BUILDING AND EXPANDING MY OUTSIDE DECK

Iron Man

Live life to it's Fullest Thanking GOD for it all
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Long Island NY
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2021 F350 6.7 Iconic Silver Platinum Tremor w/winch
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My stairs to my second floor outside deck were ready to fall down. My friend was doing some electrical work for me and looked at my deck after I complained how shaky it became. He looked it over and said very poor workmanship. The last owner built my deck like SHIT. They didn't attach the steps to the last floor joist. Instead they added 2 pieces of wood to the back of the floor joist and hung it from there.
My friend cut 4 - 2x10x16 sets of stair joist and added 1 more step to the original design. He was going to sink 3 sets of posts for the hand rail to be bolted into the new stairs and sunk into the ground and cemented in place to make it secure. We would need to run a different hand rail since the steps would be different now.
Right before he was about to install everything after he had already cut the 4 sets of stair joist, I said I was going to expand my deck maybe next year and asked if he could expand my deck now. He just got married and just came back from his honeymoon and was going to fix up his house for the month of August before his next project started for a customer in September but said OK.
My deck was 20'x12' and and we are now expanding it to 32'x16'. We stripped off the old Trex decking and bought enough new TREX to re-plank the new design. We WERE going to use the old wooden deck structure and expand it by adding a second header beam and adding to the 20' header already there. So we dug 2 posts by hand and it took 3 hrs getting them cemented in the ground.
But then T-CO's that attach to the 20' stringer on the house were for 2x4s and the floor joist it connects to are 2x8s, so they needed to be changed. The original posts were not dug into the ground either. So after we realized how bad everything was, we ripped everything out and started from scratch. Even had to remove the 2 new posts that we busted our ass installing.
I then bought a gas powered post hole digger and we dug down 36" for new 6 posts for the outside header. With 4 - 2x8x16 sandwiching the 6 posts to make the 32' header beam. The inside header we used 7 posts (because we put them on both sides of my downstairs doorway) with another 4 - 2x8x16 to make the second 32' header.
What a freakin nightmare and how much this turned into a huge project. Much more money than I figured but its my dream deck and like everything I do ITS GO BIG OR GO HOME mentality. I ordered a 22'x12' awning that will attach to my 2' soffit. So we will have to rip off the gutter system and have the awning and the roof re-guttered somehow. On the far end of the deck we are going to build a 2x4 wall to attach to the inside of the awning to prevent the rain, snow, and wind that blows from the west to the east (mostly) from coming inside it. We will attach a TV to the wall and have a ceiling fan attached to the awning. Run some sweet lighting with some LED string lites (like christmas lites but much nicer) to go around the ceiling to give a great ambience'.
When we re-did my garage last fall, we ran a 20amp electric line on a new breaker and left it in my soffit to run for my future deck design. I plan a head for everything.
In order to have that wall we needed to sandwich 3 - 2x8x16' floor joist together. My friend built my shed for me and is quite talented BUT he never built a deck like this before. Being a Union Ironworker building high rises and other structures, I'm throwing my suggestions and we are getting it done. 2 minds are better than 1 he keeps telling me, but we have had more than a few arguments on how to get it done. So if there are any carpenters that look at these pics and say why did we do it this way, it's because we weren't sure and went way over kill.
The past 2 weeks we had a heat wave with temps in the mid 90s which is not ideal to build a deck. My friend and I have lost weight just sweating so much. I've been stressed out of my mind and so spent every night building this awesome deck that I just didn't have time to be on the Forum. I havent had time or energy to work out in my gym. Im looking really thin these days and don't feel myself. I have been able to get out on my Harley after Sunday mass every week and take my old lady out to the Hamptons for a nice lunch.
My shoulders, back, neck, and knees have been killing me from my injuries from back in the day, BUT I feel my old self again. I miss being an IRONWORKER and love being able to do a bit of work. My body really isn't upto it and I'm so cranky and so Spent every night. Ughhh I can't wait to complete this huge task. To make matters worse my friend keeps taking a day or 2 off and doesn't tell me until 10am or later as it's been really tuff working conditions. It's been a very MADDENING TIME. Plus I haven't been on top of keeping in touch with the shop doing the mods for my truck.
Huge props to my awesome wife for helping me stain the deck yesterday when my buddy didn’t show up. She has been making lunch and getting us drinks. She’s the best wife I could have ever asked for. GOD blessed me with her.
I am praying everyday for Guidance, Strength, and wisdom to accomplish this mighty task. I have always been blessed with the good LORDS BLESSINGS. So i hate to even complain or vent. Praise Be To GOD. 🙏 🙏 🙏 👊👊👊
Donny Details ;)
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What did you coat the beams in before setting in concrete? And when can you come over and help me build a pergola?!
We stained the treated 4x4 and used tar on the bottom cut pieces. The gas powered post hole digger was a beast. It was 230$ + tax at harbor freight. I needed the extension for another 20$. So much power. 👊🏻🙏😉
 
That turned out great, I appreciate the OCD in painting all the posts and joists and tarring the cut end to waterproof them. Did you end up reusing your ledger board or did you install a new one with flashing and butyl tape?
We talked piped it out. All new. The last owner didn’t stagger the lag bolts. Everything in my house since we got it in 2015 had to be done over. It’s been a work in progress. Or like wifey likes to tease the Money Pit.
 
We talked piped it out. All new. The last owner didn’t stagger the lag bolts. Everything in my house since we got it in 2015 had to be done over. It’s been a work in progress. Or like wifey likes to tease the Money Pit.
I hear you man, same with our recent house. I've had to fix/replace the previous owner, "Old Donny"'s electrical work, millions of miles of coax runs, wallpaper, double shingled roof, and everything they gave the lowest bidders to do. Keeps me busy 😂
 
Looks awesome brother! Your attention to the small details is amazing.

I bet that lumber bill was almost as much as a new Tremor!!!!
 
Heres my update.
Well my friend went to The Dead and Friends show on Monday. We started back up on Wed, and worked 3 - 10hr days this week in close to 90 degree temps that made it hard to get so much done.
I used to be a Union Ironworker so I'm able to withstand the hard labor and harsh working conditions, BUT it took a toll on me, especially being a bit busted up and being 53 yrs young. My brother from another mother is 54 and a smoker of all kinds, and not thin like me, so he was having a worse time than me.
He is working 10 hr days and he is getting paid 250$ a day, where he usually would charge 400$ (min) a day, so I'm grateful for the time he is putting in. Last Sunday we also had a hurricane/tropical depression hit us. I sprinkled Blessed Holy Water around my place asking for JESUS' protection and boy I was spared. Praise Be To GOD.
So late last week we decided to add a couple of floor joist and sandwich them up, right down the middle of my deck. We did this so we could run a piece of Trex decking the opposite way down the middle of this 32' long deck, so we wouldn't have an staggered seems. I like it but I wish we would have thought about that with the design instead of a later add on. Again i never built a deck on high rises and bridges made of steel and Iron.
Now since we had this plank go down the middle of the deck the stairs now had to be centered and with the way the safty rails would fall we made our stairs 6' wide. We only had the 4 stair joist and at a span of 2' apart we then planked the stairs to give extra strength. This also was not planned and I wish we would have added a 5th stair joist. But it is what it is. So this made us need more Trex decking. Oh and the stairs are 6 1/2" tall and the bottom step is sitting on a set of 2" pavers to make it level.
My friend said he didn't want the end of trex run too far past the Joist so we extended it only 1 1/2". We dug and installed 3 posts to each side of the stairs and lag bolted them in. But now I see the Trex planks should have extended out 3 more inches for the rail and white sleeves. Another flaw with my design plans.
I was really proud to be working with wood BUT now kind of miss working with IRON. Wood tends to not come as straight as I would like especially with long pieces of lumber. Iron you can always use a come along and just weld stiffeners to make everything perfect (of coures you need to know what you are doing with welding because the heat of the weld draws the Iron to one side and can throw everything out of wack).
We used Trex clips on the decking across the top of this mighty DECK. These clips were so easy to use and saved us some time. It was so freakin hot out with no shade that we would lay a couple of planks and then shoot inside my home with the AC and ice water for a couple of mins then go back outside and lay a couple more planks. We got half the deck planked so far and will be doing the other side Monday (GOD willing).
We are going to install the hand rail and then cut the edges off to square the ends of the deck up. Then cut 8" pieces to go around the outside. We are waiting for this 22'x12' awning so we can get the frame up and then build a second floor side wall to connect to it. We Dug down and installed 2 - 16' 4x4s to attach to the outside of this wall to give it some strength. Another flaw in the design. I wish we would have had the 4x4s inside the wall we will build and not on the outside. Oh well. Now we need to make this work, and it should BUT not to my liking. We are going to build the wall on top of the deck. Not sure about that either but we will lag bolt it through the decking and into that triple sandwiched 2x8.
So some of you with much more wisdom on this will probably shake your head at all of this. Brutal honesty is what I'm all about and give detailed versions of what I do in life even if it seems to paint me in a bad light.
My log and very detailed account of what I'm doing. This is how Donny Details ROLLS.
D.D. Out !!!! 👊 👊 👊 🙏🙏🙏✌️;)

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Heres my update.
Well my friend went to The Dead and Friends show on Monday. We started back up on Wed, and worked 3 - 10hr days this week in close to 90 degree temps that made it hard to get so much done.
I used to be a Union Ironworker so I'm able to withstand the hard labor and harsh working conditions, BUT it took a toll on me, especially being a bit busted up and being 53 yrs young. My brother from another mother is 54 and a smoker of all kinds, and not thin like me, so he was having a worse time than me.
He is working 10 hr days and he is getting paid 250$ a day, where he usually would charge 400$ (min) a day, so I'm grateful for the time he is putting in. Last Sunday we also had a hurricane/tropical depression hit us. I sprinkled Blessed Holy Water around my place asking for JESUS' protection and boy I was spared. Praise Be To GOD.
So late last week we decided to add a couple of floor joist and sandwich them up, right down the middle of my deck. We did this so we could run a piece of Trex decking the opposite way down the middle of this 32' long deck, so we wouldn't have an staggered seems. I like it but I wish we would have thought about that with the design instead of a later add on. Again i never built a deck on high rises and bridges made of steel and Iron.
Now since we had this plank go down the middle of the deck the stairs now had to be centered and with the way the safty rails would fall we made our stairs 6' wide. We only had the 4 stair joist and at a span of 2' apart we then planked the stairs to give extra strength. This also was not planned and I wish we would have added a 5th stair joist. But it is what it is. So this made us need more Trex decking. Oh and the stairs are 6 1/2" tall and the bottom step is sitting on a set of 2" pavers to make it level.
My friend said he didn't want the end of trex run too far past the Joist so we extended it only 1 1/2". We dug and installed 3 posts to each side of the stairs and lag bolted them in. But now I see the Trex planks should have extended out 3 more inches for the rail and white sleeves. Another flaw with my design plans.
I was really proud to be working with wood BUT now kind of miss working with IRON. Wood tends to not come as straight as I would like especially with long pieces of lumber. Iron you can always use a come along and just weld stiffeners to make everything perfect (of coures you need to know what you are doing with welding because the heat of the weld draws the Iron to one side and can throw everything out of wack).
We used Trex clips on the decking across the top of this mighty DECK. These clips were so easy to use and saved us some time. It was so freakin hot out with no shade that we would lay a couple of planks and then shoot inside my home with the AC and ice water for a couple of mins then go back outside and lay a couple more planks. We got half the deck planked so far and will be doing the other side Monday (GOD willing).
We are going to install the hand rail and then cut the edges off to square the ends of the deck up. Then cut 8" pieces to go around the outside. We are waiting for this 22'x12' awning so we can get the frame up and then build a second floor side wall to connect to it. We Dug down and installed 2 - 16' 4x4s to attach to the outside of this wall to give it some strength. Another flaw in the design. I wish we would have had the 4x4s inside the wall we will build and not on the outside. Oh well. Now we need to make this work, and it should BUT not to my liking. We are going to build the wall on top of the deck. Not sure about that either but we will lag bolt it through the decking and into that triple sandwiched 2x8.
So some of you with much more wisdom on this will probably shake your head at all of this. Brutal honesty is what I'm all about and give detailed versions of what I do in life even if it seems to paint me in a bad light.
My log and very detailed account of what I'm doing. This is how Donny Details ROLLS.
D.D. Out !!!! 👊 👊 👊 🙏🙏🙏✌️;)

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Pro! Looks great. I like the detail in the middle and good call on the middle joist setup. Should last many years. 🍻
 
Looking good brother! That is a one large deck. :cool:

Looks study and solid to me!!!!! I like the grey color too!!!!🇺🇲🇺🇲🇺🇲

God Bless bro!
 
We just finished this phase of the project. The stair railing was a bitch. It took a lot of time but by the 3rd section we knew how to do it easily. Solar flamed lights for the posts just was the perfect look we were shooting for. Waiting on the 22'x12' awning to come in next week. Then we frame it and build that wall on the far edge of the deck and attach it to the awning. Then run that 20amp line thats been in my soffit for 3 years for this project. Install a ceiling fan, TV, LED lighting, and outlets.
I am thrilled at how it turning out. A few things I would have done differently but very happy with the results. I am having my friend who did my driveways to come by and give me an estimate on leveling the ground under my deck and lay some pavers under the deck. We are going to build a wall under the second floor wall, and install some nice lattice.
Being a Union Ironworker, and erecting high rise buildings for a living was always so much fun for me. Doing such physical labor and doing a job most would not want anything to do with, made me love construction. Seeing nothing there but cement pilings. Then to erect a huge building, working with tuff skilled workers, and seeing the finished product is very rewarding.
Donny Details 👊 👊 👊 🙏🙏🙏;)
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