A few DIY deck questions


Old 07-02-12, 10:02 PM
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A few DIY deck questions

Let me caveat all this by saying I'm the absolutely worst combination of person for DIY projects. I'm horribly lazy, but am one step below actual OCD for getting a project done right if I start it, and have problems trusting myself to get it done right. I say that because I'm relatively sure I'm over-thinking a few things, which is why I'm confused about the questions below:

1) How do you install fascia boards on decks? I'm using 2x6 joists and 1x6 deck boards, and in the absence of a better idea I was just going to use the deck boards as fascia. However, is a 1x6 board enough to cover a 2x6 joist, or do I need to look at getting 2 1x4 boards for the fascia? Also do you install them just like the deck boards (I'm face screwing my decking) or is there a better/more common method?

2) Going hand in hand with #1, I haven't found any information at all on putting fascia on the side of stairs and hopefully someone here can link me to some information on that subject.

3) I'm not a typical DIY'er (see lazy note above) and when I am I don't typically do major woodworking projects. Because of that, I'm borrowing tools from friends and avoiding purchasing my own tools (if I want to keep parking my car in my garage I don't have room for much anyways). However I read the best way to install a ledger board is to rip it at a 45 degree angle on the top to allow better drainage when you add flashing. Is that something a Home Depot or Lowes can usually do for you, or what is the best way to do that myself?

4) For railing my current plan is to have a top and bottom rail with aluminum balusters mounted on the outside of the rail boards with a flat handrail on the very top. Everywhere I've looked the only boards mentioned for the top and bottom rail (in that setup) is 2x4s, but is there any reason why I can't use 1x4s? No one local to me can order anything but 1x4s and 1x6s in my decking material, so I'm hoping to avoid having to personally special order any more than necessary (which so far is just the 4x4 posts), or using an entirely different wood for the railing.
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Old 07-03-12, 03:05 AM
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Welcome to the forums! I'm just gonna pick through your post.
1) Fascia boards are purely for decoration on a deck, and quite seldom used. Usually a doubled rim joist is all that is used. With your preface, I would be more worried about stability than "pretty". What are the dimensions of your deck? How high is it off the ground? How are you supporting the vertical members at ground level? Your joist spacing should be 16" on center, and you can't use 1x4 for decking. Minimum would be 5/4 radius edged lumber.
2) Putting anything on the side of stairs, again, is for looks, and lattice usually comes in handy to hide things. Decorating the stringer usually isn't done.
3) If you rip your ledger at 45 degrees what will you sit your decking on? No, don't do any ripping of the ledger. You will need to fasten the ledger to the house after removing any siding behind it, and flashing behind the siding and onto the ledger plus some.
4) How do you plan on mounting your balustrade? Your railing is a very important part of the structure for safety concerns. It should be constructed of 2x lumber. 1x lumber basically has no place on a deck.
Old 07-03-12, 09:37 AM
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1) 12' x 24' deck at ground level. 28" at it's highest point. I've planned it all to my county building code and I'm using 1x6 for the decking, not 1x4. I haven't settled on a deck board yet, but it's either going to be Red Balau or Tigerwood, both of which meet my requirements in 4/4 instead of 5/4. I've done plenty of research to make sure I'm doing everything right, the reason for my post is those are the items I've been unable to find any sufficient amount of information for.

2) I know it's for looks. I'm using pressure-treated lumber for the framing and would prefer not to have that showing on the side of the stairs and deck when I can put on a fascia board to match my deck. I don't want to use a lattice because I'm not a big fan of the look and have no need of its other benefits so I'm planning on just leaving the bottom open for the best ventilation I can get.

3) Just the top edge of the ledger. The recommendation I got was to use a ledger one step bigger than your joists and use the extra two inches to add the rip and still have the rest of the board for full contact with your ledger like normal.

4) I still plan on using 4x4 for the deck posts. I was just wondering if 1x4s intead of 2x4s would work as the railing (in any standard/safe construction practice) since I couldn't find anything about it and getting 2x4s for Red Balau in my area is going to be much more expensive and painful.
Old 07-03-12, 10:44 PM
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I suspect you won't be happy with 1 x 4 railing members--too much flex when people lean against them, both top and bottom.

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