Friday, April 27, 2012

Deck Project Planning

Alright, while we are waiting the 3-4 weeks for our kitchen cabinets and exhaust hood we need to focus on getting the deck up to snuff...and when I say up to snuff I mean untrucking all the wacky stuff the PO did and bringing it up to modern code. From what we can tell the deck was built around 5 years ago, which means its built with the extra nasty PT wood.
What I think that mostly means is;
   Adding risers to the stairs.
   Changing out ALL the non-PT rated hardware, bolts, washers, screws, nails, joist hangers...etc...hurray!
   Adding code compliant hand rails to the stairs.

Here's how the deck looks from afar.
Pretty big and impressive isn't it?
Now, lets look a little me figure out what needs to be replaced and how?

First there are no risers to either run of stairs.
This run has 6 1/8" clear between the treads.

This run has 6" clear between the treads.

I need to put in a riser that passes the 4" sphere rule.
Does anybody have any opinions on the best way to do that?
I think a single PT 2by4 would work and pass the 4" rule and allow some light to pass through.
I'm sorta thinking if it was centered in the opening it would be best.
I have PT rated pocket screws. Would two in each end and into the beefy 4by12 carriage be a strong beefy connection?

It also looks like I'll have to replace all the treads in the lower section that are not PT as they are showing signs of rotting...

Speaking of Stairs.
The PO used some sort of bracket that is not a Simpson Bracket and I don't know anything about it.

Unknown stair bracket.

The bracket itself doesn't appear to be rusting but those bolts sure do...and I believe you have to fill every single hole with these brackets.

The PO really, really, liked nails...

None of these nails should be rusting if they are of the correct type right?
So, I think I have to replace every single (if its actually doing anything useful) rusting out nail with something else.
I'd like to replace them all with PT rated structural screws from McFeelys, does that sound reasonable?

Corroded Structural Bolts
Notice how rusted the washers are. The bolts don't look so bad but I haven't backed one out yet to see...I'm afraid too..

 Look at all the rusting out nails holding this stuff together. Are they even required with the bolts in place? Seems to me that the nails are mostly just chewing up the wood.

Whats a PT rated joist hanger?

Or hanger nail?
None, of the fricken joist hangers are PT rated...just standard hangers and they are starting to rot pretty well, some are actually green and fuzzy from corrosion...It also bugs me a bit that they use hangers for 2by6's on 2by8's and 10's.

Questions: (remember that this is a one man operation)
Is everything that is rusting after 5 years need to be replaced? IE, the correct hardware would not be doing this right?
What's the best way to remove and replace the joist hangers? I've got slightly over 50 to do!
What's everybody think of my idea to remove the rusting out nails and replace them with PT rated structural screws?
Best way to add a riser to the stairs? Does my idea sound reasonable?

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Yes, I know that the most sensible thing to do is to tear the entire thing down and do it right from the beginning but we don't have the money or time for that.


Auntie Sue said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Auntie Sue said...

My curiosity is getting the better of me --- what does "PT" stand for? I can think of "pretty tempting," "possibly tainted," "partially twisted," "pretty terrible," and "pre-titanium," but I'm guessing non of those are right. What is it?

The MadScientist said...

Hi Sue,
PT stands for Pressure Treated.

Bror Heinola said...

Ouch ouch ouch!

Those pictures really show that if you do something you should do it well or you'll be redoing it in (too near) future!
Though in your case the PO has passed the buck to you.

I'd solve the stair problem by making the treads like this so the added wood would add some real strength to the treads so they wouldn't flex at all. When you use thin wood to make them they'll flex when used and that flexing will in time make the screwholes bigger and drive them out, not to mention nails... From the picture it looks like the diagonal runs (sorry don't know the proper term in english) where the treads are attached with those funky brackets are something like 2x10 and the treads themselves look to be thinner, 1,5" at max so they're bound to flex when stepped on.

Also the extra nasty stuff they used to use makes fasteners corrode really fast, so even if those washers were zinc coated they don't last for long. Hot dipped is the way to go unless you opt for stainless :) And of course in Alameda the salt content in the air is also an issue when it comes to corrosion.

Amy from the old homes list said...

Be glad they liked nails! Removing rusted screws is awful.