Deck is done!!! - GOOD CONTRACTOR ALERT!!!

Page 1 of 2  
Well boy was this refreshing.......Le me begin by stating that I have absolutely NO connection with this company other than being a customer of theirs by hiring them to build our deck.
Pictures are here, and story is below:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/91696572@N00/36785729/in/photostream /
The deck is Pressute Treated framing with Trex accents (saddle color) with reinforced PVC railings with 12 Watt lights on each post cap.
We contracted a company, Deck Tech, www.decktechusa.com back in April to build our deck. We met with the contractor, formulated a deck design, and drew up a contract. At that time, he gave us a start date of August 15th. When we built our house I got very used to contractors not showing up when they said they would, so I figured there was no chance this company would keep the schedule they set 4 MONTHS in advance. We gave them a deposit, and waited. There was some communication via. phone and e-mails as to the specifics of Trex color, and lighting, but that was it.
I came home the evening of August 15th to find footer holes dug and a message on my machine stating that they started the deck building process, and while digging the footer holes they hit rock (which we knew would happen and made him aware of at the time). He stated on the machine that they would be back the next day to complete the footers. They were in fact done the next day as stated. The crew showed up every day thereafter at 8 am, missing only one day (which I was made aware of via phone the day before). One day it was raining (rather steadily) and they were here working.
The workers were friendly, courteous, knowledgeable, polite, and very respectful of our property. The contract stated that they would clean up the jobsite when they were done (something I have seen in other contracts, but was rarely completed well). When the deck was completed, you would have had NO idea the workers were there. The jobsite was cleaned up better than I would ever have imagined.
There are still two lights that need to be installed (they are on backorder and will probably be here Monday) but the quality of the workmanship is outstanding. They even withheld final payment until the lights were completed and the electrician hooks them up (which is only right, but again odd for a contractor, in my experiences). The deck is rock solid and I feel will give us decades of enjoyment. I think it looks like it was always there, though the house is 5 years old. While this contractor does advertise, we hired him on word of mouth. I was told by the company that paved our driveway (who is a brother of a friend) that this company was good, and was the only deck builder for which he had heard no negative comments ever. I can now see why.
If you are looking to have a deck built, and are in the Southeastern PA area, I would strongly recommend Deck Tech. We are extremely happy with the service they provided to us.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

and
happen
would
missing
the
had
rock
it
was
PA
the
Have you sent a copy of this to them?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Yes, I sent it also in a private e-mail. I sincerely believe in passing it on when a job is well done.
Many people are quick to write when somthing goes wrong, but few take the time to do the same when everything went well.
Chris

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Sat, 27 Aug 2005 11:31:39 -0400, "SilverUnicorn"

quck question...out of curiosity, what did the job cost you?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

It was certainly not cheap, but I would rather pay for quality work than take the low ball route. Start to finish, with the lighting, deck, installation, and electrician for the lights the jov came in at $8850. We had other estimates for a 20' X20' wood deck for around $6000, so we decided to go with the Trex.
Yes it is expensive, but we went with Trex, which upped the price. We went with the higher grade railings, which upped the price. The bumpout for the grill was extra too, as were the lights.
In my opinion, it was money well spent.
All this company does is decks, and they do them damn well.
Chris
graced this newsgroup with:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
SilverUnicorn wrote:

Nice deck, grill bumpout, and report.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
"SilverUnicorn" wrote

Nice looking finished product. A couple of questions I have, which your pictures don't detail.
1. When looking at the ledger, there is no "Z" flashing. Is that metal ran behind the ledger? I would be concerned of long term results, having bolts through the metal from lags. Obviously water will enter the holes. Did they run a water/ice shield behind the metal?
2. The joists appear to be held in place by nails, no joist hangers are visible. Are nails the only support holding up the joists to the ledger?
3. What is the span between the beams? Did they put in solid bridging b/4 they put down the decking?
As you probably are already aware, the construction of the main support system is the most important. Ginger bread serves no purpose for the long term outcome.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
As for your questions:

There was Z channel installed. The one close up photo of the dech meeting the house was taked before it was installed. I made sure this was done, but good question.

There are indeed joist hangers holding the joists. I guess I did not get them in the photo. The are beefier than any I have ever seen actually.

The span is 12" on the beams - Not sure what you mean by solid bridging. If you mean pieces of wood perpindicular to the beams then yes, this was done as well.

Definately, and those were quite valid questions. Thank you for your concern :-)
Chris

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
"SilverUnicorn" wrote

but
To be truthful with you, "Z" channel goes over the ledger b/4 the joists are in place. It's impossible to run a "Z", after the joists are in place.
There has been more than one post in this NG regarding rotted out rim joist.

I wonder why then, in the one picture that has the cantilevered cove, they toe nailed about 8 nails to the joist, and this is on one side.

If
I meant the distance between the beams which the joist set on top. Here is a link which shows "cross bridging", you can substitute solid bridging/blocking. http://tinyurl.com/cobya
I also noticed seperate joists over the beams, which has no ties in place. There should be a tie system via bought, from Simpson, or a hand made, sistering along the joists with 2"x material. To save on costs instead of a continous length of 2"x material is why they used shorter lengths. They should've had the decency to tie them together correctly.
I don't see any tie system from the beam to the support posts. Typically, people toe nail to save on material costs.
Look, I'm not trying to tear down your project. I've been involved in correcting others failed projects, those things that matter are why problems occur.
As long as you're happy, I guess it doesn't really matter whether it's done right. I'm glad you posted a link to the pictures, so others know what to watch-out for.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
RD wrote:

It's not impossible, I do it all the time. Cutting 45s in the flashing on both sides of each joist and bending it down over the ledger and joists works just fine. The ledger is treated and is on top of building paper (I don't use building wrap in this instance, but it'd probably be fine) so even if a couple of drops of water did get through they won't affect anything.

I'm not sure what you mean by cantilevered cove. I can't see enough detail in the photos to determine the nailing on the BBQ bumpout. If you're talking about where the joist runs into the ledger at the 45 degree bay...well, that's the reason. The contractor may have left out connectors at the 45 bay - it'd be interesting to see whether he did or not.
There are decades of proof that proper toenails (or facenails for that matter) are a perfectly adequate connection. Building inspectors buy into the metal connector mentality - that it's impossible to build anything without them. It's just not true. Metal connectors are not an inconsiderable expense and overkill is not better building. The main reason you see them everywhere is due to the ease of inspection, hurricane and seismic load concerns. For those reasons some codes now require them almost everywhere. If the OP is in an active fault area, there might be a concern.
Let's see how just toenails works out:
your count of 8 toenails (assume 10d minimum) into SYP 75#/ea in shear = 600# load capability joists 16" OC, 1.33 x L(tributary length) x 50#/SF load (live and dead) (600/50)/1.33 = L(possible) = ~9' OP said deck was about 20'x20', centered beam, 10' span, L(actual) = 5' and that's for the main run - L at the bay would be less.
I don't see a problem there (and even less of a concern if you meant the smaller bumpout)...as long as your count of eight nails was fairly accurate.

The OP typed " instead of ' but his words indicate he knew what you were talking about and the cross blocking was indeed installed.

Typically in that situation the joists are lapped thereby providing the connection, but with a 20'x20' deck, and with the probable rationale of having all the deck nails lining up, they butted the joists end to end. Since the blocking was installed but not shown in the photos, is it safe to assume that the butted joists were tied together with something other than the cross-blocking? If they weren't tied together it's going to be tough to install ties now, what with the deck being so tight to the ground and I would guess that the cross blocking is right over the central beam.

And other people use these: http://www.simpsonstrongtie.com/products/connectors/AC-LPC-LCE.html Some people put up the hangers first and others put them in last.

Your posts in this thread may be well-intentioned but they do come across as a bit harsh. Comments like "As long as you're happy, I guess it doesn't really matter whether it's done right." is a passive-agressive statement. Coming after your rather accusatory posts, it's not going to soothe any ruffled feathers.
R
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
"RicodJour" wrote in message

I should've said "it's not possible to do it correctly". A z flashing is intended to go over the rim board, it's not meant to be over top of the joists, cutting a continuous flashing at every joist makes penetration of elements more evident. Just because you do it all the time, doesn't mean you do it correctly, I suggest you take another look at your methods. You suggesting "it'd probably be fine", doesn't mean it is safe guarded. The reasoning is not to keep the top of the ledger from rotting, but to keep it away from the main structures rim board. Detail to critical areas, are a must.

This is the exact location, which I'm speaking of the structural integrity. A 40-45 degree hanger should be seen here, due to the eight toe nailed fasteners, one can only assume no hanger was used. Eight nails for "temporary" securement, seems more like a trigger happy deck builder attempting to cut corners.

Absolutely not. You totally are overlooking the "meat" at the end of the joist. Toe nailed joist with no hangers or bottom ledger, are unacceptable when used for loads.

I'm very familiar with building practices.

I might come across as harsh, but I do what I do for a living, it comes with the job. BTW, if I crawled under the mentioned structure, and seen what I seen in the pictures. It would be red flagged, until corrected.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Hi again RD -
I appreciate the info, and never once thought you were trying to "tear down" the project.
Z channel was installed, the joista are indeed toe nailed at the and of the deck, and the two sets of joists are tied together with some kind of metal thingies. (not sure the name, I looked under the deck today to see.
Thanks again!
Chris

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 8/27/2005 12:55 PM US(ET), RD took fingers to keys, and typed the following:

If you look at the 14th picture, you will see white flashing on the left side ledger. The angled ledger to the right looks like it has vinyl caulk where the ledger meets the siding. Perhaps they will install flashing afterwards.

--
Bill


Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
SilverUnicorn wrote:

Hi, Nice! But I did it all by myself. Providing labour myself I could afford all the tools I needed. And Those tools will give me a life time benefit for other jobs around the house and out at my cabin. DIY is fun and good theraphy for relaxation, LOL. Tony
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
After the way my DIY basement is turning out, I wanted the deck done RIGHT :-P
Chris

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I would have painted the rails to match your house siding and your deck is almost the right color, but I would like it to more closely match your roof color.
Other than that, perfect.
On Sat, 27 Aug 2005 09:54:04 -0400, "SilverUnicorn"

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Sherman wrote:

Next time he does it he'll check with you first to make sure you approve of his color choices.
R
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
LOL, no problem.
We like it and that's what really matters, but everyone is entitled to their opinion :-)
Chris

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Very nice. I'm sure you will have many pleasant hours out there. I like the idea of the grill bumpout. Adds a little something extra than plain rectangle.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Nice, refreshing story. There are many good contractors out there.
It proves the point that the best advertising (and the best way to pick a contractor) is by word of mouth.
--James--
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Site Timeline

Related Threads

    HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.