I'm currently active duty Marine Corps, so I don't own a house because we move about every three years. However, we're thinking after this contract is up (2013), we're going to buy a house and settle down.
Anyone build their own deck? It's always been a "bucket list" kind-of thing for me to build one, and I'd love to hear from someone who actually has!
How long did it take, what type of wood did you use, and how is that wood holding up for you?
I'm sure whoever has done it has tons of tips that they wish they would've heard before they did!
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Hawaii and other tropical locations are extremely harsh on wooden decks, due to the heavy moisture and termites. I've had to rebuild my sister's deck quite a few times over the years, even though she is married to a great General Contractor!
Even though it is a bit more costly, I would make sure you use Trex (Trex) or similar manufactured planks. You will not regret it.
I have built two. The first was in California, made with redwood. It was over 3' above the ground so I had to get permits and have inspections, as there are many requirements for safety. The hardest part is the stringers for the stairs, the most boring is cutting all of the 2x2s for the railings. That one was about 10' x 25' and you could walk under it.
The second I did here in WA and used cedar, pressure treated for the non-visible structure, clear heart above. It's about 12' x 25' and only
18" above grade so no railing, just two steps. I found that for the treated lumber the big home centers are fine, but for anything showing go to a real lumberyard and get good stuff. (After an hour going through the pile of 5/4 cedar at Home depot and finding maybe 2 decent ones).
Two important areas to remember, the slight slope away from the house for shedding water, and proper screws connecting the ledger to the house, with
flashing to keep it waterproof.
These days the synthetic materials like trex are all the rage, and last forever but I just like the look of real wood.
Used to work at Lowe's and had to sell the Trex decking. It's nice, but it's really pricey, though considering you don't have the maintenance and upkeep you do with wood I'd say it's worth it. Plus it doesn't degrade and won't splinter.
I've only ever seen one full deck with it, but I was impressed. I did a commercial order for a house then we delivered some appliances a few months later to the same guy and the deck looked really nice. Seems like a solid investment imo.
I just built on over the summer took me about 2 months. A long time because I am fat and out of shape and sun really bothers my fat body now. Trex is a great product in a place with a lot of sun you have to keep shoes on or it will burn your feet. If you want to use a composit material get TREX don't get suckered into the cheap Veranda HD sells as it is not as good nor does it come in as many colors as Trex. The framing of your deck will still be PT lumber and get the premium PT lumber. Also I would over build it. No one ever got hurt from an over built deck but many have been hurt from an underbuild deck. mine is a floating deck (Not attached to the house) and it rest on 6x6 post 2x12 beams and 2x8 stringers with 5/4x6 decking. Check your local code for spacing of posts beams and stringers as well as how to build railing and steps.
I built a 12x24 deck about 20 years ago. Used PT lumber. This year I replaced the deck boards with Trex. The frame work of the deck was still like new. The deck boards had split really bad. The Trex is easy to work with. Just very expensive. Glad I used it. It looks great.
I built my deck a few years ago. I used Choice Deck. It is like Trex but a bit less expensive. I got it because it was around my pool and I wouldn't have to worry about splinters, staining. It does get spots on it from mold but Olympic deck wash once or twice a year takes care of it. If you go with something like this do not power wash it. I have friends that have used Trex and they experience this spotting, also.