Deck Advice


Hello everyone, I am doing some deck re-building and I was looking for some good advice. First of all the side railings seem to follow the pitch of the deck which is about an inch out of level over the course of 4 feet. Is there any reason I should keep the pitch on the rails or should I make them level? I mean are they built that way so that rain water runs off of the rails like it would on the deck or is it just estetic?
Also, I've been advised to wait up to 30 days before painting PT. Is this absolutely necessary? How long should I wait or should I wait at all?
Finally, does anyone know of a good wood to use for decks that is less expensive than PT and can be painted right away?
If anyone has any suggestions I would be greatly appreciative. Thanks, J in Boston
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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

Don't know if it is cheaper but Roger from TOH showed wood that was treated with Borate instead of CCA or ACQ. Don't know if it lasts longer but it looks a lot better, unless you like green wood.
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On 31 Aug 2006 06:07:41 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

Personal choice. A level rail allows you to rest a potted plant or beverage glass. A slanted rail will stand up to the elements better.

PT wood is very wet. I read "6 months or longer." Do not use paint, use stain. Paint will peel off, stain will not.

PT wood is very inexpensive to all other choices I've ever seen.

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On 31 Aug 2006 06:07:41 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

I don't think the rail angle is going to be critical, but might be more eye pleasing if it matched/flowed with the deck...
On an extreme pitch, such as a ramp, it seems that the rail is a standard height from the ramp surface, not the ground, right? Mac
https://home.comcast.net/~mac.davis https://home.comcast.net/~mac.davis/wood_stuff.htm
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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

Most likely they built it that way because it takes less work than trying to make it level. There's no rule that it has to follow the deck slope. How big is this deck that it has a 1/4" per foot slope? Usually the slope is a less than that as the water will run off between the deck boards.

Check out the PT lumber manufacturer's recommendations. I've heard everything from a couple of weeks to six months wait. PT lumber is saturated with water and chemicals under pressure, hence the P. If you don't let the wood dry out and reach an equilibrium the paint will be blown off the wood by vapor pressure.

There's not much cheaper than PT. PT is basically the bottom rung. If you're in a hurry and want a finished deck, why not use a composite lumber? It's done the day you put in the last nail/screw and you won't have to deal with painting. When you factor in the labor, material and maintenance costs composite lumber makes the most sense.
R
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Follow the deck. They will look crappy it they are level and the deck is not.

At least that long. Don't paint, use stain. Wait a year is even better.
Even better is using another wood like mahagony or ipe.

Well, you certainly don't want mahagony or ipe if you are llooking for cheap. You can use plain old pine, but it may also rot out in a few years. If you really want cheap, use old pallets. Do you want to build a deck that will last for many trouble free years, or do you want cheap and a PITA? Your choice.
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I have stained "soaking wet" pressure treated lumber with no ill effects. I did let it dry for a day or two in the sun before staining. Dave

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