Wish me luck -- deck project

Martin Roper

Martin
User
Our house is 27 years old and the deck looked like it was 40. Over the past weeks I've just got through the demo and clean-up stage and now I can finally start putting it together.

Done so far:
  • Demoed old boards. Several were rotted, but I tried to save as many as possible to build a greenhouse for the wife later. I denailed and stacked them. The rest went to the dump.
  • Pulled 27 years growth of English Ivy out from under and around the deck. What a freakin' chore that was in this heat.
  • Dug up some tree roots that were under there. I thought they were too close to the house.
1626124267342.png

The joists were in great shape

1626124936753.png

The steps go here

1626125344963.png

The offending downspout

The next steps are:
  • Lay down landscaper fabric to keep as much ivy as possible from growing under the deck.
  • Put an adapter on the downspout to route a tube out to beyond the deck. We had the gutters replaced some years back that replaced the old, narrow downspouts with the new, wider ones. Unbeknownst to me, they just disconnected the tubing and let the water run under the deck. They didn't even put a splash guard down! Idiots.
  • Build new steps up to the deck. The old ones were completely rotted.
  • Build a new landing that leads to the garage.
  • Paint all the exterior surfaces.
  • Put joist tape on top of all the joists.

After that I can finally get started laying down the Trex.

Safety first...
1626126340564.png

...so we don't break a leg

Any insights, shortcuts, critiques or other comments welcome.!
 

Phil S

Board of Directors, Events Director
Phil Soper
Staff member
Corporate Member
Demo looks good and joist look to be in good shape. Now would be a great time to upgrade/add flashing. It looks like you have a flashing under the siding and over the deck boards. I would add another slipped behind your current and extending below your deck boards adding protection to your band, ledger and joist intersection. It should extend out about 6”. Also check that you have enough bolts connecting the deck to the house Use 5/8 double galvanized quality bolts. Good luck
 

RickR

Rick
Senior User
Did a Trex deck for my place a few years ago. Used their hidden fasteners in slotted boards for interior areas and solid boards with color matched thru screws elsewhere. 3 years later still happy with the result. Suggest boxing in the downspout to provide better support for decking which will be cut to fit. Like this…652D0B73-8C70-42AB-B413-C0788557B225.jpeg
 

Oka

Board of Directors, Vice President
Casey
Staff member
Corporate Member
There are several ways to treat the wood before Trex or Bituthene tape.
1. Borate if you think insects may be an issue.
2. 2/3 BLO/1/3 paint thinner in a Hudson sprayer. This will help condition the wood for getting too dried out.
3. Flashing - typically most modern decks will have a 2-3 inch rise on one side a 6" length and 1/2 turn down into a saw kerf. If nothing else at a min- a 3 x 6 flashing @ the deck to wall, then couther flash and then side back.

Put Trex tape on top of existing joists to add some longevity to them before lay down decking boards
 

Henry W

HenryW
Senior User
I forget what Trex suggests for joist spacing (and am too lazy to look it up), but isn't the same spacing going to result in 'springiness' or sag (when hot) with Trex?

Absolutely agree with pretty much any and every water mitigation effort - taping off the joists and especially flashing. Small costs and efforts here lead to long term benefits. That said, I have seen deck rot in structure, and yours looks brand new!
 

Skymaster

Jack
Senior User
@16 center trex may get springy, try laying out a few rows just laying them down then walk on it, sometimes Trex needs 12" centers cause of it being a plastic base and this heat will soften it.
 

Oka

Board of Directors, Vice President
Casey
Staff member
Corporate Member
There are other brands besides TREX -similar stuff . I can't remember the brand we used on one of my projects it was better than trex and cheaper, we installed 1/2 million sq ft. all at 16" centers. You need to read the spec data on this. Specifically the heat rating performance info. If it is rated to 174 deg the stuff will handle the heat. The other thing is look at the material and make sure the color is through n through some are not. So, when it wears it begins to look funky.
 

Martin Roper

Martin
User
I forget what Trex suggests for joist spacing (and am too lazy to look it up), but isn't the same spacing going to result in 'springiness' or sag (when hot) with Trex?

Thanks for bringing that up.

Before ordering the Trex I must've watched 10-12 YouTube videos, including one put out by Trex themselves, and not one mentioned 12" centers. Now I look it up and there it is, 12". If I had known that I probably wouldn't have ordered the stuff.

I just went out and laid a Trex board across the joists and put my full weight on it and it did flex some. It's a bit artificial because I had to stand on one foot and put my entire 190# on one board to make it flex. Most of the time you'd stand on both feet and the weight would be distributed across a couple boards.

I went back and reviewed a few of the videos and the only mention they made was that anything >16" was unsatisfactory. Same with this article which states that 12" is "typically unnecessary for residential applications."

I have no desire to demo 2 out of three joists and then put 3 back in their place, so, as Jeremy Clarkson is wont to say, "I've devised a plan."

I'm going to screw a pressure-treated 2x2 to one side of each joist in low traffic areas and one on both sides of joists in high-traffic areas. That will reduce the effective span to 14.5 and 13 inches respectively. That should be close enough.

I'll take my 1-5/8"-wide joist tape back and swap it for the 3" stuff.

Does that seem reasonable?
 

RickR

Rick
Senior User
Which level of Trex did you get? They are different thickness. I used their ‘Transcend’ line at 16” spacing and have no noticeable sag/bounce. If yours is bouncy, I think your plan is solid as long as the doubler is dead level with the joist.
 

Martin Roper

Martin
User
Which level of Trex did you get? They are different thickness. I used their ‘Transcend’ line at 16” spacing and have no noticeable sag/bounce. If yours is bouncy, I think your plan is solid as long as the doubler is dead level with the joist.

I got the budget stuff. I had to order it and the lead time for the expensive stuff was much longer. We wanted to actually use the deck before the summer was over.
 

Henry W

HenryW
Senior User
Thanks for bringing that up.
...
I have no desire to demo 2 out of three joists and then put 3 back in their place, so, as Jeremy Clarkson is wont to say, "I've devised a plan."

I also would not want to reframe a bunch of this - but I also did not want to wait and have you unhappy with a bouncy deck. Seemed like now was the time to ask!

Your assessment and plan seem reasonable to me
 

Henry W

HenryW
Senior User
When I installed mine, it recommended 12" spacing if you were going diagonal
Ahhh, I wondered about whether that was mentioned - because obviously the span between supports is different for various installations (the relative angles of deck board and joist).
 

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