Reply by bmerrill

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Posted on 14x16' Deck build and design thoughts

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122 posts in 988 days

#1 posted 08-20-2020 01:30 PM

Just went through replacing my 25 year old PT deck this spring with AZEK decking products.
Pull a permit. Review the code requirements. Talk with the AHJ.
It will take you 5 times as long, cost 3 times as much and required $1000+ of screws and fasteners.
If you can find Kiln dried after treatment use it, else you’ll be dealing with board shrinkage.
Remove the existing ledger and replace. You may find rot behind it. Flash, flash flash, and not with aluminum as it doesn’t play well with PT lumber (don’t ask me how I know).
Follow the building code and the fastener manufacture requirements for spacing and size/length of lag screws to attach the ledger board to the structure. I used GRK for this. Adjust screw spacing to miss the location of the joist hangers. If you want to leave a gap between the house and the ledger, there are spacers made for this.
Add 2 rows of solid blocking between joist.
Consider covering the top edge of the joist with G-Tape.
Are you going to picture frame the deck to hide the ugly end of the composite boards? If so this will require even more blocking. The ugly end can also be painted to match the top color.
Typically 4 joist would be anchored to the house rim joist. There are hardware kits from Simpson for this.
Simpson and others fastener companies have spec sheets and guides on using their deck products.
Use joist hangers with screws. Makes for easy adjustment of joist heights because they will shrink
I used joist hangers on the ledger and the outside rim joist, but also added 3 Fastenmaster Ledgerloc screws per joist screwed from the outside rim joist into the end of the joist.
Crown your joist. Keep the top of the joist as level as possible. Be aware, they will shrink.
With composite decking a double joist is required at deck board butt joints since the end requires a bearing of 1.5”.
Use hidden fasteners where you can. Where you can’t, use Cortex fasteners which come with matching plugs for deck boards.
Guard rail post attachments have changed through the years. It now requires blocking, lots of screws, etc.
There is series of videos on YouTube from FineHomeBuilding “New Shop Class video series on Critical Deck Connections”. Spend the time to watch the series, then repeat.
Watch the videos produced by the decking companies, Trex, Timbertech/AZEK. Download their installation documents.

-- Woodworking, the transformation of nature to culture.

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