This past Monday we went to Big Jim’s Bargain Outlet anticipating being able to pick up our composite decking. When I rebuilt the back stairs last fall, they had the composite decking for $1.25/linear foot. Great price and $.50/linear foot more than Pressure Treated for something that requires minimal maintenance. Well, our hopes became dashed when we arrived there and the following problems presented themselves
- The price was now $1.75/linear foot. I assume their costs increased because now we are in deck building season.
- They are 16 feet long which is good and bad. Good because fewer seams, bad because I need 650 linear feet and my truck with only an 8 foot bed is not going to allow me to transport those home legally. The guy recommended getting a “larger truck” because they won’t cut down that much…RIGHT! The price is higher and now I have to spend another $100-200 on renting a flatbed…no thanks!!
- They didn’t really have any decent colors that Tanya liked.
Add to the fact that Lowe’s/Home Depot have 16 footers for $1.84/linear foot and $65 for delivery no matter how much you buy, we left Big Jim’s. But at $1.84/linear foot, my 650 linear feet would now be $1197 instead of the $812.50 I assumed at $1.25/linear foot. I decided against composite decking and much to my chagrin, settled that we would go with Pressure Treated decking.
But then I remembered about cedar decking. I looked into pricing for that but they didn’t have it at the Lowe’s closest to my house, but they did have it at the 2nd closest Lowe’s (within delivery distance) for about $1.22/linear foot! Now we are back within range of my original target price. And it is CEDAR!! Nicer than composite, safer than Pressure Treated and naturally insect repellant. Of course, that means maintenance, but sealing the deck every year is not that difficult. I can roll it on relatively easily.
I refuse to use anything but vinyl railings because painting every spindle is ridiculously time consuming…and pressure treated railings are more likely to splinter and I don’t want to worry about that with children…even if they don’t use Arsenic/Formaldehyde anymore.
So we now have our decking situation resolved and so on Thursday evening, I head to the “Cedar” Lowe’s and place my order for the decking and railings. I schedule delivery for Saturday morning between 7 and 11. This order also contains my post base connections (connect the post to the concrete form) which will be the first things I need as the beam is the very next step on our deck build.
Friday I receive a voicemail from Lowe’s saying that “I am good for Saturday morning and I am first delivery. If I have any problems, please call him”. Well, no problems and that will work out perfectly.
7AM Saturday rolls around, no delivery. 8…nothing. 9…nothing. Ok…Tanya calls and they tell her that there is a note on my order to deliver Monday at 3. WTF, I don’t think so. I tell her that there is a mistake and they need to get me that delivery today! They said they haven’t even pulled it yet. Fine, pull the order and deliver it. I head to Lowe’s and pick up my post bases as I NEED those if I want to make any progress on the deck. Finally at 3PM Lowe’s shows up with my stuff.
We cut the 6x6 posts and attach them to the post bases. Then we stack the first half of the beam and cut it to length (about 12 feet long). Then the 2nd to be stacked on top of that one. Then we use ½” x 12" lag bolts to tie the beam together. Then we do the same for the 2nd half of the deck at about 7 feet long. We ice and water shield the posts and attach the beams to the posts. We then cut 2x6 boards to keep the beam from rocking front to back. The beam is SOLID!
We attach the joist hangers at 16” OC along the ledger board. After that, we put the joists in and by that time, it is 8PM and we are out of daylight.
Sunday morning we start around 11AM. We cut the joists down to size and start working on laying out the posts. We attach our Rim Board with ¼” x 3” lag screws. We install 6 railing posts with 2-Deck Post Ties per post. We install ice and water shield on top of most of our joists but by 5PM we are tired so we stop.
Monday evening, we install the 2 top of the stair posts, squared up the stringers and put ice and water shield on the remaining joists. We also block the side of our posts to reinforce the connection. We level the post in one direction.
Tonight we will install the remaining 3 posts as well as our stringers. Then we will go around and verify that all of our posts are plumb and level. We will install our dryer vent and then all framing will be completed.
So…progress has been made and we are happy with the results. Enjoy the pics.
We also were lucky and our new kitchen window came in and Pyramid Roofing’s carpenter came and finished up all of the unfinished projects this weekend as well. Things are looking GREAT at our house.