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Deck Design Help

 
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Old 11-01-2019, 11:47 AM   #1
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Deck Design Help


The deck on this college rental was rotted. Owner suggested reducing the size from 14"x14' so that it would not be so tight between the garage (and also to save $).
Using the same footings, I was able to reduce it to 12"x12'. He also suggested dropping it down to 18" so as avoid having to install railings.
The top section was set in the old location so as to avoid the conduit below and to be even with the threshold. It is at 26" and will need handrails.
The lower section is down 7" from the top level. That leaves a 19" drop.
I need to place steps towards the garage/driveway and out to the yard. 19"2=two 9.5" steps. 19"3=two 6.3" steps.
The lower level is not yet secured and could be easily moved.
Any suggestions as to how to avoid lower railings or how to get the risers to 7" would be appreciated.

I have attempted to upload photos but I get this message each time..1 006.jpg:
Upload of file failed.
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Old 11-01-2019, 02:10 PM   #2
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Re: Deck Design Help


Quote:
Originally Posted by sliver View Post
....
I have attempted to upload photos but I get this message each time..1 006.jpg:
Upload of file failed.
Then the image file is too large.
Upload to a place like this and post the link here.

https://imgbb.com/

Or, resize it to a smaller file size - less then 2mb, then try posting it here.

Or, use an online service to resize:

https://picresize.com/

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Old 11-01-2019, 06:51 PM   #3
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Re: Deck Design Help


Thank you for the links! I figured out the PicResize after a few tries. Great resource. I have recently posted a photo on this site from the same camera phone.
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Deck Design Help-rsz_1rsz_23_011.jpg   Deck Design Help-rsz_128_003.jpg   Deck Design Help-rsz_1_006.jpg  

Last edited by sliver; 11-01-2019 at 07:01 PM.
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Old 11-01-2019, 08:50 PM   #4
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Re: Deck Design Help


I have to ask, why break such a small deck up into two levels? Seems like it really reduces the functionality of the deck as well as creates a tripping hazard while hanging out on it. Is the outside rim single ply? If so, seems inadequate, especially with that large cantilever. Through bolted like that would not pass code here. It needs to be bearing on the posts. I'd like to have the surface of the deck dropped at least 3" below the threshold if you are in a snowy area.
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Old 11-01-2019, 10:05 PM   #5
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Re: Deck Design Help


Quote:
Originally Posted by TheConstruct View Post
I have to ask, why break such a small deck up into two levels? Seems like it really reduces the functionality of the deck as well as creates a tripping hazard while hanging out on it. Is the outside rim single ply? If so, seems inadequate, especially with that large cantilever. Through bolted like that would not pass code here. It needs to be bearing on the posts. I'd like to have the surface of the deck dropped at least 3" below the threshold if you are in a snowy area.
What he said
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Old 11-02-2019, 12:30 AM   #6
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Re: Deck Design Help


1st of all, what in the h3ll is all that white stuff??

2nd I would think the cost of your time doing all this design would offset any material savings
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Old 11-02-2019, 12:44 AM   #7
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Re: Deck Design Help


Raise the grade to get the rise you want.

All those railings aren't required.
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Old 11-02-2019, 05:34 AM   #8
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Re: Deck Design Help


Quote:
The top section was set in the old location so as to avoid the conduit below and to be even with the threshold. It is at 26" and will need handrails.

The lower section is down 7" from the top level.
That leaves a 19" drop.
I need to place steps towards the garage/driveway and out to the yard. 19"2=two 9.5" steps. 19"3=two 6.3" steps.
Any suggestions as to how to avoid lower railings or how to get the risers to 7" would be appreciated.
A good time to become familiar with codes is before you start the project.

https://www.decks.com/how-to/373/deck-railing-codes

At 26" height, code does not require railing.

As for the steps: a 19" deck finish to grade measure resolves to 2 treads @6.3".

You can install railing on the upper level without extending railing down to the lower level. Just approximate the method used on the original deck in the image you posted.

I do not understand the request for tread height to be at 7". They are what they must be within code.
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Old 11-02-2019, 09:39 AM   #9
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Re: Deck Design Help


Not sure where I came up with the 18" requirement but it has been in my head for a while as I designed my own deck to be no taller than 18" back in '03 so as to avoid a railing (I have since removed it as I could not find a quality stain but that is another topic). At a minimum, I will need a railing on the left so as to prevent anyone from falling into the egress window.
The closer the deck is to the ground, the less chance of anyone getting hurt if they fall off. My original suggestion was to eliminate the deck and move the electrical additions.

I considered raising the grade but that would involve too much labor. Speaking of labor, I consider this to be schooling plus I am also working on a time and materials basis.

I thought that all of the steps needed to be the same height. My mistake may have been considering the drop from one level to the other to be a "step/riser" and all risers supposedly need to be the same height so as to not trick the mind.

There was no room to lower the deck from the threshold unless the concrete stoop was removed.

74 last Saturday and the snow and temps in the 20-30's this week here in Northern Colorado have delayed the project.
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Old 11-02-2019, 09:54 AM   #10
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Re: Deck Design Help


When I purchased my place, back in '03, the front stoop was down on one side about 6". My solution was to cover it and the ugly landscaping with a full-length redwood deck. The Behr semi-transparent stain peeled within six months. They told me to purchase new and they would reimburse me, which they did for $120. It took me many hours to sand the deck with an random orbit sander, I reapplied and it happened again. They told me again that they would reimburse...no thanks. More sanding. I to switched to Messmers and had the same results. More sanding. I applied red label Penofin and was happy with the results but within a few years, it would look black when wet. I then discovered DeckStainHelp.com. My plan was to remove all of the screws, turn the boards over, rent a floor sander, screw down the boards and apply a highly rated stain. Once I had it disassembled I decided to scrap the whole deck and install what you see in the photo. My new stoop required removing some of the old concrete stoop with a jackhammer in order for the new steps to clear. Three years later, I could not be happier with my decision.
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Last edited by sliver; 11-02-2019 at 09:57 AM.
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Old 11-02-2019, 09:58 AM   #11
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Re: Deck Design Help


Quote:
I consider this to be schooling plus I am also working on a time and materials basis.
Quote:
here in Northern Colorado
No permitting or licensing requirements in your area?
Must be the /really/ northern part of Colorado.

In any case, the link I posted earlier gives all relevant codes in plain English. Read more, speculate less.
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Old 11-02-2019, 10:13 AM   #12
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Re: Deck Design Help


Sorry, I failed mention that I did click on the link, read it and was surprised that I had thought that the requirement was 18" for all of these years.
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Old 11-02-2019, 11:20 AM   #13
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Re: Deck Design Help


I'm sure the deck guys will chime in soon. They are just being kind at the moment.

There looks to be a whole lot wrong with what you have going on. Would have been easier to just dig new pads or set new premade pads and use a proper post and beam design.

The two levels are very dangerous on that small deck.

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Old 11-02-2019, 07:03 PM   #14
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Re: Deck Design Help


It is not too late to modify it.
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Old 11-02-2019, 07:07 PM   #15
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Re: Deck Design Help


30" without a railing seems quite generous. I know a drywall guy that fell off of an 18" platform and broke his arm.
Was the code 18" at one time? Not sure why I had that number in my head all of these years.
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Old 11-02-2019, 08:01 PM   #16
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Re: Deck Design Help


Wholly Crap. (sic)

Where to begin??


Schooling yourself while the customer pays T&M is not cool.

Do you have a Code Book? Do you know where to find one? Do you know what Code cycle your AHJ is on right now?

Chances are, your local AHJ has adopted DCA6. Pretty easy to find, it's a free download, go get it.

If demo'ing a little concrete step is gonna put you over the edge, maybe you should pass on this job.

My advice, start over, and do it right.

Plan first, build second.
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Old 11-02-2019, 09:38 PM   #17
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Re: Deck Design Help


Fort Collins, Greeley, Loveland, Larimer County.
They usually are all about the same.

https://www.fcgov.com/building/res-requirements

https://www.larimer.org/building/codes
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Old 11-02-2019, 10:08 PM   #18
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Re: Deck Design Help


You don't have to have all the codes memorized, but you do need to learn where to find what you need in the code. That's some hours of reading deck related codes.

Going from memory, the only context 18" is called out is anything within 18" of grade has to be treated or naturally rot resistant.

The first thing to establish when designing a deck is

*is it part of a required egress?*

Codes for required egress also apply, in addition to the regular deck code.

Last edited by hdavis; 11-02-2019 at 10:12 PM.
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Old 11-03-2019, 08:57 AM   #19
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Re: Deck Design Help


Quote:
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30" without a railing seems quite generous. I know a drywall guy that fell off of an 18" platform and broke his arm.
Was the code 18" at one time? Not sure why I had that number in my head all of these years.
Never go by what a drywall guy has done or what he says he can do He He.
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Old 11-03-2019, 09:01 AM   #20
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Re: Deck Design Help


30" round these parts, 250 sqft or less measured 3' out no plans or permit needed or inspections.

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