PVC Railing 10×15 deck

People really liking these railings. Kind of pricey but no maintenance. So here goes another one…

This customer decided to not replace the decking but to keep painting it every few years.

This is what i am starting with. I will start by removing old railings and power washing the deck before repainting it. Pretty basic and any DIYer can do that. Really the railings are fairly easy. They are even called Easy Railings.

Alot easier to repaint deck than to paint all the spindles and railings. Looks good too. Have done many of these.

16×18 deck, wrap-around steps

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This is a large deck built with 14″ and 22″ wide footings 42″ deep per city code in order to handle the weight of a potential attached roof and snow pack at a later date.

There are 2 beams of doubled up 2×10, one is halfway from the house. The ledger board is 2×8 and attached with 1/2″ lags.

3 posts per beam. Left post long then cut them down at height needed. The middle row of posts were through a patio slab so i had to cut the slab as big as the footings needed to be. Then the upper footings were all 12″ in diameter.

Used 43 joist hangers for all the ends of every joist.

Cut over 40 stringers for the steps and screwed them in every 16″

Finished, other than trimming and reattaching the vinyl siding.

Deck railing pvc

Tore off old 2×2 deck railing and steps and installed new steps before installing white pvc quick rail. 1 guy about 12hrs or 1.5 days if first time.

simply removed the wood railing, then installed the corner and line posts. The pvc posts get screwed down to the decking. In one spot i needed to shim the bottom of the post. Also, make sure the deck boards are firmly in place and dont wobble. Screw the deck boards down around where each post is located.

The posts slide over the post base and there is some play to adjust each post for level. Once level i drill pilot holes through the base so i can install screws into each side of the post. This will hold the post in its level position and make each post firm.

Center posts for nice even spacing of each railing.

Next, install the railings by following the directions to center the railigs. Make your marks and take off extra to allow for the bracket at both ends. I make cuts with a multi-tool. Can use fine toothed/plywood saw blade if very careful.

Once cut, install brackets on each post for upper and lower railing, slide trim pieces over each end railing, set lower in place, install all spindles and set upper railing in place. Then screw railings on at each bracket. Slide trim piece over each bracket and that section is done. Repeat for each section.

After:

New bathroom walk-in rain shower

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Dont have many pics, but this is a stubbed in bath that i re-ran plumbing under the concrete floor to move the stool over for a big walk-in shower and added vanity plumbing before patching the floor.

Above, i am showing the pex plumbing for the vanity, stool and shower. Power is run for shower/bathroom lighting and fan.

Below, drywalled, shower done in dura-rock, ceiling too. Started shoer tile 12×24 tiles in herringbone pattern on walls. Diagonal offset pattern on ceiling. Shower floor will be 2″x 4″ diagonal.

320′ 2×4 welded wire fence

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Large yard, customer wanted fence to give dogs room to run. Theres farmland behind this lot with a barbed wire fence that customer may replace later with more of this fence. For now its just the sides. A large fence at 314′ of fencing. Below is one side. Here we are finishing digging holes and placing posts, then on to filling holes with cement. As in my other posts on fencing posts are set in a row with a String line and leveled while filling holes with cement.

Out here theres no code for fences but standard footing depth 24″ to 36″ deep. The posts are treated 4×4. The posts here are spaced 10′ apart max. Standard is 8′, but those fences usually are wood and catch alot of wind, chain link standard is 10′ so went with that since we are using 14g galvanized welded 2×4 wire.

First day we finished posts on this side. Tomorrow i will do adjacent side. After that i will attach the mesh fencing to the posts and screw on the top and bottom rails, that are treated 2×6.

Below is the finished fence. It extends out 50′ on this side of the house and runs to the back of the lot 113′

On the opposite side of the home, below, it extends out about 43′ from the house, then runs to the back of the lot 108′. Around midway down the side is a 10′ gate for vehicle access.

Bathroom Remodel

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Below is the bathroom before

After 1 day below: I demo’d the bathroom by pulling the sink and fixtures, then removed wall tile/window trim. Removed floor tile except around toilet for now. Same with 1/2″ plywood underlayment. Then i pulled the cast iron tub. Cleaned up. Removed drywall on outside wall to insulate. Built curb for walk in shower.

Next, we will redo the plumbing by moving the shower valve to the left wall, raising the shower head 6″ and install a new shower drain and a durarock floor to provide a strong morter base. I Built a 18×16 rough opening for a built-in shelf above the shower valve, centered to the shower base.

I orders the glass block and materials needed to go in place of the window.

Below, due to per customer request to have faucet fixture placed at the opposite end of the shower, we had more copper to run than typical. This older home was done in copper so we didnt bother with pex.

With the plumbing done i replaced the original backerboard, layed a base of morter that the rubber membrane will lay on and started on the corner seat.

I have to wait for the morter to dry before installing the membrane, then i will lay the top coat of morter on top of the membrane.

Once thats done i can finish the corner seat which will need legs down to the morter at both ends of the seat and one across the bottom. This will give me something to screw the backer board to.

Below you can see the rubber membrane i wrapped around the curb and screwed on the dura rock, then folded the corners and nailed them high up on each wall stud.

Below, i poured the top morter coat, installed the dura rock on the bottom of the walls and finished the seat too.

I then covered all joints, screws with drywall mesh tape and thinset, just like you would do on drywall.

After it all dries, i will lightly scrape everything to knock down any bumps, clean up eveything loose before it all gets coated with a rubberized paint.

Below, i began applying the rubber paint. Its a gel paint or weather proofing found in the tile department meant for showers. It goes on pink and dries a red color. I brush the corners and roll the large areas.

I also, began tiling the floor. This tile will also flow into the shower walls. I will finish the floor before doing the shower.

Next, I will take the window out and install glass block in its place. Everything i order finally came in and this next week will be mild enough to get it done.

Installed glass block in a couple hours, was pretty easy. I cut the plastic spacers and set the first row on a flat surface, measured the width and made my opening close to that. I did the same with the height before installing them in the opening. I set a spacer on the bottom and layed a silicone bead, placed a block, then siliconed a spacer before setting the next block. Each layer has a clip on one end that screws into the framing. Continue until all block are in place. Then i siliconed all joints, smoothing them carefully with my finger wiping off any excess. Do that on both sides. I set the block flush to the inside wall. I will trim the outside later.

Then i finished the inside tile around the window. With the tile all in place i grouted all the joints. This takes some time to do with rhis special grout. The grout dries quickly and you have to keep going back wiping off the haze before it is too dry to come off. This grout is flexable, crack resistant, mold and mildew resistant and doesnt need a sealer. Its expensive but worth it.

Next i will grout the floor and sand/paint the walls, not in that order.

Walls painted and floor grouted! Next is to set the vanity and install the ceiling light/fan/heat lamp. Install threshold, trim outside of glass block and its all done!

Egress Window

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Find placement, check local building codes, call to locate underground utilities before digging.

This hole was about 56″ wide, out 38″ and 60″ deep. You want 12″ of rock fill for the bottom, below the window unless there is drainage tile along the wall footings then u need to dig down and tap into that.

Dig the hole bigger than the window well so you dont fight the fit, and you will need room to anchor the well to the foundation wall. Use a hammer drill and 1/2″ concrete drill bit. Be sure its level and plumb and the placement is right for your code, window, grade. Center the well to the window also.

Backfill but dont pack it in, and thats a good day.

Next is to mark and cut the hole in the foundation for the window. We need to install a header due to code with the floor joists above the window. I will be installing an egress window that opens inward and has a rough opening of 30-1/2″ × 40-1/2″. I need to add 1-1/2″ to each side and bottom for the 2×8 treated wood frame around the opening. This gives way to attach the window, exterior trim and interior trim. I will also be using a 2×4 header 4-1/2″ wide so i need to figure that in my opening size. I will need an opening 33-1/2″ × 45-1/2″. I have to also be at least 42″ from the bottom of the foundations footing to the top of the opening for frost protection. Depending on the code and situation your placement, header or window size may need adjustments for it to pass local codes.

Lay it all out on the wall and go inside and duplicate those marks. You can use a 12″ handheld circular saw with a diamond concrete blade to cut it out. Rent one if you dont have one. The block wall here can be cut with a typical circular saw 7-1/4″ blade, then knock it out with a sledge hammer. Clean it up with cole chisel and diamond blade to get it where you want it.

Note: You can cut the morter joints around one of the blocks and break it out to help get accurate marks on both sides of the wall before cutting the full window hole out.

Once the hole is cut out its time to cut 2×8 treated wood to fit the bottom of the opening. All wood needs to be treated. Next do the same with the header above(if a header is required). Then measure the distance between the header and the bottom board for the 2×8 side(upright) boards, measure it a little big is better. You can always trim it down to fit, you want it very snug, you should have to hit it in with a hammer several times. Glue the boards to the foundation wall as you go, the header wont need glue unless thats something that your compelled to do. Then toe nail everything together with 8d galvanized nails. The header gets nailed together with 16d galvanized nails.

Double check the opening for window fit. There should be an extra 1/2″ to the height and width for leveling and plumbing the window. Once its good nail it in place. Then your ready to install the exterior trim. I use 1x cedar. Nail it on and caulk all joints and edges.

Paver walkway and patio

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Jackhammered a concrete walk to make way for pavers all the way back to a patio area around an existing entry deck. I will be using 200 4×8 pavers and 165 16″ square pavers.

I will be leveling out the dirt, laying down a sand bed and will use small 4×8 pavers as a border and use the 16″ pavers inside.

I dug out the grass and dirt to level the ground before laying sand down.

I set all rhe full pieces before going back to fill in cut pieces. 

The fence is not quite parallel with the garage so there will need to be cut pieces most of the way down the fence side, until its thin enough i can fill the gap with the joint locking sand.

Below, i ended up filling the gap with concrete that i colored with brick red dye. I smoothed it and made grooves to match the pavers.

The dye should fade as the concrete dries. I do think i should have mixed a tan and black or sprinkled a powder dye in those other colors to get a better match, time will tell with this though. Better than a basic grey concrete look, also it would be tough trying to fit slivers of pavers that may break while cutting them into the groove.

Below, I have almost finished the pavers, edges and planter. First i finished redoing the deck surface and also took off the 3ft wide steps and built 5.5ft wide steps to fit the curves on the patio and allow room to get around the deck to the hose spicket…

You can see the 16 pavers now, but once the locking sand is spread and done it will look much differently.

Next i power washed the entire area to prep for sand. It must all be dry before spreading sand.

Below, i have spread the locking sand. Just pour the sand out and move around into all joints with a broom. Be gentle not to move the sand out of the joints yet get it all off the surface of the pavers. Once it passes the look you want its time to lightly wet it all down once, wait 10 minutes and do it again and yet one more time bfore letting it sit for 24 hours before light traffic. After a few days give it a good cleaning with hose and broom.

2 free standing decks

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This project i will be building 2 decks. One is 7×16, the other a 6×8. Both decks have composite decking and railing and will have skirting all around.

This type of deck is very expensive to conventional wood decks. By comparison these are going  to be about 6K, 3K for decking, 1K for railing, then the additional materials and labor make up the rest. If it was all wood, it would be around 3K for it all. But then much maintenance would be necessary as years go on. Staining, cleaning, replacing bad boards, etc.

I started the big deck, in 97 degree heat and 80% humidity, by digging the 6 holes for footings to support the beams. There are 2 beams since the deck is unattached to the home. The smaller deck will be done the same way.

I cut the posts minus the joists and decking, which is 8.5″ and minus 3″ for concrete under the posts.

I set all the posts into the empty holes and then built the deck on the ground. Once built i had help lifting it up on the posts along the home first then lifted the other side on the other posts before securing the posts to the beams.

Then i position the deck where i wanted it and put a little concrete in the holes, check for level and square and that the posts are level as you fill the holes up with concrete.

In the photo you can see the doubled up 2×8 acting as the beam along the house and adjacent side. Once in place i installed joist hangers on both ends of each joist.

below, got alot done since last post…..

Built 5′ wide steps, risers are 5/8″ composite and treads and decking are 1″ composite. Its attached with hidden clips and screws that go between the boards. The end boards or edgeboards and trim/treads goes on with surface screws that match the color of the material. Before laying the decking surface i attached the skirting with the upper channel flush with deck and the lower channel gets fit and nailed into the ground with gutter spikes. Cut and fit skirting, bend it around corners and overlap ends. Each joint has a piece of lower channel cut as virtical supports behind each joint.

Once done, I ran an edge board around the deck surface except along the home and 45 degree cut the corners, like a picture frame. Then square cut one end of the deck boards that go between the edge boards and cut the other end to fit. 

The back deck started, same method as front one above….

ready for concrete in post holes

after steps built i installed upper channel for skirting, flush with wood deck. Then the actual deck material will just cover that channel.

The steps above are 35 3/4″ treads and 4 1/4″ risers, purpose to have flat non-slip, gradual steps big enough for guests that use walkers. The 5 steps are nearly 15′ long all together.

Above, follow installation instructions on composite railing kits. Set posts in 1″ from edge, screw down the base, slide post in base, level it, and put screws from base into post.