Decking over a manhole cover


Old 03-18-08, 03:03 PM
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Decking over a manhole cover

Hi I'm laying deck boards over an uneven concrete drive, in the middle of the deck area is a manhole cover which needs to remain accessable, how do i create a frame or door in the decking?
Due to the uneven ground beneath the deck the joists are suspended a couple of inches above ground level in this area, the deck boards will be running diagonally across the joists and I would like to make the access cover as invisible as possible. Any ideas would be gratefuly recieved.
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Old 03-18-08, 07:08 PM
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what kind of manhole is it? are you permitted by codes to cover it up? are you going to DRIVE on it or is it going to eliminate part of the drive? a little more info would help.

however, when you install the joists, you will have to build a header between some of the joists(depending on how large a hole you need) and install short joist to that point. building a frame of the same mat. as the floor joists, slightly smaller, will allow you to run the flooring over the hole and then make a fine cut where the square frame is will allow for a near seamless acess hole. good luck!
Old 03-19-08, 07:38 PM
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First, welcome to and the Deck forum.

Like mikeTN asked, what kind of a manhole cover is it and are you allowed to build over it??

Check on that detail first. If this is some city or county cover that needs to remain exposed and you cover it with decking, they'll just show up (unannounced, of course!!) some morning with a dumptruck and a back hoe and remove your deck. You can expect the bill for THAT service within a week or so!!

If it's OK to cover this thing, then you simply frame your deck around it, deck that, the suspend a removable cover over it. The same joist spacing for the cover applies to whatever applies to the rest of the decking. Running the decking diagonal to the joists requires that you reduce the joist spacing by 1/3 from whatever the mfgr. calls for.

I've always found it easier (and cheaper!!) to build the framing diagonal to whatever surrounds the deck and actually lay the deck board square to the framing. It will still APPEAR to be diagonal to whatever surrounds the deck.
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