All About Decks Part 1

Episode 604 August 19, 2023 00:39:38
All About Decks Part 1
The Weekend Warriors Home Improvement Show
All About Decks Part 1

Aug 19 2023 | 00:39:38

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Hosted By

Tony Cookston Corey Valdez

Show Notes

In this episode Tony and Corey talk about everything you need to know about deck framing.  They'll cover decking and railing in an upcoming episode 2!

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Episode Transcript

Speaker 1 00:00:04 Welcome to the Weekend, warriors Home Improvement Show built by Bar Lumber. When it comes to big or small projects around the home. Tony and Cory, you've got the know-how and the answers to make your life just a bit easier. Here they are, your weekend Warriors, Tony and Cory. Speaker 2 00:00:24 Hey, welcome to the Weekend, warriors Home Improvement Show, built by Par Lumber. I'm Cory Valdez. Speaker 3 00:00:30 And I'm Tony Cookson. Speaker 2 00:00:31 Thanks for checking us out today. We've got another great show lined up for you in this podcast. We are gonna be talking about things to consider when building a deck. Absolutely. And I'll tell you, there's a lot to consider. Honestly, Speaker 3 00:00:44 This is the time of year that everyone, well, everyone, this is the time of year that homeowners across Oregon are thinking about outdoor living space, and they're thinking about maybe building a new deck or refurbing an old deck, or maybe just resurfacing a deck, or they're thinking about patios or patio pavers or, you know, something along those lines. But they're definitely thinking about being outside more than they are inside. Speaker 2 00:01:16 Absolutely. Which, Speaker 3 00:01:16 Which of course in December is the opposite. Speaker 2 00:01:18 Well, in the Pacific Northwest, you wanna be outside as much as you can because for half of the year, the, the weather's garbage. Right. Well, at least in the valley. Speaker 3 00:01:27 Right? No, you're absolutely right. So a lot of people are thinking about this right now. This is the decking season, and, um, this is the time to be talking about these things. So we're gonna talk about all things to consider when building a deck, when resurfacing a deck, um, when repairing your deck, all of those things. Yeah. Speaker 2 00:01:44 Yeah. And I think today we should concentrate on framing. Let's talk about all the things to consider with framing, which Speaker 3 00:01:50 Is really the entry level of your deck. It's the first part. Speaker 2 00:01:54 Yeah. It's the first thing you gotta do Speaker 3 00:01:56 The very, very, very first, if we're gonna jump right in, are we jumping right in? Let's jump right at the very beginning. The first thing you need to determine is where is it gonna go? Speaker 2 00:02:05 Yes. Speaker 3 00:02:05 Where is it gonna go? Is it gonna be on the back or on the side or on the front? Is it a front porch? Is it a back patio? Is it a deck deck? Speaker 2 00:02:14 Yeah. You, you know, and the other thing, part of that is too, is are you building new or are you replacing, Speaker 3 00:02:22 Or are you Yeah. Adding, you might be taking what's there, resurfacing that and adding onto it to make it bigger or more Right. Amazing. Speaker 2 00:02:33 I have done both of those. I've done all of those. I've built new decks from scratch. I've built detached attached. I even built a deck for someone that the deck was too small and they wanted it added on. They wanted to add onto the deck that was already there. So yeah, there's, there's lots of things to consider. Absolutely. If it's already there and you're just adding onto it, you're just gonna do exactly what's there. Right. You're going to keep doing the same, keep the same size joists, the same size rim board, but there's other things. Right? There are other things like that you need to consider when you're looking at the old deck. Speaker 3 00:03:12 How long has it been there? Yeah. How much life does it really have left? Is Speaker 2 00:03:15 The framing in good shape? Speaker 3 00:03:17 Have you been underneath the deck and actually tapped on the framing structures with a hammer to determine that they're strong and without rot? Or, you know, starting to see the end of their life? Speaker 2 00:03:29 That's the first thing you wanna do. If you're adding onto a deck, you wanna make sure that the deck that's already there Speaker 3 00:03:34 Is ally sound, structurally sound. Yes. And not going anywhere. And here's, and the first place to look is where the deck attaches to the house. Man, Speaker 2 00:03:42 You stole my thunder. Speaker 3 00:03:43 I did, didn't I? I was gonna Speaker 2 00:03:44 Say that. You need to make sure that's called the ledger. The piece of wood that's attached to the house is called the ledger. Everything hangs off the ledger. Right. When you're building a deck attached to a house, now you can build a freestanding deck. We'll get to that later. Yeah. But a deck that's attached to your home has to have a solid ledger, and it has to be attached to the framing of your house with strong fasteners. <laugh>. There are, I have, I have seen both Tony and I have seen decks on homes that use 16 penny nails. Speaker 3 00:04:17 It is scary. Speaker 2 00:04:18 I'm telling you. Very scary. You would not want to walk out onto a deck that has 16 penny nails attaching the ledger to the house. I mean, the amount of weight, I mean, you see it in the news. I've seen news articles where people have these big decks out on their back porches or, or second story decks, and they get like a, you know, all the kids come over for graduation. I saw this a few years ago. This, this guy had all of his kids line up on his deck to take their picture, and the deck collapsed. Man, I mean, yikes. How terrible would that Speaker 3 00:04:51 Be? Absolutely disaster. Speaker 2 00:04:53 And the reason is because the ledger was not attached to the house properly. And when we say properly, there's lots of different ways to do it. You can use lag bolts, you can use Simpson, SS d s screws, you can use, uh, Speaker 3 00:05:07 Ledger locks, Speaker 2 00:05:08 Fasten master ledger locks. Those are fantastic. Yep. There are al also Simpson Hardware. You can get what's called a D T T two Z or a D T T one Z. Those are great as well. Those grab onto the actual joist framing, attach through the ledger and into the structure of your home. Yeah. So if you have access to the framing on the inside of your house, like say you're attaching a second story deck, and the lower story is a basement, you know, like a daylight or something. Right. And you have, and you have access to the framing. I would highly recommend using Simpson Strong tie d tts, they're called and fastening that deck securely to the home. Speaker 3 00:05:51 That is the number one concern. Is the deck gonna remain attached to the home? That, of course, is considering that your deck is attached to the house. Obviously, there are some situations where a deck is built free standing. Let's just address that for a moment. Yeah, sure. Sure. A free standing deck would have, uh, posts at all corners and beams on both sides with joists running between them. And it's being held up by posts at all four corners. A a deck that is attached to your house is only got posts at, on one side at two corners, and the other two corners are attached to the house, supported by the house. The house becomes its back legs, if you will. Sure. A free standing deck is very common if you are, if you own a manufactured home, a lot of times manufactured homes don't want to have decks attached to them. Sure, yeah. In some ordinances. Um, and a, a deck attached to a manufactured home would not meet code Speaker 2 00:06:50 A hundred percent. Or, or a, say an RV Speaker 3 00:06:53 For sure. Or an rv Speaker 2 00:06:54 Got an RV that you park permanently and you want to build a deck or a little porch onto it. There's, there's a lot of places here in Oregon and Washington where, you know, like a lake house. There's a famous lake up in Washington where a lot of people have RVs parked because the property you're not allowed to build on. So people will park their RVs, they'll build little covers over 'em, they'll build little decks on 'em and use them as a permanent vacation home, but they just leave it parked there. Right. So in that instance, you d you definitely want to build a freestanding deck. You can't attach it to an rv. Speaker 3 00:07:30 Absolutely. Here's something to consider. If you are building a freestanding deck, when you build a deck and attach it to the house, the house is this giant anchor. Your deck is attached to a giant anchor, and it's not going to move side to side. It's not going to rock around. But you build a freestanding deck, even if you rock around, even if you put your four by fours in concrete, that deck has a tendency to wobble or Speaker 2 00:07:58 Wobble. Wobble or Speaker 3 00:07:59 Rock around. Rock Speaker 2 00:08:00 Around, yeah. A Christmas Speaker 3 00:08:01 Tree. Yeah. You don't wanna rock around the Christmas tree. Right. So in the, in the instance that you're building a freestanding deck, they Speaker 2 00:08:07 Call that shear lateral. There Speaker 3 00:08:10 You go. Okay. Lateral. I was thinking shimmy, shimmy. Speaker 2 00:08:12 Yes. Shim. Speaker 3 00:08:13 It's kind of shimmy of shimmy. Speaker 2 00:08:14 That would be its lateral structural strength. It would, if you had it, you know, correctly square Speaker 3 00:08:22 And plumb. Yeah, yeah. Speaker 2 00:08:23 With the correct lateral support, it wouldn't shimmy. Speaker 3 00:08:27 And you would achieve such lateral support by doing what? Speaker 2 00:08:31 Well, there's a few different ways you can build. What I would do, and probably the most common is to dig down, bury the post in concrete. It would bury, you'd bury it at least 2, 3, 4 feet down into the ground, and then your post would come up out of the ground. And that would give you that lateral support. The physical ground is giving you that lateral support if you don't have the ability to do that. I've seen decks that were built freestanding, but just sitting on concrete peer pads. But those don't offer much lateral support. So you can put in cross beams, or you can put in angle brackets, different things that will give you that structural support that will, you know, like you call it the shimmy. Do Speaker 3 00:09:19 They revert, do they refer to those at all as gussets? Gusset? Yeah. They Speaker 2 00:09:22 Call those gussets. That's another word. Gusset Speaker 3 00:09:23 Or corbels, sometimes corbels. Yeah. Speaker 2 00:09:24 Corbel. Gusset. Yeah. Okay. Lot of different, I mean, corbels I think are more specific to siting. Yeah. Yeah. Speaker 3 00:09:29 Between the post and the beam to keep it from Right. To keep them from racking. Like Speaker 2 00:09:34 The little 45, like if you had a four by four, cut it at 40 fives and you put it in there Yeah. That would offer that Speaker 3 00:09:41 Lateral knee brace stability. Yeah. Knee brace. Knee brace. Yes. Yes. Speaker 2 00:09:44 It would offer that lateral support to keep the deck from the shimmy, Tony. Like keep it Speaker 3 00:09:48 From, to doing the shimmy, the Speaker 2 00:09:49 Shimmy, shimmy, copa pot Speaker 3 00:09:51 Rocking from rocking around, Speaker 2 00:09:52 Shimmy, shimmy, cocoa Speaker 3 00:09:53 Pop, <laugh>. So that's a, the, the difference between a deck attached to your house and a deck. A a freestanding deck. Right. Speaker 2 00:09:59 A freestanding deck. You definitely have to consider lateral support. Speaker 3 00:10:03 Absolutely. That makes perfect sense. Yeah. Now let's talk about, um, if we're building a deck and we're not adding onto a deck, we're gonna move forward. Speaker 2 00:10:10 Well do real quick, I wanted to cover one more thing. Oh, sure, sure. The ledger, we talked about the ledger, but we did not talk about flashing. Oh yeah. Well, this is important. How many decks, of course, support have you seen built that did not have any flashing whatsoever? Speaker 3 00:10:25 I can tell you how many rotten ledger boards that I've seen that, that didn't have any flashing Speaker 2 00:10:30 Or rotten houses, Speaker 3 00:10:31 Which is essentially the same thing. You put fasteners into a rotten board and they will not hold any better than a 16 penny nail. Yes. It doesn't matter how, it doesn't matter how many, how many times that fastener hass been advised for a ledger, if the ledger's rotten, it's not gonna help you have to keep your ledger, Speaker 2 00:10:48 Or if the ledger from rotting the ledger, what the nailer is nailed to. You know, if the framing on the inside of the house is getting constant water between the ledger and the house, it could potentially cause rot on the inside of your home. Right. Speaker 3 00:11:01 That is, so that's a worst case scenario. Yeah. And Speaker 2 00:11:03 Then you're nailing a ledger onto rotted wood on the inside of your house. Yeah. And then it's structurally not sound. So one of the things that we will always tell you to look for is a piece of flashing. You want the flashing under your siding and over your ledger, that will prevent any water that comes down the side of your house that hits the ledger board to move away from the house. Very Speaker 3 00:11:27 Commonly, Speaker 2 00:11:27 No one behind Speaker 3 00:11:28 Very commonly referred to as Z flashing. Yes. Z Z metal kind of in the, in the shape of Z. Speaker 2 00:11:34 That is correct. Speaker 3 00:11:35 Yes, that's correct. And then of course, you want to have your, your siding up over top of the, the, the backside, the, the high side, if you will mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And, um, so anyway, it's also a good idea to put a bead underneath the flashing the bead on top of the ledger underneath the flashing when you put the flashing down caulking. Yeah. Oh, Speaker 2 00:11:51 Okay. Speaker 3 00:11:52 Give a nice sturdy, a nice solid seal there. A Speaker 2 00:11:55 Gooey seal. A Speaker 3 00:11:56 Gooey seal. Speaker 2 00:11:57 Um, yeah. So anyway, I have seen many, many decks built without flashing. Yeah. Which causes major problems down the road. And if it hasn't caused them yet, they're probably going to Yep, Speaker 3 00:12:09 Absolutely. That's a good thing too. Check on your current deck. Make sure that your ledger is properly flashed and that your ledger is properly fastened to the Speaker 2 00:12:18 House. Yes. And actually there is one more thing. One more thing, and this kind of goes into, I'm gonna, it's, I'm gonna call this remodel, right? We're we're remodeling a deck, we're adding on to it. But if you're adding on to it, you're obviously gonna need to buy decking. Now, if you're gonna re, if you're going to replace versus add on, like say you have a cedar deck and then you're just gonna add on more cedar, but you're thinking to yourself, oh man, I'm gonna take this opportunity to replace it with TREXs. I don't want to, I don't want to put stain down anymore. Right. I'm gonna replace this with Trex, where this is something to consider. Framing the framing on TREXs minimum requirement of 16 inches on center Speaker 3 00:13:08 In the field, Speaker 2 00:13:08 In the sphere, you don't wanna span between deck, you know, you don't want the deck boards to span more than 16 inches. A lot of cedar decks are framed at 24 inches on center. So that's too much. You'd put the deck board on there and it would flex way too much. Right. Speaker 3 00:13:29 And potentially break potentially. Speaker 2 00:13:30 Yeah. Potentially. Speaker 3 00:13:31 So you would have to add a joist. It's a very, it's a very, um, simple procedure. Yeah. To add a joist between your current joists that are two foot on center, that's gonna give you a 12 inch on center, that's a little bit more than is required in the field, but you do require 12 inch on center at the stairs, Speaker 2 00:13:49 Always Speaker 3 00:13:49 12 inch on center at the stairs. So, so it, it's actually not a very difficult thing. And if I'm being honest with you, in the grand scheme of a deck build, um, a few joist to, to get to 16 inch on center is a small portion of the cost. Speaker 2 00:14:07 Absolutely. Um, Speaker 3 00:14:07 You're gonna be spending a, a, a bunch more money on all of the other components. Yeah. Speaker 2 00:14:12 I mean, if you're putting, if you're comparing, and we can get into this later, but cedar versus t Trex, Trex is gonna win out. Right. You know, in a matter of only a few years, the, the tiny amount more you're gonna pay for treks with the amount of labor in your, even if it's your own labor mm-hmm. <affirmative> in resurfacing that with, you know, fin or, or some sort of sealer to seal that deck, you have to stay, you have to keep it maintained, because if you don't, it's gonna turn bad quick. Right. Speaker 3 00:14:43 No Speaker 2 00:14:43 Question. I mean, four or five, six years being unmaintained, you're gonna notice that it's very slippery. Speaker 3 00:14:49 Another thing to consider is when, where those cedar deck boards, if you're replacing cedar with Trex, where those cedar deck boards, um, travel underneath other structures or attach to the house, Speaker 3 00:15:03 Your Trex decking is an inch and a half in thickness. Where, sorry, I'm sorry. Your cedar decking is an inch and a half in thickness. Correct. Where your Trex decking is only one inch in thickness. That is correct. So that, I was quoting a deck just recently where the, the stairs from the upper deck were coming down and landing on a four by four landing, turning 90 degrees, and then going down the second, um, flight of stairs. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, well, they're replacing all of that wood decking with TREXs when they take the decking off of that landing and put Trex in there, the stairs that the framing of the stairs is gonna be an inch off of the decking. And so, and if you drop that down instead of shimming it up, now your handrail's gonna be out of whack and your everything's just gonna be weird. Yeah. Your, your, uh, treads won't be level, you know what I mean? You have to consider all of those things. Um, if your, if your stair treads, for example, were sitting on your decking. Speaker 2 00:16:00 That's very true. That's very true. I didn't think of that. I did not consider, Speaker 3 00:16:04 Did you not that if, so those are, those are some considerations. If you're moving forward to build a new deck and you're not refurbishing or adding to an old one, um, and you've decided where it's gonna go, uh, how far off the ground is it gonna be? Speaker 2 00:16:20 That's Speaker 3 00:16:21 Why does that even matter? That's a Speaker 2 00:16:22 Very, yeah, it matters. Right. And the reason is, the higher off the ground the deck is you could potentially have to use railing. If it's low to the ground, then you might not have to use railing. And I'll tell you right now, railing is expensive. Speaker 3 00:16:38 Oh. It's gonna be double. The price of your deck Speaker 2 00:16:40 Railing is going to cost between the cheapest I've ever seen. $30 ish per linear foot, all the way to $200 per linear foot. So if you've got a 10 by 10 deck and you're putting railing on three sides of it, you know, you've got 30 linear feet of railing. And if you're choosing something that's a hundred dollars a foot, that's a $3,000 ad. Yeah. Right? Yep. So it's something to keep in mind. If you can put a couple stairs in and reduce the height of your deck coming off whatever, you're gonna save yourself a lot of money there. Yeah. If you don't have that option, you know, like if it's a second story deck, now you're getting into territory of potential engineering, you might have to get that deck engineered. You might have to pull a permit. It really depends on the jurisdiction that you're in. It's always a good idea to check with your jurisdiction. Sometimes you don't, sometimes you do. Um, but definitely when a deck gets above a certain point, and I think locally here, it's eight feet. If it's over eight feet, it has to have an engineering stamp on it. Speaker 3 00:17:47 And what those guys will tell you is that, that a 36 inch tall rail is not gonna be enough. Your rail's gonna have to be 42 inches tall. Speaker 2 00:17:55 Uh, yeah. I think it depends on up in that range. Yeah. There, there is a height range that you can get to where they'll want it taller, but definitely if it's commercial Right, you'll have to go to 42 inches. Yep. And I'll be honest, if you're on a deck I was on recently on a deck that was 22 feet off the ground and it, they went with the 36 inch rail. And when you're standing next to that thing and the rail only comes to your hips, Speaker 3 00:18:21 It's feeling really small, isn't it? It does Speaker 2 00:18:24 Feel really small. Speaker 3 00:18:25 Yeah. The farther you'd have to fall, the smaller that rail feels. Yeah. Speaker 2 00:18:29 I feel like if you got a little crazy, got a little too close and flipped over your body, I Speaker 3 00:18:33 Felt like your body bends right there. Like naturally that seems you like you'd want that to be up a little higher above the belly button and Speaker 2 00:18:39 You're really top heavy. Yeah. Bobble head. Yeah. Speaker 3 00:18:42 Bobblehead, <laugh>. Well, I'll tell you what, the, the price really starts to climb. Um, so if you, if if it's not absolutely necessary to have handrail, or if you only wanna put it in some places, then it can benefit you to have your deck just a little bit lower. If it's possible. If maybe you can add a step one or step two up into the house, maybe to avoid having to have a handrail. Right. It's something to consider. Yeah. Speaker 2 00:19:08 I mean, if it, like Tony said, if you're, if you can choose, then, you know, that's the way the budget's gonna go. If you, if you're all and what, do you know what that height is? 28 inches. 28 inches. If it's in this area, I'm not gonna say that's the same for everyone because Speaker 3 00:19:23 You don't know Yeah. In this jurisdiction. Speaker 2 00:19:24 Yeah. But locally here are 28 inches, Speaker 3 00:19:27 And here's what I'm thinking. Boom. Really, it's worth it to order 10 truckloads of dirt and have them raise the level of the backyard, you know, 12 inches. That Speaker 2 00:19:39 Is not true. No Speaker 3 00:19:40 <laugh>, that's not true. Speaker 2 00:19:42 I have determined that that is a lie. <laugh>, Speaker 3 00:19:45 It's funny because I watched an episode of a TV show where the, the, uh, one of the guys on the reality show had built a deck and the inspector came out and he's like, Hey, your deck is too far off the ground to, um, not have a handrail. You gotta have a handrail. The guy didn't wanna build a handrail, so he built flower beds around his deck on all sides, raised flower beds 12 inches tall in order to reduce the distance from his deck to the lower. Speaker 2 00:20:16 Interesting. Uh, Speaker 3 00:20:17 I did not work for him. <laugh>, he Speaker 2 00:20:19 Did like, that seems really stupid. Speaker 3 00:20:20 He did all of the work, built up the far bed, and then Speaker 2 00:20:23 They, and they said you still still didn't pass. Really? Yep. Speaker 3 00:20:25 They still didn't pass him. So anyway, uh, even though it seemed like a good idea. Yeah, Speaker 2 00:20:30 No, you're right. That's a, you, you, but you mentioned one thing earlier too. Climb stairs, you know, you have to consider stairs. Speaker 3 00:20:39 Absolutely. Speaker 2 00:20:39 Stairs is another one of those things that adds a lot of cost. You have to put in, like Tony said, 12 inches on center. So you're gonna buy two by 12, 12, 12 inches on center for your stairs. You're gonna wanna put extra hardware, you know, you're gonna wanna put it like risers and you know, things to cover it up. It's make it look nice. The, it just adds a lot of cost. And if you have railing on those stairs, stair railing goes up price even more. Speaker 3 00:21:05 Right. Speaker 2 00:21:06 So it's just, you know, something to consider. Speaker 3 00:21:09 Another thing to consider is if you, if you are building a deck that's going to require stairs, where do you want those stairs to take you? You can have stairs on any side of the deck, right? You can go up on the left side or the right side, or somewhere in the middle or in one corner or the other corner. There's lots of options there. Give consideration. Don't just assume that this is the spot for stairs. Give some consideration to where you want the stairs to lead you every time you go from the deck into your yard. Right? Yeah. Where do you want them to lead you? And then what are you gonna do in that place? Right. You're not gonna have the stairs terminate in the grass where you just step out into the middle of the grass. Right. <laugh>, you're gonna build a little landing there and you're gonna have, you know, some things give all of that consideration before you start to build your deck. Speaker 2 00:21:58 Yeah, absolutely. Um, what are some other things, Tony, that we need to think about when building a new deck? Speaker 3 00:22:06 Okay, here's, this is very important for me and this is Speaker 2 00:22:09 The type of lumber. Speaker 3 00:22:10 Yeah, sure. You can think about, uh, what type of lumber you wanna build the frame out of. We are gonna tell you that pressure treated is ground contact, pressure treated is the way to go. Um, it, it was, it is going to last the longest, even if it's not touching the ground. The framing beneath your deck is going to want to be pressure treated, ground contact at minimum pressure treated bare minimum at Speaker 2 00:22:33 Minimum. There are other options that I wanna talk about. Okay. Your deck framing. There's a lot of companies out there with, with new innovative products in regards to deck framing. You can get steel, steel framing. Sure. Build it just like you, out of wood, out of a commercial grade steel C channel, track all of that business. And I tell you what, it looks really cool because it's flat as could be one thing that I would say, I've stepped on a few metal, you know, framed decks in my life and they do have a little bit of a tinny sound to them. Oh Speaker 3 00:23:12 Yeah. Just Speaker 2 00:23:13 A slight as you're walking on it, huh? It sounds a little hollow underneath. It's, they're solid, they're flat as could be. But again, it's just, it's kind of like that one of those preference things. I've walked on it and I'm like, yeah, they just sounds different. Speaker 3 00:23:25 It's like the difference between swinging a hollow corridor and a solid corridor. Exactly. Speaker 2 00:23:29 Yeah. Or swinging a solid wood bat or hitting with a aluminum bat. Sure, sure. Speaker 3 00:23:33 It just Speaker 2 00:23:34 Sounds different. It's got a little bit of a tinny ting to it when you walk on it. I will say that. But there's also another product called P w t Pacific Wood Tech makes a pressure treated L V L that you can use for joists, can use it for beams. And then that is a cool product. Speaker 3 00:23:55 Really? I have not seen that product. Speaker 2 00:23:57 Yeah. Pressure treated L V L, uh, it's somewhat new to our area. I wouldn't say, I wouldn't call it a cheap option, but Speaker 3 00:24:05 It's not, it's, they're gonna be straight and true. They're, Speaker 2 00:24:07 They're gonna be straight, they're gonna be flat, they're gonna be true. They're gonna be square and they're strong. So if you've got a situation where you're building a deck that you're putting a hot tub on, you know, that's also something to consider. I actually had a conversation with somebody who had this existing two story monster deck, you know, way off the ground, 25 foot drop down below. It was engineered part of the house. And he says, I wanna put a hot tub on there. Do you think I need to do anything? And I said, yeah, <laugh> don't put a hot tub on there. Yeah. Yeah. 'cause you gotta think hot tubs are gonna weigh thousands and thousands of pounds and you gotta put a, something that weighs thousands of pounds on something that's not designed to hold thousands of pounds. That's a recipe for disaster. Speaker 2 00:24:54 Disaster potential death. Yeah. Right. So if you are considering putting a hot tub on that is, you're definitely wading into engineering territory. You definitely want to visit a structural engineer to tell you what size beams, what size posts, what size piers, how far you need to dig those footings. All of that stuff is very specific to putting in a hot tub or even a second story kitchen. You know, if you've got an outdoor living area and you're putting a kitchen in and you're gonna throw that barbecue and you're gonna put a nice, you know, kitchen out there covered in stone. Sure. I've seen 'em with poured concrete countertops or granite. You know, I mean, you're adding so much weight that is not intended to be there. It's not designed to go on there. Right. And you will regret it. No, absolutely. 'cause it's gonna flex, it's gonna move and potentially be unsafe. Speaker 3 00:25:57 Honestly, you are going to want to, you're gonna wanna source the information one way or another. Maybe you're not calling an engineer, but how are you gonna determine what joist on what center is gonna span? How far between beams and what beam, um, is gonna span? How far between posts? And, you know, I mean, there's a lot of questions that have to be answered there if you are trying to determine what type of a structure you need to have under your deck. Speaker 2 00:26:27 Right. You know, I've talked about in this show over the years, many, many times about calculating loads. I get this question all the time and they say, Hey, um, I wanna put a beam in here for my deck and it's spanning 16 feet. How big of a beam do I need? And my first answer is, you didn't gimme enough information. Yeah. Speaker 3 00:26:51 What's on it? Speaker 2 00:26:51 They're, what's gonna be on it? And they're like, what are you talking about? It's spanning 16 feet. Well, that has nothing to do with it. You can get a two by four to span 16 feet. You know, if you don't put anything on it, if you don't walk on it. Right. If you don't hang anything Speaker 3 00:27:02 On it, is it an elephant cage? Right. Speaker 2 00:27:05 So saying that it's a deck automatically tells me that that's a higher per square foot load. But the second part of that equation is how big is the, are the deck joists from that beam to the house? So say you've got a deck beam, if you just imagine this in your head, a deck beam sitting out at the end of your deck with a post Speaker 3 00:27:24 12 feet out. Yes. Speaker 2 00:27:26 Well, let's just say that it's 16 foot long span. Right. Okay. Now if the jet deck joists from that beam to the house are four feet, that beam's not gonna be that big. Right. Spanning 16 feet, which is a pretty significant span, but if it's only got four foot of load on it from the house to the beam, okay, no big deal. Right. It's more Speaker 3 00:27:49 Like a catwalk. Speaker 2 00:27:50 Yeah. It's not bad breezy. Now move that beam out to 12 feet or move that beam out to 16 feet and you've got a 16 by 16 deck, how big do you think that beam's gonna be? Speaker 3 00:28:02 That's gonna be like a, that's gonna be like an eight and three quarter by 24. It's Speaker 2 00:28:05 Gonna be a big beam. Right. <laugh> spanning a super long, you know, these deck joists, they're probably gonna have to be two by twelves, you know, eight or 12 inches on center, you know, and you're spanning it out. And, and the thing is, is when you're looking at a deck like that and you're designing it, it doesn't really make sense. You know, I see all the time these deck designs that come in and you'll see two posts, you know, 12, 16 feet apart and they put this massive beam, you know, between them, even pressure treated glue lambs, you know, that'll span that distance. Yeah. But it's three feet off the ground. And I think to myself, and I'll say it a lot of times too, why don't you just add a post in the middle? Yeah. If you add one post in the middle, you can cut that beam size in half. Speaker 3 00:28:54 Yeah. Add three posts in the middle, you can. Speaker 2 00:28:56 Right. Why does it Speaker 3 00:28:56 Matter? Cut it into fourths. Yeah, Speaker 2 00:28:58 Exactly. Yeah. The, the more structural concrete you could put under a deck, the better off you are. The smaller the lumber. Yeah. So Speaker 3 00:29:07 Ideally then you would have a, you would have a concrete patio that's flat that does not slanted concrete patio that's flat and you just stack your joist right on it. <laugh>. Right. Every joist is fully supported. Yeah. Speaker 2 00:29:23 I've ac I've seen that before. Yeah. Speaker 3 00:29:25 <laugh>, no, no beam necessary. I had a Speaker 2 00:29:26 Deck like that on one of my houses. Except Speaker 3 00:29:28 For those patios are all, you know, they're all ready sloped. Yeah. Yeah. They're sloped. You'd have to shim it up. Anyway, I see exactly what you're saying. That makes perfect sense. Here's another thing to consider. When you are building your deck, do you want that beam to be out at the end? Or would you rather that beam is two feet or three feet in from the end with your joist on top of it and sort of cantilevered over? Speaker 2 00:29:52 Yeah, we would call that a drop beam versus the previous one that you described where you're hangar into it. Right. That would be called a flush beam. Right. It's flush into that deck system versus one that's underneath. Uh, cantilever can be good, but there's also limitations on cantilevers. You know, rule of thumb says that you should back span three times the distance of your cantilever. So if you're cantilevering two feet, then you would want to back span at least six feet at least. Right. And that's just, I'm not telling you to do that. That's just like a rule of thumb. Sure. When you're looking, when I'm looking at plans, I see that, you know, we'll, we'll have to go back. And I've sometimes I've seen it where it's like, okay, we're gonna go out two feet and then cantilever two feet can't do that. Right. Because Speaker 3 00:30:49 It's teeter Speaker 2 00:30:49 Totter. Yeah. You think about a teeter totter and you can't, you, you stand out on the edge of that two foot cantilever how much force you're putting on at the house and there's this little hanger there, <laugh>. Yeah. <laugh> with a few nails in it. Yeah. Right. Yeah. That's what you have to think about. So the further you back span, like if you have a two foot cantilever and it goes back six feet, that's a heck of a lever. You need a lot more force. Right. Push out there to teeter that thing up. Right. And there are situations where you can get that done by an engineer, but you'll sometimes you'll have to put reverse hangers on. You'll have to put 'em on upside down so that you counteract Speaker 3 00:31:30 Interesting Speaker 2 00:31:31 That Speaker 3 00:31:31 Yeah. I've never seen anything like that done, but that's Speaker 2 00:31:34 Ing rotational cantilever force. Yeah. Speaker 3 00:31:36 That Speaker 2 00:31:36 Is, I don't wanna sound like an engineer 'cause I'm not Well, Speaker 3 00:31:39 You're a lot closer to an engineer than me. Speaker 2 00:31:41 I, I spent a lot of time looking at plans and I talked to a lot of engineers. Yeah. And I have cal, I use calculation software that, you know, I'm just, I've got a lot of experience in it, but yeah, it's something to consider anyway. Speaker 3 00:31:54 Do you know what I would have to do to be as much of an engineer as you? I would have to put on a black and white striped hat and say, oh, Speaker 2 00:32:03 Woo. Speaker 3 00:32:06 All aboard. That's what I would do to be aboard Speaker 2 00:32:09 Engineer train <laugh> Speaker 3 00:32:12 Things to consider when building a deck. Cantilever is a good thing to consider. Yeah. Um, of course how big the deck is going to be. What is your purpose for the deck? Are you gonna put a hot tub on it? Do you want to be able to entertain on it? Um, do you want to have patio furniture on it? Are you gonna have, um, multiple places to, to go out and come back? Do you want the deck to be accessed by the house in multiple places? Right. Maybe your patio door comes onto the deck, your master bedroom comes onto the deck. These are all things to consider, you know, and here's another one, which you can throw this out. If you've decided where your deck is gonna be and you've decided where it's gonna be on the house and what parts of the house it's gonna span when you're walking across the deck, will you be looking into windows <laugh> of the house? Right. I mean, you have to think about that. Right. Speaker 2 00:33:00 I know. I actually helped someone design a deck that, you know, they designed it then they said, we're gonna put the stairs right here. And it went over top, obviously it was a second story. So it went over top of all these windows and they, they, we positioned the posts outside of the window so they weren't, you know, you weren't looking out a window and seeing a post. A post post. Right. And then they put the stairs in. So they didn't realize this at the time, but they put the stairs in and they put this little landing, so stairs down to a landing down to more stairs down to the ground. But on the landing you would look over right into the bathroom. Yeah. And they didn't have, you know Yeah. You know, any sort of obscured Speaker 3 00:33:43 Glass, Speaker 2 00:33:43 Obscured glass on it because it was this window in the back of the house on a sloped lot. Right. That you would never see who would ever Speaker 3 00:33:49 Be there. Right, right. Speaker 2 00:33:50 Some creeper. Yeah. So now all of a sudden they had to put some, you know, they had to change out the glass in the window and it was funny. Speaker 3 00:33:57 It's something to Speaker 2 00:33:58 Consider. It is. They did not consider that. Yeah. Speaker 3 00:34:01 It's something to consider when choosing your deck. Right. Speaker 2 00:34:04 Um, last couple things. I mean, we talked kinda a little bit about concrete. You could bury posts in the ground. Uh, I know some people don't like that they don't like bearing posts in the ground because Speaker 3 00:34:20 They're afraid that the, those posts will rot, Speaker 2 00:34:22 Could potentially rot. Right? Now there are different levels of pressure treatment that you can get. There's ground contact and then there's permanent ground contact Speaker 3 00:34:32 In ground Speaker 2 00:34:32 Structural. Yeah. In ground structural. Now what that means is if it's holding up like a deck or a second story of a house, you know, it's allowed to touch con you know, the, the treatment level, the com, the amount of chemicals in that piece of pressure traded lumber is a higher value. Right. And it's meant so to do that, but meant to Speaker 3 00:34:53 Be used in ground. Right. Speaker 2 00:34:54 Yeah. But most often, often than not, I see people use pure pads, like concrete peer pads or they'll, they'll pour their own with, uh, sauna tube. Yep. Form tube. Form tube. Fill it with concrete, put a little four by four post base on it. Yep. And go about it that way. That's how I would do it because down the road, if you had a problem with one of the posts, Speaker 3 00:35:16 You can replace it, Speaker 2 00:35:17 Easily replace it. Yep. Speaker 3 00:35:19 Very smart. Um, I think the last thing I really wanted to touch on, uh, is when you get towards the end of the deck, you're gonna be putting some fascia on the deck. The fascia is intended to cover up, you know, the understructure of the deck. Give it sort of a pretty, um, finishing touch. Yes. There are a couple of ways that that fascia can be installed. You can hold the fascia down and you can, um, hang the deck boards out over the top of the fascia. That fascia would butt up to the bottom of the deck boards. That's a little bit more work. You really need to treat the ends of all of those boards and make sure that they're perfect and pretty. Right. Um, as that is the other option is to hold the fascia board up and terminate your deck boards into the fascia board. The problem with that is it kind of creates a little place for organic material to gather in there. And then that's something that you have to clean out. Yeah. Whatever the way is that you decide to go, it's something you need to consider. Speaker 2 00:36:21 I actually have one more thing. Yeah. This is the last thing that I can think of right now. This Speaker 3 00:36:25 Really is the last thing. Speaker 2 00:36:27 If you're building a deck, one thing to consider if you're building, especially if you're building new, anytime you put on, like if, especially if you're doing a composite deck like Trex, the Trex material is intended to last forever, right? I mean, a hundred years, right. Trex is still probably gonna be work. 'cause the way that they build it with the cap composite, I mean the stuff is like bulletproof right now. The weak spot is gonna be your deck, the framing. So one of the things to consider is to use a, a, a bele rubber tape deck, tape deck tape, Speaker 3 00:37:07 Joist tape Speaker 2 00:37:07 On top of your joists and your beams tape. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And what that does is it allows whenever rain comes down through your deck and lands on top of the framing and gets under your deck boards and it sits there, it's not in contact with the wood, which causes the deck to prematurely rot. And it's just gonna keep it out of all of your end cuts in the framing hangers, everything. And what it also does is seals up the fasteners. So as you screw the deck board down, it goes through that beautiful tape and it seals around that fastener. So it really offers for not a ton of money. I mean, you might spend a hundred dollars, a couple hundred dollars on tape, but in the long run, it will extend the life of your deck to a point that you'll probably never have to worry about it again. Speaker 3 00:38:00 That is really a great tip. That, that's a great tip. It's a really good product. That product is actually made by Trex as well. Trex makes, uh, Joyce tape. And it's not, it won't break the bank for the amount of money you spend and the amount of money that you save by not having to replace rotten framing, um, under your decking. It definitely is a good investment. Speaker 2 00:38:20 A hundred percent. Speaker 3 00:38:22 Yeah. This was good. This was a lot of really good information. Things I've been thinking about recently about, um, uh, you know, deck and building a deck. If you have more questions about building a deck and you want to, you know, give us a shout. You can reach us at weekend [email protected]. That's p a r r.com Weekend [email protected]. You can message us on Facebook, you can message us on Instagram, um, whatever. If you've got a question, you want us to talk a little bit more about it, you want us to go more in depth, um, that's certainly something we could do. We love to hear from our listeners. So, uh, reach out, let us know. You can follow us on, um, YouTube, that's youtube.com/ww Home Show. That's our YouTube channel. Uh, Instagram of course. And Facebook. Check us out. And of course, if you, if you miss any portion of this show or you wanna listen to others of our podcasts, uh, you can reach, you can get those on wherever you get your podcasts in, uh, Spotify, apple iHeartRadio, apple Podcasts, all that stuff. All yes. Alright, Speaker 4 00:39:29 Awesome. Well, thanks for listening and uh, we'll catch you next time. Speaker 3 00:39:32 Have a great week.

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