A deck for my daughter

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Project by Karson posted 06-14-2009 12:37 AM 3763 views 1 time favorited 36 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This past week (2nd week June 2009) I went to my daughters to make a deck for the front of her house. When she bought the home the front deck and sidewalk had been patched and the corner of the deck was falling off.

I heavy wind came by a month or so ago and swung open the storm door and it hit the railing around the deck and broke it loose. We pulled both side of the railing off before they hurt someone. The front step was not built to the current code and it was very high.

So the need to replace the front steps. and a little work.

My daughter got the building permit and they wanted holes dug to 30” deep so she did that before I and her two brothers arrived.

We put cement in the holes on Tues night after arriving. It was hard on Wed morning so we went to buy the wood for the posts and beams under the deck The hurricane straps, joyce hangers and the cement to set the posts.

We completed the building of the frame on the first day. That night we bought the wood for the fascia boards and the deck surface.

We then mixed the cement to put in front of the steps and replace the patched sidewalk.

After installed all of the deck boards we went for the steps and railings. The deck surface was completed the second day.

We started to build the steps, using all of the math that hadn’t been used in a while and following the requirements from the building office. All steps must be the same rise and depth and have a kick plate at the back.

Pictures were not coming fast at this point in the construction.

We set the steps three times. First too high so instead of lowering it we raised it even more. Of course we had it all screwed down before me measured.

The third time we put each riser in and then measured. It worked the third time. It didn’t require any re-cutting just changes in the attach point. I also had to cut a little more wood off the heel of the steps to make it fit around our new cement.

We put the railing on the left first. It was a full section. The railing on the front required about 3” to be cut off.

The right side required two sections. We cut 3/4” off one end and 20” off the other end, that centered the balusters between the posts.

The construction crew.

And who it was for.


The deck is 21” off the surface. The building code only requires railings if the deck surface is over 30” and so we opted to not put a railing down the step to give it a more open look.

The happy construction crew after three days.

A side note on the construction. I bought a Hitachi 18 volt drill and ratched drill at Lowes for $229.00 before I went.

I charged up both batteries. Everything worked great. All joyce hangers, screws up to 3 1/2”, decking boards, facia boards stairs were attached with the two screw guns. It required an additional charge on each battry and a second charge on one more battery. One phyllips screw tip busted on the ratchet drill after a lot of pounding. and it was on putting in the stairs with the 3 1/2” screws.

I’m really happy with these Li-on set. It would run and when the battery was dead it just wouldn’t come on. So it was full speed and then nothing. If I was not aware of that condition we would have gone looking for bad switches.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia [email protected]

36 comments so far

View a1Jim's profile


118296 posts in 4858 days

#1 posted 06-14-2009 01:12 AM

Hey Karson
I’ve built lots of decks and that’s a winner.great job.


View depictureboy's profile


420 posts in 4924 days

#2 posted 06-14-2009 01:36 AM

nice job there karson….

-- If you can't build it, code it. If you can't code it, build it. But always ALWAYS take a picture.

View mtnwild's profile


4570 posts in 4808 days

#3 posted 06-14-2009 01:37 AM

Great post, I love the way everyone was involved. I’m sure the young learned a good lesson.

Just perfect…...........Thanks…...............

-- mtnwild (Jack), It's not what you see, it's how you see it.

View Dan'um Style's profile

Dan'um Style

14192 posts in 5264 days

#4 posted 06-14-2009 02:01 AM

well done my friend

-- keeping myself entertained ... Humor and fun lubricate the brain

View lew's profile


13442 posts in 5036 days

#5 posted 06-14-2009 02:03 AM

I thought the doctor told you to take it easy!!!!

At least you had good help!

Nice Deck!!!


-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View Karson's profile


35279 posts in 5682 days

#6 posted 06-14-2009 02:09 AM

I was clearing out my pores. But, yes he did say take it easy, and I won’t tell him any different.

My daughter told her office that she had no money but she did have talents. I’m getting her trained. After finding out you don’t put your fingers between two hot wires while putting up a ceiling fan, she did the next one by herself.

So she is being trained by on the job training.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia [email protected]

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13345 posts in 4954 days

#7 posted 06-14-2009 02:12 AM

Nice looking deck.

View huff's profile


2828 posts in 4566 days

#8 posted 06-14-2009 02:20 AM

Karson, Like the way everyone was involved. Thanks for the extra pictures, we have a habit of forgetting how much work goes into a project like this. It turned out great and I’m sure everyone is enjoying the new deck.

-- John @

View patron's profile


13722 posts in 4622 days

#9 posted 06-14-2009 02:21 AM

looks real good karson !
and a good starter project for you too .
just enjoy your family ,
we’re don’t have to rush anymore .

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View Grumpy's profile


26812 posts in 5132 days

#10 posted 06-14-2009 02:56 AM

You are good at building those decks Karson. Well done.

-- Grumpy - "Always look on the bright side of life"- Monty Python

View jeffthewoodwacker's profile


603 posts in 5085 days

#11 posted 06-14-2009 03:11 AM

Nice job of passing along all your talent to the next generation. Looks like a hardworking construction crew. The deck looks great.

-- Those that say it can't be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.

View Napaman's profile


5535 posts in 5358 days

#12 posted 06-14-2009 03:22 AM

you are the deck master…that is for sure…looks great…I like how there was so much involved…some demo…cement…joists…steps…railings….this was a complete job…so she learned a lot…and so did we!!!

-- Matt--Proud LJ since 2007

View grizzman's profile


7836 posts in 4584 days

#13 posted 06-14-2009 03:30 AM


-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

View griff's profile


1207 posts in 5043 days

#14 posted 06-14-2009 03:35 AM

Great looking project Karson.

-- Mike, Bruce Mississippi = Jack of many trades master of none

View Karson's profile


35279 posts in 5682 days

#15 posted 06-14-2009 03:52 AM

Lots of fun Grizzman. On one of my trips to Lowes getting supplies, they had the 1/4” cedar closet liner. 16 Sq ft in a carton normally 22.50 a box. They had a closeout for 4.50 a box. I keep wondering if i should have bought it all.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia [email protected]

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