|Project by BillyJ||posted 08-28-2009 05:32 AM||2139 views||0 times favorited||7 comments|
The jobs keep coming at my in-laws house. I just finished this one today! This is another one of those projects we have been working on them to allow me to build. They have a small backyard, and didn’t want a huge deck. I guess the impetus for the deck came after a contractor built a ramp for them (and was too steep for them to go down). Fortunately, I was able to utilize the entire ramp, so that cut the material costs a bit.
The deck is 8’ x 14’, with a 40” wide ramp. I had to drop 23” from the door (which I also had to move) to grade. In order to keep as much deck, and decrease the slope, I ran the ramp along the front of the deck, then angled another ramp from that point. Wanting to make this deck accessible for wheelchair use later, I have a 40” x 70” flat section where the two ramps meet.
Perhaps the most difficult part (because I didn’t double check my math), was the compound angle ramp. I thought all of the angles were correct, but it turned out that one of my joists was off by 1 1/2”! Oh well, fortunately, that joist was inconspicuous, so I was able to shim the section with a 2×2.
For those of you wanting to tackle a deck, here are some things I’ve learned from the decks I have built:
1. Allow much more time than you think – for all aspects of the job. My father-in-law said he had some buried power lines going to his garage, so I thought I would be better to dig the holes with a hand auger. The first hole took about 3 minutes to bore 48”. I thought – no problem, this job should take me about 2 hours – tops. That was – until I hit a garbage dump. Shown in in the pic below, I pulled up a kerosene heater, a 1934 Model A steering wheel, and a lot of glass bottles and jars. Everything shown was from ONE hole.
2. I always use exterior adhesive on all of my decking. It stops boards from popping up, and I don’t have to worry about those 16 gauge finish nails rusting out. After only one year of his ramp being in the weather (the one I tore down), almost every nail was rusted. In another year, the balusters would have started falling off.
3. Despite every attempt NOT to work in hot weather, it seemed that every time I was able to work, it was 90 degrees with 90% humidity. I sucked down a case of bottled water. Keep a lot on hand. I’ll post an add-on deck I built for my youngest son that lives in MO. When I built that one, it was 105 degrees and 90% humidity. It never fails.
4. Finally, buy TOOLS! One of the best tools (probably because it saves my back and my time) is the deck screw gun. In one of the pics you see me using my TyRex deck screw gun (TyRex is the parent company to Senco). If you plan on doing more than one deck, this is the way to go – period.
-- No matter how many times I measure, I always forget the dimensions before I cut.