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The Deck

 

Our split-level style house has a deck off the kitchen and dining room that was built when the house was built, in 1983. Structurally, it was still solid and sound, but the decking and railings looked like crap, and the post supports were inadequate for the deck as a whole and were installed in a most unusual and likely illegal way. The deck was 16x20, with four concrete-filled metal posts along the 20 foot side, and no mid-span support posts - that means there was a full 16 foot span from the house to the edge of the deck with no support except at the end of that 16 foot span.

Worse than that, the concrete-filled metal posts were installed to extend below grade to a 20+ foot underground “footing” wall that ran the length of the deck under all the posts. These iron posts, extending into the ground as they were, had corroded and fatigued over time in contact with – and buried in - the dirt. One of them had even rusted through to the concrete, which weakened, and the entire pole snapped off at ground level, fell over, and almost killed the dog one day (those posts are heavy!).

Also, because of the long (16 foot) span from the side of the house to the first (and only) support posts, the deck itself had a lot of unpleasant “spring” to it, like walking on a diving board. Some years ago, Gene added two adjustable jack-posts in the center of the deck to take some of the spring out of the deck and to give it more support.

It took the entire summer of 2002, but Gene rebuilt the deck in place.  He dug new footings (seven of them), replaced the metal posts with wooden 6x6 beams, added a center truss with three additional posts and footings to take the spring out of the deck, ripped out the old railings and built new ones, and ripped up the old decking and laid down new decking.  Along the way he also added a lattice skirt around the whole thing.  This deck will not fall down.

First Gene replaced the rusted iron poles...
 
All the posts replaced, plus new ones along the center line underneath...
 
Lattice skirt installed...
 
Railings finished...
 
New decking installed...

For a more detailed pictorial of the process and progress of repairing the deck, click here...

 

 

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