it's flawless, but all framing nailers are as big if not even bigger. Still, hell of a lot easier than a hammer (especially in those tight areas where you can't swing).

Railings aren't in yet (that's why some of the 45 degree blocking aren't in yet at the corners. Will be getting that done in a few days, it was hot and humid today, plus the sun was out in full force - perfect decking weather.

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We've now hit a snag. Next time I'm going to do the augering for the posts myself, some of the posts were drilled at an angle, which causes the post brackets on top to go in skewed (case in point, the very left post in the corner is slanted outwards). I think I'll sit the beams on top instead of fastening them to the sides, more stable and much easier to level. Definitely using j-bolts and adjustable bases next time around, that way I can avoid shimming.
[OP]
Sr. Member
Nov 20, 2008
816 posts
383 upvotes
Option I chose to go with: Get a few more 12' long boards, make a 3 ply laminated beam, snap a level chalk line across all the posts at the proper level, bolt on post caps and sit the laminate beam on top. Now in progress (took a few guys to raise the framing, that thing is HEAVY). The posts have been chopped down, just have to laminate the beams now. Regular deck screws weren't cutting it, so we are reusing the long carriage bolts, 6 on each beam, and a variety of GRK screws.

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[QUOTE]
We did compensate for that, we used an angle gauge and cut the bottom to account for that, then the beams were leveled and bolted on. Somehow something caused it lean over.

We stopped the project a couple months ago (look at the OP's date), and just picked it up again. One of the problems in addition to bolting on the beams was that we didn't allow time for the concrete posts to settle. The guys we hired didn't compact the earth or fill the bottom partially with gravel before pouring in the sonotube, and the backfill wasn't done properly (was really just stuffing large chunks of the clay that was dug out back around the sonotubes, no attempt to make sure there weren't air pockets in the fill). Everything was level until the weight of the framing started to settle on the beams, and thusly the posts.

Regarding the ledger board, the main reason was because we didn't want to have to apply for the permit (and have to submit engineered drawings etc). Only when a deck is attached to a house, or bigger than 108 square feet (in general) would a permit be required. The lower level isn't considered a deck since it is lower than 60cm - we could've attached a ledger board and fasten to the foundation, but there were bits of 6x6 left over, so we decided on bolting the 2x8's to the 6x6's.

Talk about a learning experience LOL. We redid the beams and laminated them together. They will sit on top of the posts (with post cap brackets) which were taken out and recut to compensate for the concrete brackets.

According to local codes, the method we originally is complaint, although you could notch and bolt, or stick the beam across the tops of the posts. [/QUOTE]

Hurricane ties and ordering the cedar tomorrow! That slight gap between the outer joist and the beam is there because the wood dried and slightly crowned during the 2 months of non activity. Got a long quick clamp that I will use to persuade the two surfaces to touch before putting on the hurricane ties.

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Next installment, hurricane ties installed, stiffened everything up quite a bit, I'd imagine with some bracing it's rock solid.

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Confident it is rock solid now. The 4x4's were from an earlier project so it didn't cost us anything this time around. Ordered the decking material, but will be taking a week's break as I am going on vacation. Start on the stairs and railing when I come back.

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I think we are going to use stainless steel screws as even the GRK coated ones won't stand up against cedar. Worth it for the $30 increase. What really grinds my gears is that I overpaid by $40 for my joist hangers at Home Depot a few months ago. Just went to Lowe's and found out the same hangers were almost 80% cheaper. -.-

The borders haven't been attached yet, just mocking them in place. We are using Thruloks with blocking. Going to install all the diagonal decking first, then mount the posts and finally the borders.

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Oops, looks like a little boo boo. That's why you should check and recheck after snapping a line to make sure it's actually right. The Thrulok fasteners are great, rock solid indeed. Yes, I realized I forgot to stagger the bolts, remedied that on the next post.

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Almost there!

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The posts are all in now, fastening the fascia boards and borders!

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Sr. Member
Jan 3, 2013
671 posts
286 upvotes
Winnipeg
Thanks I'm interested. Just did the piles for my 425sqft deck and your teaser is similar on how I plan to do the edge and boards at an angle. Would you be able to tell me about your lights that you choose. I read nothing but issues on homedepot review. Thanks
[OP]
Sr. Member
Nov 20, 2008
816 posts
383 upvotes
Ran some low voltage wire for the border accent lighting the other day, a total of 12 for both platforms and every other step on the stairs. Had to run down to Lee Valley as noone else had a 2" Forstner bit. Ended up getting their saw tooth bit - I can see getting an accurate counterbore/recess is going to be tricky, the bit loves to wander if used in a regular drill as opposed to a drill press. Most likely cut a 2" hole in a piece of scrap and then clamp that to the border as a guide so the bit doesn't move around. We'll see what happens.

T'was raining the other day, perfect opportunity to see what a 'clear' stain/finish would look like (wet look indeed).

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Ran into a slight problem. I've been using Hillman's stainless power pro screws to attach the fascia onto the framining and boy do the threads grip or what. The shoulder portion of the screw broke off and I spent almost an hour trying to wiggle the screw back out. Literally tried every trick up my sleeve, used every single pair of pliers and vise grips I had and even enlarged the hole with a drill bit to the screw would loosen up. No dice, until I got a genius idea of chucking the screw into my drill/driver and slowly backing it out. Ashamed to say it merely took seconds...unfortunately, along the way, my drill bit broke inside the hole, not to mention it threw ferrous shavings everywhere. Long story short, cedar has tannic acid which loves to react with iron, especially when wet. The result? A nice black stain around the hole.

Since you can't get the stain out chemically, I took the physical route and used a hole saw to obliterate the discouloured portion and the surrounding area (BTW, Lenox hole saws or nothing, especially their arbours):

Will plug it up and glue it in place with some Titebond 3 tomorrow, then plane and sand it flat, then drive another screw in.

90% done, I can see the end in sight now!

Drilled and counterbored some holes for the in deck lighting, hooked up one just to check out:

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This is what I used: http://www.nslusa.com/minidisc.html

Hooked up the other LED's:

Borders are finally fully mounted, started on the railings today. The stupid brackets the railing kit came with are useless. The instructions tell me to cut the bottom rail 1/2" shorter to accommodate the brackets. Guess what, it ended up 1/16" too short, and now I have to take apart the whole thing and reshim. I should've just nailed/screwed the rail in normally. That and the screws are designed to go in at an angle means that it's nearly impossible to fix the bracket in place when fastening it. I think I will have to predrill every single hole. PITA.

Amazing how the rail provides a backdrop for the lights (like a reflector/diffuser) and brightens up the area.

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I am most likely going to stain and seal the deck. But that'll have to wait until I get the landing for the stairs sorted out. I was thinking either Cabot's Australian Timber Oil or Flood's CWF-UV5. Cannot get Woodrich or TWP100 in Canada so those will have to do. Definitely no Behr, Olympic or Sikkens.

Oooooooo ahhhhhhhh

Got the stiles all mounted, I should've skipped the brackets and just fastened them to the posts, pretty huge waste of time. Going to put the top tailing on over the next day or two, need to figure out the landing for the staircase (hence why there's a 3 feet drop in the middle of nowhere). Think I have to rip out a strip of interlock and pour a pad/footings ugh.

If you looked carefully, you can see that there's an uneven number of balusters on the lower platform since one of the joists got in the way of the posts and no amount of notching was going to center it. I think it's not that noticeable really.

Handrails attached, skirting tomorrow.

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Done for now. Stairs will go in later. Don't know if we're staining it before the winter, or just letting it grey first.

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After a semester of school, decided to start on the stairs. Aim is to get it done this week, then start brightening up the cedar and sealing it.

Stringers cut from 2x12's

Ends sealed with wood preservative.

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I pronounce them ready, steady safe! Love working in flip flops....(please don't work in flip flops).

OK, couple of things:

1) We didn't end up pouring additional footings when I had the other footings done, thus the stairs aren't actually physically anchored to the ground. Pouring concrete now means ripping out the interlock - I suspect that will have to be done eventually, let's see how the stairs fare through the coming winter with frost heave, and

2) Yes, the base plate was just cut out of regular PT above-ground lumber - figured since is was lying on concrete interlocking with drainage, it'd be fine for the time being (until I rip it out and install concrete footings/pad).

An example of what NOT to do - frame up stairs after everything else has been completed. Then you wouldn't run into these 'unique' PITA situations like sketchy navel post attachment points, or the fact that the stairs are free floating instead of anchored to footings (compounded by the fact that the interlocking is slightly sloped for drainage, but the treads have to be level - wouldn't have this problem if the footings were dug BEFORE the interlock was installed). Still have to come up with a way to block the post securely and creatively attach the fascia to the existing piece...ugh. Planning is extremely important.

Then I discovered...STRAP TIES!

By wrapping around the stringer as well as the subriser in the front it should cure the slight wobbliness (and lateral movement since I found out the stringer was twisting slightly when I pushed on the post - the Thruloks did their job splendidly and showed that the post connection was secure, just that the underlying framing needs more work). So many things were done wrong (hey, that's how you learn right?), like the fact that the middle stringer should've been cut back to allow for one continuous subriser that spans across the entire stair width and the fact that the post resides outside of the main framing, instead of inside.

By adding on the strap tie before i mount the post, it *should* firm up everything. Again, do ALL your framing before adding handrail posts and deck boards! Pretty sure I have to take down the existing deck fascia and do some mitre cuts to attach the stair's fascia.

Oh and I also did drive some 12" long spikes into the ground, should help with the lateral movements, up and down not so much - I fully expect to be hammering these in every season LOL as frost heaves the interlock up. Remember, pour frost footings!

Fastened the post hopefully for the last time. Went ahead and installed the strap anyways, doesn't hurt. Still have a few pieces of blocking to install. Predrilled a hole for the LED disc light and am ready to install the fascia, but can't decide on option 1 or 2:

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Finally done. Will have to wait another season before finishing (and getting all those pesky pencil marks erased) since the stars haven't greyed yet. The fascia took a ton of time since I had to handfit it, and to my dismay, we should've told the interlocker to install one more row of grey bricks since the the stairs are currently overhanging the interlock.

Ended up reinforcing the navel post some more - it is SOLID now.

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Banned
Jan 16, 2015
869 posts
86 upvotes
Toronto, ON
I like the way this guys does it,

Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Oct 19, 2008
7264 posts
2848 upvotes
GTA
I'm guessing this is being built without a permit as the inspector would have visited to check holes depth before you poured....he would have told you to be to code the sonotube should extend 150mm (6 inches) above grade.
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Oct 19, 2008
7264 posts
2848 upvotes
GTA
Buccio wrote: I like the way this guys does it,

Brutal, he pours concrete in bottom of the hole which will stop drainage...the puts the post directly into the hole and backfills with dirt. I wouldn't build a fence that way, let alone a deck. How long do you think the posts will last using that method?
Banned
Jan 16, 2015
869 posts
86 upvotes
Toronto, ON
Zamboni wrote: Brutal, he pours concrete in bottom of the hole which will stop drainage...the puts the post directly into the hole and backfills with dirt. I wouldn't build a fence that way, let alone a deck. How long do you think the posts will last using that method?
what drainage? Treated wood will last 30 years. I am sure the guy knows what he is talking about. Most people put posts in concrete which asborbs moisture and would be worse.
[OP]
Sr. Member
Nov 20, 2008
816 posts
383 upvotes
Zamboni wrote: I'm guessing this is being built without a permit as the inspector would have visited to check holes depth before you poured....he would have told you to be to code the sonotube should extend 150mm (6 inches) above grade.
How do you know they aren't 6" above grade? I excavated the area, cut down the exposed portions of sonotube and backfilled with gravel. I'm still uploading the pics, you'll see. And I'm pretty certain we went to 48" (frost depth), as the tubes went below grade, had to pull the tubes back up a few inches. Not to mention, the soil hadn't been compacted in the pictures, it was just loose backfill and it settled overtime because the post hole guys didn't backfill properly.

One more thing, this is being built without a permit, yes, but everything is to code (if not massively overbuilt). And because it's not attached and less than 2' above ground all around, there are really no restrictions.
[OP]
Sr. Member
Nov 20, 2008
816 posts
383 upvotes
Zamboni wrote: Brutal, he pours concrete in bottom of the hole which will stop drainage...the puts the post directly into the hole and backfills with dirt. I wouldn't build a fence that way, let alone a deck. How long do you think the posts will last using that method?
You wouldn't build a fence that way, but there's really no issues when used in conjunction with properly treated ground contact/wolmanized wood. Longevity won't be as good as a proper concrete footing, but it all depends on the location and moisture content etc etc. Different methods for different situations.
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Oct 19, 2008
7264 posts
2848 upvotes
GTA
cyberspyder wrote: You wouldn't build a fence that way, but there's really no issues when used in conjunction with properly treated ground contact/wolmanized wood. Longevity won't be as good as a proper concrete footing, but it all depends on the location and moisture content etc etc. Different methods for different situations.
Its regular PT in the video, not UI which is rated for ground contact. In any case best practice is to put gravel in the bottom of a fence post hole to allow drainage, not concrete at holes bottom which prevents drainage...especially if backfilling with soil.
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Oct 19, 2008
7264 posts
2848 upvotes
GTA
cyberspyder wrote: How do you know they aren't 6" above grade? I excavated the area, cut down the exposed portions of sonotube and backfilled with gravel. I'm still uploading the pics, you'll see. And I'm pretty certain we went to 48" (frost depth), as the tubes went below grade, had to pull the tubes back up a few inches. Not to mention, the soil hadn't been compacted in the pictures, it was just loose backfill and it settled overtime because the post hole guys didn't backfill properly.

One more thing, this is being built without a permit, yes, but everything is to code (if not massively overbuilt). And because it's not attached and less than 2' above ground all around, there are really no restrictions.
Looking at the first pics it didn't look close to 6" above grade....true though, if your under the height and size regulations code won't matter.
Deal Fanatic
Nov 18, 2005
5080 posts
1495 upvotes
Kitchener
here are some good detail drawings of how to build a deck if a permit is required. There's details on how the post are typically tied to the beams. not saying the way you did it is wrong but it's relying on carriage bolts to support the entire deck weight
https://www.kitchener.ca/en/livinginkit ... _Decks.pdf
Sr. Member
Jan 11, 2008
646 posts
97 upvotes
Toronto
cyberspyder wrote: How do you know they aren't 6" above grade? I excavated the area, cut down the exposed portions of sonotube and backfilled with gravel. I'm still uploading the pics, you'll see. And I'm pretty certain we went to 48" (frost depth), as the tubes went below grade, had to pull the tubes back up a few inches. Not to mention, the soil hadn't been compacted in the pictures, it was just loose backfill and it settled overtime because the post hole guys didn't backfill properly.

One more thing, this is being built without a permit, yes, but everything is to code (if not massively overbuilt). And because it's not attached and less than 2' above ground all around, there are really no restrictions.
It really depends on the municipality. I've been doing the self-design, and I've noticed a lot of bylaws and standards vary across the regions. Most seem to want 6-inches of the pier to be above ground, and minimum 48" below ground.

Thanks for the pics - it's helping me visualize what I might need to do. For me it's the footings that I'm not sure about. How far are your piers from the foundations? What size joists are you using? Also, why didn't you choose the preformed piers? (arguments going on in my head)
[OP]
Sr. Member
Nov 20, 2008
816 posts
383 upvotes
Drthorne wrote: here are some good detail drawings of how to build a deck if a permit is required. There's details on how the post are typically tied to the beams. not saying the way you did it is wrong but it's relying on carriage bolts to support the entire deck weight
https://www.kitchener.ca/en/livinginkit ... _Decks.pdf
I wasn't done uploading the pictures or the writeup, read through the posts again ;)
Banned
Jan 16, 2015
869 posts
86 upvotes
Toronto, ON
Couple of things to mention:
- Sono tube you can put them in the hole then take a string line that is level and cut off the top of the tube. That way when you fill it with cement all the tops will be level and you put you beam right on top. Foundations should always be level!
- You have a weird step, why? Someone can trip it on that. Should try to avoid things like that.
- Bottom of the steps need footers, railing look wobbly already. you can see in the video that the rail posts go all the way down to the footer, much more solid.

The problem with sono tubes and massive concrete is if they shift you will have a hell of job to digging them up in the future. It seems like a good idea to over build, but you should not over or under build anything.

Looks nice though i like the led lights.
Sr. Member
Dec 24, 2007
858 posts
144 upvotes
GTA
I've just got a permit for a small deck in york region. The sonotubes are standards. why would one think it's over build??
Sr. Member
Dec 24, 2007
858 posts
144 upvotes
GTA
Drthorne wrote: here are some good detail drawings of how to build a deck if a permit is required. There's details on how the post are typically tied to the beams. not saying the way you did it is wrong but it's relying on carriage bolts to support the entire deck weight
https://www.kitchener.ca/en/livinginkit ... _Decks.pdf
I was always under impression the same way as OP regarding the beam. Thanks for the documents.

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