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  1. #151
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    Sep 2007
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    Default Re: Build your own cabinets

    Well...the story is going downhill. I started cutting back on the rotting joist and found much more damage than I thought. Turns out someone had tried to splice this piece of wood before. I am not sure what to do at this stage. And at least two beams look to have the same problem. I am considering bringing the whole deck down and cutting back those joists so the rot does not get into the house. Any comments on that? I think I might be in over my head. There would ne to be posts put up at the edge of the house to support the beam up to that point. We were thinking about closing in that section of the house that is overhung anyways. Wtih the beams being questionable on the deck maybe this is the time to move forward on that. What started as a weekend project has now turned into something big.

  2. #152
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    Aug 2007
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    1,131

    Default Re: Build your own cabinets

    Quote Originally Posted by waltdeckhouse View Post
    Well...the story is going downhill. I started cutting back on the rotting joist and found much more damage than I thought. Turns out someone had tried to splice this piece of wood before. I am not sure what to do at this stage. And at least two beams look to have the same problem. I am considering bringing the whole deck down and cutting back those joists so the rot does not get into the house. Any comments on that? I think I might be in over my head. There would ne to be posts put up at the edge of the house to support the beam up to that point. We were thinking about closing in that section of the house that is overhung anyways. Wtih the beams being questionable on the deck maybe this is the time to move forward on that. What started as a weekend project has now turned into something big.
    Ugh & then some. Double ugh. Am really sorry to hear this, Walt.

    Have faced more than one surprise "gulp" situation myself. It's easy to get fooled. What appears at a glance to be okay...turns out to be a thin shell of wood and/or paint instead. Then the gulping commences.

    This is why I won't bid jobs of this nature. "How much will renovation cost?" they ask. "Depends", says I... (after too many years of learning the hard way. ) T&M or cost-plus.

    What is the *appropriate* course of action now ...also depends. Most anything can be done (construction-wise, anyway)...if the wallet is able... and the heart and mind are willing/determined.
    Last edited by goldhiller; 07-26-2008 at 11:40 PM.

  3. #153
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    Sep 2007
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    177

    Default Re: Build your own cabinets

    GH,

    Thanks for the sympathy. I feel like such an idiot. I woke up Saturday thinking I would replace some rotted railing and supports, splice a new piece on that joist and have it all done by the end of the weekend. I went and bought $200 worth of cedar 2x6 and spent the morning machining them down to 1" thickness. (the wood was really wet BTW..about 12%) When I started to disassemble things I noticed some more support members were worse than I thought. No biggie...I would just fabricate more pieces with the wood I bought. But then I started taking things apart more. And I started into that rotting joist. And then started looking closer at the nearby joists closer. Many of them you can put a screwdriver into...really soft. And then I figured out someone has spliced pieces into more than 1 of the joists. I am starting to think the guy who sold us this house patched things up, put on a coat of paint and passed the bigger problem onto me. Could I be more stupid ?

    I am at a major crossroads at this point. DW thinks we should tear down the entire deck and build up another that does not tie directly into the structure of the house. At first that idea seemed crazy but now it is starting to make sense to me. I would have to build a foundation to support a new location for the posts that support the beam (that holds up the cantilevered portion of the rear of the house). There is some concrete there already...but I checked and it is only about 6"thick. Thick enough to be a real pain to remove...but not thick enough to meet the needs of a foundation. DW started working on a design earlier this year that would move the basement wall out to capture the space under the cantilevered portion of the house rear. I was putting that off for a long while....but now I am thinking it is time to move ahead with that project as part of dealing with this deck issue. Those joists/beams hold up this rear portion of the house...and now I think they are just junk. I ain't gonna sleep well until this is addressed. DW has contacts from her life as an architect. One guy is a structural engineer who deals with renovation projects such as this. I think our next move will be to get him out here and tell me what his thoughts are. That will be $ out the door...but I need a sanity check by someone who has previous experience making these calls. That is unless you are available for consultation ?

    Random thought here...maybe I should put some support under the cantilevered areas onto that existing concrete? Something may be better than nothing. I can tell on those rotted pieces that they have compressed some from the load (you can see a split line where the paint has buckled a little bit.) ONe bright spot...all these rotted areas are under the deck and not under the cantilevered portion of the house.

    So now I wasted almost the entire weekend with a deck half torn apart. I guess I will go back to working on the new kitchen table...even if it is completely superfluous at this point. If for nothign else I will need the space for the upcoming overhaul. The materials for the new table are taking up too much floor space. Ah gawd...it is only 10AM on Sunday morning and already I want to start drinking beer. Too many things to contemplate.

  4. #154
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    Aug 2007
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    7,008

    Default Re: Build your own cabinets

    Quote Originally Posted by waltdeckhouse View Post
    Ah gawd...it is only 10AM on Sunday morning and already I want to start drinking beer.
    Sometimes that's the best way to start the day, just leave all the power tools and implements of general destruction alone for the day.
    I suffer from CDO ... Its like OCD, but in alphabetical order, LIKE IT SHOULD BE!!!

  5. #155
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    Sep 2007
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    177

    Default Re: Build your own cabinets

    I included some pictures of the unfolding mess. Wherever you see black that is rotted wood. 3/8 of the beams have this problem...at least that I can see. In one of the pictures you can see the house above that is cantilevered and sitting on those beams. We are considering putting posts directly under the house at the edge and closing that space out for interior use. This means a foundation and a slab. Means moving the AC unit also...which I have no clue how to redirect the lines for. That might require a trough in the slab to give a chase to route the lines. Any comments are more than welcome
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  6. #156
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    Aug 2007
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    Default Re: Build your own cabinets

    This is reminding me of a pest job I once did. The inspector called several joists in a second story deck that needed replacement. I replaced those and the assnip called more during his reinspect. Replaced those and he called more. I ended up replacing every joist in the fricken deck, significantly adding to the overall cost, and no recourse against an inspector who obviously didn't know what he was doing.

    None of this has anything to do with helping Walt repair his deck, just letting him know that he's not alone when it comes to a case of rot that seemingly has no end.
    I suffer from CDO ... Its like OCD, but in alphabetical order, LIKE IT SHOULD BE!!!

  7. #157
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    Sep 2007
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    177

    Default Re: Build your own cabinets

    I live near the Baltimore area. John Wilson is where I bought the cedar from. The cedar I bought was for the railing...which has bad rot. The original was mahogony...but I decided not to buy mahogony due to expense and the chances we were going to update the railing in the next few years. The deck decking material is PT 6x3...weird I know. The beams I think are fir...or some other soft of soft wood.

    I believe the original design was well thougth through. The house is designed by DeckHouse (who has been bought out recently). However well the design was thought through, the house is 36 years old and I think the beams used for the deck should not be tied into the house beams...because of this exact problem. I think the house design is really intended for dryer and warmer climates with its overhangs, generous use of glass and uninsulated roof. Yes on the vaulted ceilings BTW.

    The woodpecker problem was at the front of the house...and has gone away. I strung up an old CD (allowing it to flop around in the wind) and that seemed to scare them away. I fixed up the damaged siding.

    I need to create some drawings to show how we are considering changing the space under the overhang and the deck. I have to come up with some coin too. Early estimates on concrete for the slab, foundation, etc got me at 25 cubic yards. That is a couple $K right there. Add in new windows, new door, new deck and I think I get up over $20k when all is said and done. Don't ask me where that is coming from. Esp. when banks are not really anxious to loan out money these days.

  8. #158
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    Sep 2007
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    177

    Default Re: Build your own cabinets

    I will need to dig out the original drawings. IIRC the house ws built to print....but I will check. There is no indication of concrete under the brick pavers.

    I think you may have a point about the tree canopy creating a problem. We def. have it. It helps with cooling costs in the summer (it cost a LOT less to cool the house then it does to heat it). I need to get some pros out here to cut some of it back. The trees on the lot are huge and towering.

    We are obviously in a bit of a panic right now. We need to get a workable solution on paper and see what the costs are going to be. I would like to get the concrete in place by fall so I can start pecking away at the problem. I can't do the concrete on my own....so that will be a major stumbling point.

  9. #159
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
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    177

    Default Re: Build your own cabinets

    I have been meaning to ask. If we decide to build a self supporting deck I will need to put posts INTO the ground...correct? If so, what is the best way to do this? Seems to me putting wood into the ground is asking for a rotting problem sooner or later. Is it best to encapsulate the post in a concrete casing (Sonitube??) like thing?

    OR....

    Is it better to build a big concrete plug in the ground and then somehow bolt the post to the concrete? If so, do you sink the bolt into the wet concrete and then put a hole up the middle of the post for securing it? Maybe with a cross hole for tightening a nut down? Maybe putting the post off the concrete with a metal standoff?

  10. #160
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    177

    Default Re: Build your own cabinets

    I found these pictures of other Deck House deck designs. It seems like the idea of direclty tying the deck to the house structure is not unique.
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