Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Cable Rail


  Today is part 2 of the Low sloped roof deck, composite pavers, and cable rail project.

  To review this project it is a roof deck that is sloped for drainage with a EPDM rubber roof installed to provide a dry area underneath the deck. We installed Azek pavers and custom Timber Tech cable rail on this project.

The first step we did on the cable rail installation is to drill through the 4x4 rail posts and the Timber Tech Express post sleeves for the cable rail runs.

The tension and termination hardware is very expensive on cable rail so wherever the cables run can go through the rail posts,  the more affordable your project will be.

Here is a picture of Trex Rain Escapes flashing boots they sell for 4x4 rail post that would run through a low sloped roof deck or a deck drainage system like the Trex Escapes.

This is a good illustration of the flashing boots we installed on this project.

Once we drilled out and flashed all the posts we install the proper code rail post connections. With two 1/2 Threaded bolts and one DTT2Z bracket.

Feeney allows for 70' of straight cable runs, and 40' of cable with two bends per section.

The cable is spaced 3" on center and you are suppose to have support posts every 3' ... We cheated a little at 4' on center posts on this install. Because of the flat roof, and Azek pavers. 

We did not know how well the Feeney intermediate balusters would hold up attached to a floating paver.

Once you get the cable threaded through the install is pretty easy. You have a tension quick connect fitting on one end and a lock termination fitting on the other end of the cable run. You slowly tension the cable runs starting from the middle working both ways alternating up and down. This takes 2-3 times to get the proper tension. From there you trim off the access cable and install the caps over the fittings.

The cable rail is one of my favorite looking railing in fills and I think it goes with many different styles of homes not just modern architecture. 

Upper balcony deck with the top tier of fascia spaced out for water to flow off the rubber roof, We could not install a gutter on this balcony because there was no place to run a downspout. 

Here are few final pictures of the view this beautiful house has looking out at the middle shipping channel of the St. Clair river.  Where Walpole Island Canada is on the other side of the river. Walpole Island is an Indian Preserve. The Freighters run through here 4-5 times a day and at times will cross paths two wide it is quite a sight to see !

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Low sloped roof decks, composite pavers and cable rail.

Hello again ...

Today we are going to go over a project we did back in March for a home builder out on Harsens Island Michigan. This house is being built right on the middle channel of the St. Clair river where the ocean freighters cut through to get to lake Huron, it is also the border to Canada / Walpole island.

The deck was built by the house framers, and had a EPDM rubber roof applied before we arrived to complete the decking, railings, and fascia. The home actually had three deck areas where we worked.

Originally they were going to use 2x4 sleepers and PVC decking on the deck.

 The deck is sloped about 1" of fall for every 4' to allow the water to run off and to keep the space under the deck dry where they planned on doing a screened porch.

We recommend to the builder to use the Azek pavers. This is the very use they were attended for and in my opinion is the best option for a flat or low sloped roof deck.

The pavers are installed over a rain screen mat that allows the water to flow underneath the pavers. Once the mat is installed you layout out the grids, and then install the pavers.

 Nothing is attached to the deck so there is no worry for leaks because of having to attach sleepers. Also all the products are made from plastic or composite so they are light weight in comparison to decking with sleepers.

We started the project laying out the rain mat, then installing the grids, and then the pavers.

The install is really easy and goes really fast we installed this 600 square foot deck in a day with two guys. The real works begins at the edges of the deck.

You have to plan the grid layout to fit the paver layout with the biggest concern being how to finish off the edges of the deck.

The builder keep the bottom course of the stone veneer out until after the deck was finished. Then they will finish off the stone edge around the house because of the inconsistency of the stone veneer that would be hard to match up with the Azek pavers.

Here in the picture above you can see our progress after day 1 we have all the pavers installed except for around the outer rim of the deck. That is when the work begins.

Our next step was to install the rail posts for the railings of the deck since the deck was 10' above ground level the deck needed railings. The homeowner choose cable rail in fill with a synthetic rail.

The rail posts were installed inside of the deck rim and attached with 3) Thrulok bolts and one DTT2Z bracket. Then we had to flash around each post with EPDM flashing boots that were glued down.

Sorry I cannot find any pictures of the flashing install on the rail posts. Here in the picture on the left we have the Timber Tech Express post sleeves and top rail installed. We are working on installing the bull-nose border paver course.

We decided on this project to overlap the border course a few inches past the deck rim so we could hid where the rubber roof will run into the gutter mounted right under the border course.

 That will do it it for today ... I will finish this project off in the next blog post, and go over the cable rail install. Thanks for reading !  Michigan deck builders.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

How to build a low to the ground deck part 2

Hello again...

Part two: How to build a low to the ground deck.

 So we are working on a low to the ground level deck project in Macomb Township MI. Where the clients had a failed stamped concrete patio that we are building a deck over.

 Let finish up the framing details. Here is the framing plan see below. There was a small modification to the deck plan during construction where we cut the corners on the deck. The homeowner wanted the corners cut but the existed concrete patio only allowed 1'6" cut corner. Because we had the room enough without having to remove anymore concrete.

Another point with framing of this project is the location of the beam closest to the house. On a low deck like this it is a challenge if the house has brick we cannot attached to the house. Normally in a free standing deck design you would have the inside beam/posts a couple of feet of the house, but here if we do it that close to house the posts would be in the 5' basement back-fill zone.  Where the post hole footing have to go down to virgin soil and about as deep as the basement footing height. So on this deck the four posts would be 8' -  9' deep.

So we had a an engineer design a typical ledger connection through a brick veneer on short spans of 6' or less to avoid this type of scenario as in this project. The one post by the fireplace we had to do extra deep because we cannot attached a ledger where there is a fireplace.

Basically we have to drill 1 1/2" holes through the brick so the 3/4" lag bolts don't bear on the brick and crack the brick from the deck load. Than we install 3/4" x 8" galvanized lag bolts into the house rim joist to support the short spanned ledger.

Here are some final pictures of this deck project.

Here in the picture above you see why we had the 12" on center joist spacing, because the Timber Tech Legacy decking is running on a 45 degree angle the framing has to be 12" on center. Also you can see why we had all the blocking installed around the perimeter and up the middle of the deck. For the picture frame border and center seam board.

We usually always picture frame our decks so the fascia cladding is protected. If you looking at the pictures from part one you can see why it costs more or is a big up grade from the way most guys build a deck without the picture frame border over the deck rim and fascia cladding.

Above we are working on building a built in bench, which is kind of built like a mini deck on rail posts. 

Thanks for reading our blog. I hope we inspired you with a new outdoor living project !

Sunday, July 12, 2015

How to build a low to the ground deck.

Hello again ... we are back !

On this deck project in Macomb Township Michigan our client had a older stamped concrete patio that cracked and shifted, they wanted to switch to a deck. They have a pretty narrow lot and there was not a lot of room to easily get equipment back to remove all of the bad stamped concrete. So we left the patio and just cut out 2'x 2' squares out the patio to install the four post hole footings that are about 5'6" off the house. The other four post hole footings are outside of the old patio so there was no extra work needed to install them.

A big factor in low to the ground decks is cross ventilation, so the underside of the deck can get some air movement to dry out any moisture on the underside of the decking or framing.

Another factor is having room for the framing so that it avoids ground contact.

 Let's get to some pictures to help explain this project. Here in the first couple of pictures we pick up in progress framing this deck project.

You can see the carpenters installing the deck joist. Notice the existing old stamped concrete patio underneath the deck. We have already cut out the concrete and installed the post hole footings, the 4x6 treated posts, and the double 2x10 beams. Notice there is not much clearance below the joists, certainly not enough to have drop beam under the joist how most decks are built. If you look at the outside beam it is under the joists because it is outside of the patio.

Middle rim joist deck beam

Standard (dropped) deck beam
So the only choice here for the middle beam is to have it at the joist height. It is done the exact same way as a drop beam only the joist are all supported by joist hangers. This middle beam works only because we have a ledger attachment everywhere except where the fireplace chimney is located. We have engineered plans that allows us to attach to a cantilevered bay and through a brick veneer for spans under 6'
Here above is a picture of the proper way to flash the cantilevered bay. The siding and trim has to be removed and the deck ledger must be attached to the bay not as much for loading but for lateral support and so you flash the ledger. We use a pre-formed plastic ledger flashing that runs about 3" behind the siding and over the ledger. I cannot tell of how many times I have seen deck ledger installed over house siding where water debris will just sit and promote decay and rot. It is not that much more work to do it right even if you not attaching the ledger to the house as the saying goes water wins that is why there is a grand canyon.

 Another point on this job is we have a fireplace chimney in our deck area that the code requires us to leave a 1" gap between the deck framing and the masonry fireplace chimney. Here we beamed around the fireplace because there is not any way to attached to a fireplace on this side is supported by the dual joist, and the other side there is a 4x6 support post. 

I will have another update on this project in a few days.

Thanks for reading ... I hope we can help inspire you with your outdoor living construction projects !