28 foot deck - which lengths of board to buy?

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Old 03-08-06, 06:57 PM
deckgrasshopper
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28 foot deck - which lengths of board to buy?

I have a 28 foot deck width to cover with composite boards. I can simply buy 16 and 12' boards and cover the whole thing with no cutting (and yes - the framing is about 3 inches less than 28 feet so that the boards overlap the edge and have room for trim). However - this scenario will leave an obvious seam running down the middle of my deck. I'm not sure that's going to look good aesthetically. I could alternate the 12's and 16's...but that would leave something like interlocking fingers running down the middle of my deck.

Am I crazy to think that shorter boards and more butt joints will actually look better by virtue of spreading them around the deck face? Should I really do more cutting, and more blocking, just to make the top of the deck look more seemless?

Anyway - your experience and advice will be much appreciated. I will be buying my boards in bulk and having them delivered...so whatever I choose in board length..I'm stuck with.

I'd prefer to go with 12's and 16's....I'm just afraid the deck will look silly.
 
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Old 03-08-06, 07:04 PM
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I'd buy all 16's. Here's why. Consider your layout by row:

16+12 = 28. The scrap is 4.

4+16+8 = 28. The scrap is 8.

8+16+4 = 28. The scrap is 12.

12+16 = 28. No scrap. Start the pattern over again.

Get the picture? It gives you a nice stairstepped pattern (with no waste) where your seams will only line up perpendicular to each other every 4th row.

Using all 16's and 12's would be awful because the seams would be back and forth, every other row, and all right down the middle of the deck.
 
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Old 03-08-06, 09:04 PM
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It all depends on where the JOISTS happen to be!!

Composites need a joist spacing of 16" O.C. -- there are exceptions tho. (What is YOUR joist spacing!!)

Sure, a 16' foot board and a 12' board equal your 28' width, but if the existing joists don't support the end of the 16' board, you are gonna be in trouble!! And if your existing joists are 24" (or more) O.C., you are gonna be in BIGGER trouble!!
 
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Old 03-09-06, 06:24 AM
deckgrasshopper
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good ideas

My joists are 16' OC 2x10's (and they are virtual at this point). You make an excellent point that I should be sure to have joists present for all butt joints.

I really like sleeper's idea....I'm going to do that! Do I need to have additional blocking at the proposed butt joints, or can I screw two boards into the same joist without too much trouble?

Thanks again - great ideas!
 
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Old 03-09-06, 09:18 PM
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X Sleepers' plan works well, now that I've reread it and totally understand just what he was saying. (Something about the late hours involved getting the books together for April 15th...)

Adding a block to the joists where the deck boards end isn't a bad idea, as long as you are consistant about it. Otherwise, just pre-drill the holes at the end of the deck board at an angle into a single joist.
 
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Old 03-09-06, 10:36 PM
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I also agree that it isn't a bad idea. Your fasteners wouldn't be so close to the end of the board that way. If you're not using some sort of hidden fasteners and you haven't already seen or heard of these, several companies make screws that work quite well with composite decking. They have 2 types of threads, as well as a mushroom-like cap with sharp edges that finishes flush rather than burying itself by countersinking. They are available in several colors to match your composite. Some types of composite fade, so if the screws are a shade lighter it won't hurt.
 
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Old 03-10-06, 05:25 AM
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deckgrasshopper,

Your deck is virtual at this point -- 28' by what??

Maybe rethink it and run the deck boards in the other direction. Sometimes that works, and sometimes it doesn't.

I just signed one yesterday that will be 17' by about 24'. I will lay all 16' boards in the 17' direction, with one run of decking on each of the 24' edges. The waste will only be the cutoffs of the two 24' sides -- whatever the actual length works out to to make the 16' boards come out full.

It'll be done in about 2 weeks, weather permitting and if all of the railing parts show up on time.

WeatheBest Tuscan Walnut with brown Trap Ease screws -- one of the brands that XSleeper is referring to.
 
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Old 03-10-06, 10:13 AM
deckgrasshopper
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Deck size

Deck is basically a 12x12 and 16x16 square put together. 28' total along the house. 16' depth for 16' of the length and 12' depth for 12' of the length.

I'll use the Veranda boards from Home Depot and I like the trap-ease screws..although I have to admit - the TigerClaws are tempting.

If I run the boards in the other direction...I'm guessing that its going to be more work than just cutting the deckboards so they can lay perpendicular to the joists. Safe assumption?
 
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Old 03-10-06, 12:00 PM
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You have to plan from the very beginning which way the deck boards will be run. The deck boards have to be perpendicular to the joists, and the joists have to be perpendicular to the girders.

On a freestanding deck, it's a simple switch. On an attached deck, with a ledger, ir requires a change in the framing method that you use, and sometimes it simply won't work.
 
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