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Old 09-12-2018, 08:50 PM   #1
BigV
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DIY Deck

I'm rebuilding the deck at Twil's house.

There had been a deck installed many years ago, set directly on the concrete patio. The patio was (and is) covered by a roof for the first two-thirds closest to the house. The furthest third of the deck was open to the sky (and the trees). No walls, only the house on one side of the rectangle.

We had a lot of good times on the deck, it's a very well used and well loved extension of our living space. We'd eat and entertain out here, work on not-indoor-projects out here; it is lovely and useful.

Well, the deck itself wasn't very lovely. The orginal deck was in very shabby shape. You can see here the extent of the coverage the deck has under the flat corrugated plastic covering.
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You can also see how much more weather-beaten the exposed section was. There were pieces that had rotted away and laurel volunteers growing up through the vacancies. Much of this area was unsafe to walk on and all of it was unsightly and unused. It was time for it to go.
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Old 09-12-2018, 08:52 PM   #2
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Since I had no intention of preserving it, I decided to cut it up into manhandleable-sized pieces and manhandle them into the truck and out to the dump. Let the sawdust begin!
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Old 09-12-2018, 08:54 PM   #3
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A double chunk, a mess. Careful where you kick those boards out of the way!
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Old 09-12-2018, 08:55 PM   #4
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Half a truckload, half a deck gone.
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Old 09-12-2018, 08:57 PM   #5
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Here's a big hunk, you can see how well built it is. It was in the exposed area and it's sodden and heavy. Very fucking heavy--it tipped over a little bit and broke my taillight.
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Old 09-12-2018, 09:00 PM   #6
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Bit by bit I moved the deck to the truck.
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One last island of deck left anchored to a critical support.
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Old 09-12-2018, 09:02 PM   #7
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This section required a more surgical approach, so I got out my tree surgeon tools.
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Freed!
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Gone!
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Found it.
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Old 09-12-2018, 09:04 PM   #8
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Like a lot of projects, well, my projects at least, there are changes to the scope of the project that were not anticipated at the start of the project. Sometimes I'm suprised by what I find when I reveal some suspected but hidden fault, a leak, a crack, etc. This project had a lot of surprises.

Here we can see the extent of the first big surprise.

Now that the deck is gone and the patio is swept clean it's clear that the surface is uneven.
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I want the finished deck to be level. Drainage should happen under the deck, so I don't need a big slope on the deck boards. But I want it to be solid, strong, level underneath. This "foundation" is not a good place to start. I decided to think on it while I undertook my first big scope change.
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Old 09-12-2018, 09:05 PM   #9
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Do you see how flat the roof is, I mean, used to be? In fact, right at the drip line, where the water drains away from the house directly onto the deck, that's where the deck began to get the wettest. What a dumb idea to drain the roof onto the deck. Why not a gutter and a downspout? Why not shed the water and the tree leaves and twigs away from the deck entirely? Well, let's do that. Surprise, more demolition. Time to tear the roof off the sucker!
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Old 09-12-2018, 09:06 PM   #10
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While we're going to the dump, why don't we just demolish those brick planter boxes? Sure!
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Old 09-12-2018, 09:09 PM   #11
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This represents something of a turning point, demolition is done, let's start building stuff! First of all, let's get some wood. And a taillight.
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Old 09-12-2018, 09:14 PM   #12
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We loved the light let in by the corrugated polycarbonate roof panels, we wanted to keep that part of the design, though with new panels since the old ones are in the garbage. But that flat roof, ugh. I decided to raise the roof. That meant new roof trusses. Since I did not want to reengineer the structure holding the roof up, I had to think about where the load on the trusses would be and where the trusses themselves would bear. I decided to use scissors trusses, a variety of vaulted trusses. I chose these since I knew I could not support them in the middle of the span. I also decided to make them myself.

I spent a *lot* of time researching the designs, watched a hundred videos on their construction, learned a lot, and eyeballed much of the process.

The design and construction of these trusses took a lot of time and energy. Partly because of my ignorance, partly because I was making up things as I went, and partly because they're bigger than any workspace I had, except right there on the patio. Here are the pics to prove it happened.

Measure
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Cut
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Layout (see how big it is? 22 feet across.)
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Tack the pieces together and add the next member
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Old 09-12-2018, 09:16 PM   #13
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Dry fit some more members
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See where they need to be trimmed, mark a cut line
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Repeat the process until all the pieces are next to each other
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Cut the pieces using the marks you traced
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Old 09-12-2018, 09:18 PM   #14
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The cut's a little wobbly there...
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It's about a two foot cut across a 3 1/2 inch width, and not much wood to support the shoe of the saw
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I used the offcut as a wedge between the two chords, more surface area in the joint overall. Also note that my work area is a couple feet beyond the edge of the patio.
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Old 09-12-2018, 09:19 PM   #15
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I was working with not perfectly flat boards on a not nearly flat work surface, the alignment was ... casual util I enforced it with a clamp. Once frozen in position with the clamp, I could connect them permanently with a gusset. Which could only mean more

Clamp, layout, measure, cut, repeat for all joints
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