Questions about a deck skirt

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Old 06-28-17, 04:38 PM
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Questions about a deck skirt

I'm looking to build a deck skirt to hide an opening. A picture of it is below (apologies for the panorama distortion). The basic design I'm looking to build is this. That's just an image I found that approximates the basic design; I'll have to adjust to fit my own situation.

At the far left side the opening (measured from the bottom of that horizontal 2x10 at the bottom of the deck down to the soil) is about 7"; on the far right it's about 15-16". Total horizontal distance is about 27 1/2'.

I plan on making the skirt under that horizontal 2x10 (i.e., flush with its bottom). I'll have to attach the skirt to those pilings under the deck (they're driven deep into the ground, down to bedrock, not encased in concrete). They were put in imprecisely, so that they range from 5-8" away from the outside of the 2x10. So I'll have to build out a different distance from each piling, enough that the skirt (on top of the skirt support) is flush with that 2x10.

That's my first concern: I'm building out from a large, round piling; won't any dimensional lumber I attach to it only touch it at a relatively small point? (i.e., what happens any time you attach something flat to something round) and thus not be very strong?

After building out, I'll attach horizontal skirt supports between each piling--1x4's, I'm thinking. That way I can fit in two (top and bottom) even down at that 7" opening. The top one will be parallel to and just below the 2x10; the bottom one will roughly parallel the ground and about 1" above it.

Because the pilings are about 9' apart, I thought I should also put in vertical 2x4's attached to the back of the 2x10, midway between the pilings, for added bracing for the skirt support. Should they go into the ground for added strength or just be very well attached to the 2x10?

I plan on making the vertical boards square-cut at the bottom, increasing in length in stages to deal with the slope, increasing their length when the bottom skirt support threatens to become exposed.

Anything else I'm missing?

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Old 06-28-17, 04:44 PM
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Can't you just drop a board down from the back side of the rim and attach perlins and your skirt boards to that? Seems like it would be a lot easier.
 
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Old 06-29-17, 04:53 PM
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That's an interesting point. You mean drop down 2x4s every X feet?

I went out and had a look at the deck and came up with two potential issues.

One, we get some pretty serious wind down here--this past month, without any particular storms, there were gusts up to 45mph; last month a gust went to 76 (again, without a serious storm). Considering the surface area of the skirt, might I need some additional back-bracing in addition to that attachment at the top? Would I end up needing to brace those cross-pieces to the pilings in some way?

Second, I'm not sure I can get to the back of the left 15' or so feet of the deck. The rest I can get to by crawling underneath, but then there's a joist that blocks off access to that leftmost section. For obvious reasons I'd want to put in any screws from the back.
 
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Old 06-29-17, 06:22 PM
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Yes if your rim is doubled, drop 2x4 down from behind vertically. If its single you might want to add a 2x4 shim to the back side of the rim before you drop the 2x4 down. (You will probably want it to all be set back 3")

And yes, once you add the horizontal gerts you would add treated stakes behind the gerts to keep them plumb. Screw the gert to each stake. Then add your fencing (skirt) planks.

As long as you can get one arm and an impact driver under there you got it made. Only problem might be if you happen to have a joist thats < 6" away from (and parallel to the rim). Then you wouldn't have room to get your drill in.
 
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Old 06-30-17, 10:16 AM
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What's a gert? I presume I know what you mean by context but Googling the term doesn't pull up anything useful.

I'd like the skirt to be as close to flush as I can get it, something like this, though of course in the linked picture it's flush with the top decking whereas I just have that 2x10 rim well below the top of the deck. In that case, I'd go with the single 2x4 (the rim is single). Before I get started I'll cut some wood for the skirt and see how it looks both ways (recessed and flush).

When you say stakes you mean placed into the ground? Wouldn't there be a frost heave problem with that? I couldn't get anything in very deep because of the low clearance from the deck.
 
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Old 07-02-17, 04:50 PM
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I've been reconsidering: are 1x4s too thin for the skirt support? I.e., the horizontal backing the 1x4 skirt boards will be attached to.
 
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Old 07-03-17, 11:50 AM
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Sorry, girt. I spelled it wrong. http://www.pole-barn.info/images/installing-girts.jpg

I don't think you need to be worried about frost for your stakes... their main purpose is just to keep things plumb so you wouldn't "have" to fasten anything to them. And really, the area you have to cover is so small that you might not even need stakes... I doubt it will be going anywhere if on your verticals you can get 2 screws into the rim from behind. Its just if you end up putting mulch or something against them, you don't want that eventually pushing on the bottom of the skirt and making it bow inward.

Only advantage to the 2x4 girt over 1x4 is that the horizontal supports will stay stiffer / straighter. But sounds like your skirt is quite small so maybe 1x4's would be fine too.
 
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