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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
New Question Posted Below: Trap door in deck?

HO wants me to replace cellar door (see pics) with a trap door set flush into the deck - to increase the useable space of the deck. To me, this means 'make the space useable for an impromptu drunken dance party.' <cue "Jump, Jump, Jumparound...>

My original plan was simply to build up the existing cellar cover, pretty much as seen in the pics, and leave it exposed (framing around it, but leaving it essentially unchanged) above the new deck (& building a new set of stairs down). She doesn't like the look of this & wants the trap door to blend in to the deck.

The problem is that any door will have to be big enough for folks to get down into the cellar to service the HVAC, etc... My concern is that the (small female) HO won't be able to lift a big trap door that I feel is safe enough to be walked on.

Anyone put traps into decks? Think this is a bad / or okay idea? Any suggestions on springs / other devices that would assist the HO in lifting the door? (I thought of a heavy set of hinges & a cantilevered counterweight (see drawing) - but this seems like too much work for too little money... and I'm going to have to figure a way to keep rain out of the cellar...:shutup:



<From here down is the original posted question, answered satisfactorily...>

The existing space is somewhat cramped. (see photos) There are a set of concrete steps adjacent to a cellar entrance. Local code requires attaching the deck to the house via a ledger.

If I remove the steps, I can put in a ledger that is approximately 8' long. If I don't, the ledger would only span about 5' between where a set of stairs to the deck will go & the concrete steps.

Would you take out the existing steps or frame around them?

(The steps (new for the deck) down will go about where the bucket is...)
 

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Workin' Hard & Havin' Fun
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I'd frame around them, attach to the house over them, and also scab down to them... Also, this is under 30"... so their say on how you build is reduced. Be that as it may, it's still worth building it right- and stay tuned, 'cause there will be about 6 "right" ways of building it mentioned ASAP!


~Matt
 

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I like Green things
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You want to spend a whole day dicking around trying to frame around the steps?

Take 2 hours to bust those up and get them the heck out of there.

Man-up, bust up the steps!!

All you have to do now is re-locate the cellar steps inside the house somewhere and you can build them a way bigger deck.
 

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Windwash
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Tear them out at least to below the top of foundation with enough room for your ledgerboard/framing.

Looks like they used a different siding gauge for the left side of the door:blink::laughing:
 

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A note for those that do the occasional concrete removal.

Make your own sledgehammer. I made a 110# sledgehammer out of 5-6" (cant remember, lost sledge) thickwall box steel for the head (18" long) and solid 2" steel handle. put a point on one end. Ate sidewalks for breakfast, run circles around a jackhammer. Takes some a** to run it but it was an incredible tool. Took down one end of a 9" 80 y/o poured concrete basement, had handle tied to floor joists, like a battering ram. Oh yeah I did fracture a bone in my forearm using it once so be carefull.

Eat those steps in less then ten licks.
 

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A note for those that do the occasional concrete removal.

Make your own sledgehammer. I made a 110# sledgehammer out of 5-6" (cant remember, lost sledge) thickwall box steel for the head (18" long) and solid 2" steel handle. put a point on one end. Ate sidewalks for breakfast, run circles around a jackhammer. Takes some a** to run it but it was an incredible tool. Took down one end of a 9" 80 y/o poured concrete basement, had handle tied to floor joists, like a battering ram. Oh yeah I did fracture a bone in my forearm using it once so be carefull.

Eat those steps in less then ten licks.
That explains some things



I would tale them out . at least the top one
 

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Workin' Hard & Havin' Fun
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Why risk screwing up that old foundation trying to get the crete out?
decking flush with the bottom of the door, cut your joists to fit over the steps, make sure it's blocked & reinforced. This looks like a budget deck area... and that's cheaper than renting a jackhammer!


~Matt
 

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OK, if you have to have a ledger, bust it out.

But, that deck is only 18-24" high. Does it need a permit? I would not use a ledger on a low level deck, unless there were circumstances that prevented me from installing footings near the house.
 

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Are some people forgetting crucial things?? GROUND HEAVE! take them out... spanning over them and if the ground heaves... see where this is going??

Doing things "wrong" just because a permit may not be required is not right.
 

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Are some people forgetting crucial things?? GROUND HEAVE! take them out... spanning over them and if the ground heaves... see where this is going??

Doing things "wrong" just because a permit may not be required is not right.
In my area, it is not wrong, just smart. We don't have ground heave, just earthquakes. If those steps are stable, they probably provide just a much support as a footing would. I won't tear into the siding of a house unless I have to.
 

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In my area, it is not wrong, just smart. We don't have ground heave, just earthquakes. If those steps are stable, they probably provide just a much support as a footing would. I won't tear into the siding of a house unless I have to.
Another variable involved...how far are you coming out with the deck?...If your not already stretching your joists, framing around can be an option. Trying to flash under an old beat up clap board siding can be a real bear without tearing it up and replacing a bunch of it
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Thanks for the responses everyone. I'll probably jack it out. It's got some separation between the steps and the house already, so I'll hopefully be able to get it out without damaging the foundation. (fingers crossed!)
 

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A note for those that do the occasional concrete removal.

Make your own sledgehammer. I made a 110# sledgehammer out of 5-6" (cant remember, lost sledge) thickwall box steel for the head (18" long) and solid 2" steel handle. put a point on one end. Ate sidewalks for breakfast, run circles around a jackhammer. Takes some a** to run it but it was an incredible tool. Took down one end of a 9" 80 y/o poured concrete basement, had handle tied to floor joists, like a battering ram. Oh yeah I did fracture a bone in my forearm using it once so be carefull.

Eat those steps in less then ten licks.
You sir are god! A homemade tool that ate concrete breakfast, run circles around a jackhammer, and it takes some balls to run it!

To top it off it actually bit back at you! Yes sir, you are god!
 
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