Advice needed on rebuilding deck

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Old 04-25-16, 02:31 PM
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Advice needed on rebuilding deck

Hello everyone,

I'm finally going to start working on my deck. My deck currently uses the floor joists from the 1st floor of the house as the base for the flooring.

Over the past few years I have painted it with water proofing, but that hasn't helped. Towards the edge of the deck the joists are badly rotted.

I am hoping to take the deck apart and sister some 2x12s to the joists coming out of the house.

I'd like to stop this type of rotting from happening again but don't know what to use. Standard paint on waterproofing isn't helping.

I'm going to buy pressure treated wood this time and was thinking of getting some type of joist cap to line all of the wood with. I also looked into draping a waterproof membrane across each joist as well. The Trex escape system looks nice, but I'm sure it's very expensive.

Any ideas?
 
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Old 04-25-16, 03:08 PM
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Need some pictures so we can see what your seeing.
 
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Old 04-25-16, 03:24 PM
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This was about 1 year ago. The wood didn't look to bad. Strangely now, after keeping up with it and waterproofing it, the area where the 2x4 is nailed to it is horribly rotted. looks awful.
 
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Old 04-25-16, 03:35 PM
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From your description you have a cantilevered deck. If so, it was probably the worst design builders could have come up with. While the wood members in the house are protected from the weather, the ones outside are at the mercy of rain, sun, etc. And where they join, is the potential for leaks and other damages.

I am not sure what the 2x4's purpose in life is, but they can go away and should be replaced with proper joist hangers to support the joists. You mentioned "using pressure treated lumber, this time" and it conjures up visions of untreated wood being used and just stained or painted. That would not work.

Om reality, your deck should be removed and the cantilevers cut flush to the house. The cavities should be sealed and a proper ledger applied to the house to support a new deck. The ledger would be bolted to the rim joist of the house. From there the ledger should be properly flashed and your new deck could commence.
 
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Old 04-25-16, 07:30 PM
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Chandlers advice is sound.
Picture does not show much.
If they messed up that building 101 concept we need a two more pictures.
On on the top side of the deck and one closer to the house where the joist come out.
I'm just guessing but most often they also have the deck boards level with the threshold to the door, a huge mistake.
 
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Old 04-26-16, 08:05 AM
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agreed, these are bad pictures and they're quite old. We had 70 mph winds yesterday and I didn't want to be outside.

Cantilevered, yes that's the type of deck.

Those 2x4s look silly and I have no idea why they're there either, I didn't do it. The rotted areas are where the 2x4s are at though. The rest of the wood going toward and into the house looks fine. That's why I was wanting to sister some wood to those 2x12s and find a way to waterproof it.

I have read that pressure treated lumber is good for decking since it is infused with chemicals to prevent termites, rot, etc. I would of course try to waterproof the wood as much as possible though.

Having a true ledger is always the best option and I would love that, but I don't like the idea of drilling into my brick and undertaking a expensive project. I can't afford it right now, but I would like to reinforce and "perfect" what I already have.
 
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Old 04-26-16, 08:08 AM
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Here's another old picture. not sure it's any better.

The deck boards are a couple of inches lower than the bottom of the door frame.
 
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Old 04-26-16, 08:27 AM
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I was wanting to take a look at the top of the joists and make sure that it's not rotted out too bad and potentially add some posts to add strength. These are just my ideas, so don't be too harsh...I'm just seeking advice.

I'm really looking for my best options while maintaining the type of deck I have now.
 
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Old 04-26-16, 03:33 PM
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If I build a deck I'm going to do a free standing one since I don't want to ledger my brick veneer.

My issue is cutting out the old cantilevered joists. When I remove them, I'm going to have some ugly holes in my brick. how would you guys go about removing it?

Of course a saw to remove the joists but then how would you patch it up? I don't want really awful looking 2x12 holes cut into my home. Am I out of luck there?
 
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Old 04-26-16, 03:50 PM
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For the most part your new deck would hide however you decide to patch the holes.
 
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Old 04-27-16, 12:53 PM
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First off - I am not a deck contractor. I am just a DIYer.

I think you need to do a bit more investigating before deciding on a course of repair. When I looked at your photo my first thought was balcony, not deck. Looking closer I think it is more of a hybrid. In any case a cantilevered balcony is common and a perfectly acceptable method of construction. However, using regular fir wood floor joists was probably not a good idea. I did note that your location is NM and that may be accepted in such a dry climate.

IMO the first thing to do would be to determine how much rot you have and where is it located. If it is just end grain on where the joists attach to the rim then it is repairable. If the joists are rotted along their length then a fix becomes more difficult. In any case I would not cut the joists off until I had explored every possible option. To me that would probably cause more problems than it would fix and it's sort of like amputating a leg for a hangnail.

The 2X4s at the end of the joist look like squash blocks. I wonder if the remaining joists in your house are I-joists and some helper installed squash blocks here even though they aren't required on conventional joists and there is no support under them. I would remove the blocks and install joist hangers.

If only the ends of the joists are rotted you have a couple of options. You can cut the joists back to solid wood and scarf new wood in the place of the rot. If you do this I would recommend using fish plates to add additional strength. The other choice is to use a wood repair product. There are literally dozens of wood repair products available. Google around looking for epoxy wood repair products. If you look at the marine repair stuff you can not only find rot repair but you can also find marine grade wood sealers. Stay away from the cheap stuff. If the joists are rotted the entire length then I would probably look to a structural engineer for a recommendation.

Personally, I don't like the looks of posts for a 2nd story deck. Aesthetically inferior to the look of a cantilever IMO. Remember, most of the support for the deck comes from the cantilever design. Depending on the length of the joists the "lever" force arm will be at least several times the length of the load arm.
 
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Old 04-28-16, 12:15 PM
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cwbuff, I PMd you.

Please let me know if you didn't get it.
 
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Old 04-28-16, 12:45 PM
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I like the scarf joint idea.

can I do something simple like this, and reinforce it with fish plates?


or does it have to be something super fancy like this?



 
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Old 04-29-16, 08:07 AM
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so, good and bad new.

Good news is all but 1 joist are ore than 75% solid with minimal rotting. The joists on each far end of the balcony are not coming out of the house, they are attached with metal plates. I am going to replace those completely. I think I'm going to use red wood.

Bad news, 1 joist is just about rotted into the house. I honestly don't go into the back yard much at all and didn't even remember there was a 2x4 sistered onto the joist. I need to fix this. How can I repair this without cutting into my bricks?

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Old 04-29-16, 08:12 AM
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I know this isn't a real scarf joint, but would something like this provide enough stability if all other joists are in good condition?

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Old 05-07-16, 03:51 PM
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Cantilevered balcony joist rot part II

Hi guys, I finally got around to taking apart my balcony and have some quality pictures now.

There are 5 beams/joists coming out of my home. of the 5 one is destroyed. It may be beyond repair. It is the one in the below pictures. the top is very badly rotted and the bottom seems okay.

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Old 05-07-16, 03:55 PM
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one of the beams looks good where it comes out of the house, but about 8" or so of the end is rotted, which is pictured below. the other 3 are in good condition and even the tops of the beams are not rotted. There does seem to be some random horizontal splitting in some of them though. It is not due to weather though.

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Old 05-07-16, 03:58 PM
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if you all feel that this is too far gone, don't be afraid to say so.

If so, I will cut these beams off at the wall and seal it so no water gets into the house. I was then planning on building a free standing deck. I'd probably secure 3 of the pillars to the cement and then dig a 2ft deep hole and pour a cement footer to secure the 4th leg. I've got some good building plans in case this is the way I have to go.

THANKS!!!
 
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Old 05-07-16, 04:36 PM
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I know it's getting a little long (and there is absolutely no problem with that) but we try to keep the same topic in one thread. Since your original pictures can be helpful... the threads are combined.
 
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Old 05-07-16, 06:55 PM
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I'll agree with your choice of cutting off the joists and weather proofing them, then building a free standing deck. You must, however, core out the patio and install proper depth footings to support it. You can smooth over the footers to compliment the patio after it is all over.
 
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Old 05-09-16, 08:49 AM
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what exactly is coring out a patio? sorry....

And i was looking at maps for footer depth and my area in NM says 20"...I was originally going to dig it down 24", but might go about 30" to be over cautious.

Is my current set up not worth trying to salvage? and if you were to try to fix it what would you do? I do not want to go in through the drywall in ceiling to get to the joist...
 
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Old 05-09-16, 02:13 PM
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Patios are typically only 4" [sometimes less] thick and not suitable to support the posts and the load they carry. What Larry meant by 'coring out the patio' is you need to cut the patio where the post will go and then dig down to the frost line. You'd then pour concrete in that hole with a post base set in the top.
 
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