Friday, February 26, 2016

Deck Project 2016

As part of our ongoing series of backyard projects, we're having another retaining wall replaced this spring.  The problem with this wall is that it sits right under the deck footings (in fact, one of the posts was cut around the wall!)

Post built around one of the retaining walls to be removed.
Note the notch in the post, as well as the
lack of mechanical fastener to the footing.

The deck itself needs some work: one of the posts is seriously bowed; the stairs have a sideways slant; the attachment to the house is a little suspect; and the entire thing needs to be repainted.  The combination of all this means the deck is coming down as part of the wall building process, and after the walls are in, a new deck is going in.

The steps are 36" wide, with 2" of drop from right to left.

Being the hardworking, do-it-yourself type, I've convinced myself that I can manage the deck-building process myself, doing much of the work.  I've bought books, watched YouTube videos, talked to a number of handy people, and studied the relevant code guidelines.  I'm still uncertain about a few things, and the design of the new deck still has a couple of open questions, but I feel I know enough to know what I don't know, and get help when I need it.

In a tribute to the many resources that have helped me, I plan to document the deck building process in detail here.  (If that's not interesting to you, simply filter all the posts tagged with "deck".)  So over the next several months, expect various write ups as I finish the design, finish choosing materials, and then start in on the biggest DIY project I've ever done.  And all before we head to Europe for the fall.

One of the existing posts bows significantly,
and has no mechanical attachment to the footing it sits on.

But before we can build the new deck, though, we've got to take the old one down, fix some existing problems on the house, and then let the retaining wall crew can get in and start doing their work.

[Finally, a disclaimer: I have no idea what I'm doing, so use this content at your own risk.]

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