Finally built the deck!
I waited until the temperatures got a little cooler, and once I decided to start my wife immediately scheduled a party for Friday, October 18 to be held on her new deck. At the time that was 3 weeks away, and I thought I had plenty of time. Well, I was installing my last course of deck boards at 10:30 that Thursday night. I'm still not done, as I am going to build a 4x6 landing on the side going out into the yard, and then stain and seal early next summer, but we definitely have a very functional deck that should last longer than we own the house.
Laid it out with string and batten boards. It is 20x24, and the reasoning for that size was it just kinda felt right after the preliminary staking out. Also, I could use 12' decking boards and only have to make one cut every other course. That ended up not being the case, but I only wasted about 3 feet of decking due to cutting off a half inch or so off each board, so that helped my budget out by minimizing waste. Also, once we finished, the size of it seemed to fit perfectly with the house.
Digging my six 12"x24" footings.
Here is one of the footings poured with a 1/2" j bolt precisely placed using a plumb bob. Also, I just filled the holes up with concrete and then cut about 2" of tube to place at the top so that I could level it precisely. I think it worked okay, but I still had to level the post brackets with some big galvanized washers.
Put a few masonry screws in to hold my ledger board while I drilled 34 holes for my 1/2" x 10" carriage bolts.
Here's the view from the crawlspace as I installed my carriage bolts
Ledger board with bolts installed. I would have liked to have gone lower on the ledger board with the bolts, but I had to hit the rim joist of the house, so I had no wiggle room.
This is where I ran in to a little snag. I had planned to use 2x12s as my beams and outer joists, but I ended up with only 13" between the top of the concrete footing and the bottom of the door thresholds, so there was not enough room for the post bracket, 2x12, and 1" thick (5/4 board) decking. I ended up using 2x10s instead, which gave me about an inch of clearance.
Because I was using smaller beams, I was not able to span as much distance as I had originally thought, and had to dig 4 more footings. I made these 12"x18" and sunk the 6x6 posts 12" into each hole and filled with concrete. I know putting the posts directly into the concrete is not ideal, but I probably would have been okay without them, and these extra footings are just an added precaution. I think they'll do fine.
Anyway, here is the doubled outside beam assembled and being set on to the notched 6x6 posts.
Here is a shot of the middle and outside beams.
In addition to notching the posts, we also used 3/8" carriage bolts to secure the beams to the posts.
Here are some shots of the outside joists being placed along with some of the inner joists.
This looks a little iffy, but the joist is sitting directly on the post, and has 4 screws holding in into the doubled beam coming in from the left. I had these little brackets left over from another job and thought it wouldn't hurt to use them here.
More structure shots.
I started cutting and hanging the joists, took two short afternoons.
The decking itself took a lot longer than I thought it would. There are about 2200 2.5" screws just in the deck boards.
I got an itch to post this today, but I forgot to take a finished photo. So this picture off a friend's instagram of the party will have to suffice for now.
It is plenty big for our purposes. We didn't have to have a rail since we are less than 30 inches from the ground at the highest point, and a railing system would have made the deck feel very confined, so we left it off. In a few years I would like to cover the deck, but that is a long way off.
Hope you like it!