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Old 06-26-2007, 03:11 AM   #1
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Anyone built a deck???

Im in the process of helping my father install a deck at his house. We are replacing the old deck with Trex decking and extending the length on both sides. The original deck's ledger board was cut into the stucco and attached directly to the sheathing. We need to extend the deck on both sides so I was thinking about cutting the stucco on either side and attaching the new ledger to the sheathing as well. I was planning on making the cut out wider on the top end so I could put some flashing over the ledger board and stucco over the top of the flashing up to the ledger (hope that makes sense). What do you think? Will that work?!?

A neighbor suggested filling in the hole from the old ledger with some fence boards and wrapping them in building paper to water proof it. We did that but had to double up the fence boards so there wouldn't be a gap. We attached the ledger board to the house and now there is a bow in the middle section because the fence boards are just a little too thick!

Im thinking I need to take the boards out and cut the stucco and do it the way I described above (which was the initial way I suggested!).

Also, how the heck do you get the deck square if the ledger board isn't perfectly straight (ie if its attached to a crooked wall). We tried the 3, 4, 5 method using string and batter board and it looked fine but when you took the diagonal measurements it would be off up to 3/4 of an inch. Im guessing that happened b/c the ledger was pushed out in the middle but if the itself wasn't straight, how would you square it? Any help would be greatly appreciated!!!!!!!!! I hope this makes an ounce of sense to someone! I have been researching this for the last hour and my brain is fried!
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Old 06-26-2007, 10:54 AM   #2
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Anyone built a deck???

+++EDIT+++
I wanted to say I am not a professional, so if I made an incorrect assumption, anyone feel free to correct me or add their personal experiences...
+++++++++

I think you kind of confused me on the flashing on both the stucco and ledger board. When I helped my buddy build his deck, we put the flashing against the wall and the lip came down to cover the top of the ledger board. We had thought about using that Trex. Ask someone that has it and see if they can walk on it with bare feet, in the summer time. I think that stuff is a good idea but you can save money buy using wood and sealing it. I have a hard time believing that the wood particles in it wouldn't shrink and expand and cause problems in the future. I could be wrong about that but that was my initial thought when I looked at Trex about 5 years ago....
As for the "perfect square" it can happen, but when you are working on a preexisting structure, the house has settled and shifted, so there probably isn't a real 100% "square". I just rebuilt my deck about 2 years ago. I left the frame and once I got to the end, the one side was about 6 inches off square. I ended up cutting off the extra wood on about 6 of the joists.
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Old 06-26-2007, 01:04 PM   #3
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You are correct about the flashing. I guess what I was trying to describe was the top lip of the flashing. The one we got is an "L" shape. The ledger goes under the "L" but the top part of the L needs to go behind the stucco so water will run down the stucco and over the bottom lip of the flashing. If for example you just put the flashing directly on top of stucco, I would think water could get in between the flashing and the house. So what I was saying was to cut the stucco wider on top so you could put the flashing in and be able to patch the stucco over the top of the "L" to make sure its water tight. I know its confusing without a picture.
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Old 06-26-2007, 01:09 PM   #4
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Ok, that makes sense. My deck comes up level with my siding, so the flashing is covered. If your house is stucco, then you might want to do as you say and chip some off and re-apply. I would make sure to prime that part of the flashing so the stucco will stick to it.
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Old 06-27-2007, 01:05 AM   #5
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I would do as your first suggested, get rid of some of the stucco and get the bow out of the board and do the 3,4,5 method again and see how close you get. If the ledger board is straight you will get a more true reading on the squareness of the deck. If you can get it to 1/2" or less you will be alright. You can compensate the gaps between the boards to make up the difference over several boards.

I just built my mom a deck last weekend, did my own last year and am doing a 2 tiered deck at my new house in a month. I must be nuts.
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Old 06-27-2007, 01:48 PM   #6
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Well I did it they way I suggested and it worked great. Got it within less than 1/4 inch of square and don't think its gonna get much better than that. Gonna start working on it again on sunday. Should be done by monday (I hope!). The only bad thing is I won't be going to the lake for the weekend like I had originally planned! Oh, well....can't leave dad hangin while I have fun!
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