Double Decker! - Decks & Fencing - Contractor Talk

Double Decker!

 
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Old 01-23-2020, 07:26 PM   #1
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Double Decker!


I am a GC who does primarily exteriors... lots of siding and roofing - an occasional deck here and there but this will be the largest and most complex I have done. I am in the process of designing a deck for a long time client. Existing deck is roughly 30x8 with two Juliet landings above that are 5x8 each. The new deck design will span the entire length of the back of the home which is close to 55' and he wants to go out 12' from house. The deck will be 8' off the ground with existing concrete below. Customer wants to build a second level deck above that is waterproof so it protects the lower level.

Deck will be some kind of composite, joist 2x8-12"OC, will waterproof with in and out draining to a gutter (also provides ceiling to lower deck area). I have Several questions that I am hoping more experience can answer...

IRC states that a 6x6 post limit is 14' high - I would assume that to mean unsupported - allowing me to stack the second level on the first assuming proper bases and support.

Can I attach to the existing home with my ledger plate or do I need posts along the house to make the deck self supporting?

The existing Juliet decks have joist that continue from the floor joist inside the home... there are no posts supporting. Can I build around these for positive attachment to the home? Is there an advantage?

Finally, I need a resource for a cable baluster system. I have never attempted such.
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Old 01-23-2020, 07:32 PM   #2
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Re: Double Decker!


I'm sure you'll get a few good responses but I would be concerned about a)12' span and b) two story deck.

This deck's going to be expensive and a PE should get involved.

re: the ledger board-depends on what type of construction you have. vinyl siding vs brick fascade-different beasts.

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Old 01-23-2020, 08:00 PM   #3
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Re: Double Decker!


I second the PE haha

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Old 01-23-2020, 09:08 PM   #4
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Re: Double Decker!


Sometimes steel post just makes more sense. Certainly an engineer will need to be involved.


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Old 01-23-2020, 09:49 PM   #5
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Re: Double Decker!


Agree with the above, about a PE needing to be involved.

Cable balusters? Do you mean vertical cable railing or standard cable railing?

For a standard horizontal system I have used the following.

The Feeney cable system and it is very nice product.

https://www.feeneyinc.com/Railing-Systems


The Keylink system is an awesome product and as far as I know the only system that you can turn a 90 degree corner without an extra post or terminating the run and starting a new run.
Also, all of the cable tensioners are located within the posts for a very clean finished look.

I installed a run of approximately 50 l.f. with two 90 degree turns and the cable was as tight as a straight run in any other system.

https://keylinkonline.com/horizontal...ailing-system/

Vertical systems, never installed one so I can't be of any help there.
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Old 01-24-2020, 12:11 AM   #6
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Re: Double Decker!


Good advice. I will talk with my client tomorrow about getting an engineer involved

The cabling systems you referred are exactly what I was hoping to find.

Thank you for the quick responses. I will keep this updated and continue to search for responses and advice
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Old 01-24-2020, 10:19 AM   #7
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Re: Double Decker!


See M.O.A.D. thread
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Old 01-31-2020, 04:31 PM   #8
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Re: Double Decker!


So you dont have plans or plans to have plans?
Are you comfortable in designing this deck?
Will the plans you draw be proficient enough for an inspector to give you the go ahead on the project?
If no
What's the building department going to say when you apply for a permit with no plans?

An engineer isnt cheap but neither is building prescriptively abiding by all of the wfcm's minimum standards.



These are the things you should be concerned about.

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Old 01-31-2020, 04:42 PM   #9
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Re: Double Decker!


No such thing as a prescriptive 2 story deck.....
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Old 01-31-2020, 05:06 PM   #10
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Re: Double Decker!


I spoke with the homeowner a couple days ago. Prior to this thread I had been working on plans. I use Chief Architect. I was able to design the deck in 3D so that the customer was able to "Walk around" the project and see what the completed deck would look like. I used IRC code to determine post placement and joist length, and was able to design the deck in detail including ledger plates, rim joist, support beams and etc. Also determined exact placement of the stair landings. In total, I spent the better part of a day working on it.

With that I was able to determine a materials list, which I priced through 2 different sources for Azek, Timberline, and Trex. All #2 Treated framing. I presented pricing for both composite and wood.

In the end, the customer will not be moving forward for about a year or so. Prior to starting the project, he has agreed that an engineer will look over the designs I have completed and any changes can be made at that time. I can then take stamped plans to the city for permits that the inspector can follow.

Win some, lose some... lots of work for the answer I got, but I have done many projects with this client over the past 5 years and I don't believe him to be shopping - just needs to save a few more pennies between now and then.

Thank you to all who responded.
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Old 01-31-2020, 05:20 PM   #11
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Re: Double Decker!


Quote:
Originally Posted by hdavis View Post
No such thing as a prescriptive 2 story deck.....
Right that's basically what I was saying, hire an engineer.

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Old 02-01-2020, 09:58 AM   #12
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Re: Double Decker!


Did you get paid for any of the design work? Or if you get the job, roll that expense into it?

What if never does the job, or goes with someone else?
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Old 02-01-2020, 10:56 AM   #13
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Re: Double Decker!


Have never charged for estimates... While I would love to - there are simply too many contractors around in my area who offer free estimates. Design work is all part of it if we want the job...

I am in Kentucky where there are no GC licenses and everybody who got a hammer for Christmas is a contractor. My ability to sell is the only thing separating me from the rest. The homeowner is being told a bunch of BS from every contractor they see for their project, and stories of being taken advantage of are rampant.

Pricing here is crazy, I make it a point to tell my customers that if someone's price is different, there is probably a good reason. Xactimate pricing is all over the place, and changes radically from month to month, so if the project includes insurance work, the correct "loss" date could make or cost you thousands of dollars. All that being said, I make a good living by being honest and fair with my clients, and I charge a fair rate using the LMOP format we all have discussed. I no longer lose sleep over which client does or doesn't do... my job is to get in front of enough clients to make it all work.

If somebody has it all figured out, please share. In the meantime, I have come to accept that I can live in a nice house, and pay my bills comfortably, and eat out once in a while, and go on a vacation or two as a contractor. I will not be purchasing mansions, but I will also not be left wanting for anything in my life. Throughout everything I have seen and read on this forum, I think that is a fair assessment of most contractors. I just think we all have a slightly different way of getting to the finish line.
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Old 02-02-2020, 09:56 AM   #14
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Re: Double Decker!


I do something similar. Do most of the design work and figure out how I want to build it before engineering. That gets you good numbers for cost.
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Old 02-02-2020, 10:58 AM   #15
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Re: Double Decker!


I grew up down the road from you and went to school for a few years at St Leo's when it was downtown. Love the horse farms in the area.

too bad on your project-that's happened to me a couple of times after putting in a day's worth of labor. These days I'll only do that for clients.

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