I've got an existing irregular-shaped deck. It's got a covered hot tub enclosure and is roughly 16 x 9. I'd wanted to expand the deck but we had several large birch trees and a dog kennel to contend with. So early this summer - May 9th - I ripped out the dog kennel. Rolling it all up and putting it behind the shed with the soon to be overgrown raspberry bushes.
Got the wife's approval to take out two birch trees. One of which was the largest birch tree on our property (got another 20 birch trees) and provided massive amounts of shade over that portion of the backyard. After getting some quotes and hemming-and-hawing over whether we actually wanted the trees removed we took the plunge and got both taken down to the stumps.
Got the necessary tools from my shed - spade and shovel plus some wooden stakes - and I got to laying-out the general shape of the deck addition.
It’s 14 x 16 and I decided I would use the same construction as the existing deck which is simply 2x6 decking on 2x6 joists on 4x4 beams on adjustable U brackets attached to concrete piers. I started laying out the sixteen holes and had to make several adjustments due to the existing stumps.
After each work day (Monday through Thursday) I stopped at Lowes down the street from my house on the way home from work. In my courtroom attire I would load up a cart with two 4×4x8 beams plus four 12″x8″x12″ concrete piers and four adjustable U brackets and then stow them carefully in my amazingly versatile Subaru Outback.
Two days ago (Saturday) I finally had all of the pieces in the backyard and had dug all of the foundation holes for the piers. Using my trusty seven-foot level I was able to line-up the pier height with the existing deck beams. I then went pier by pier adjusting the piers so that they were level with the existing deck supports. After many shovels of dirt and gravel plus tamping the ground down with my handy 10″x10″ metal tamper I lined-up all of the piers and made sure everything was level. Because the new joists will tie into the existing deck, I've got to run the new joists at a 90 degree angle to the existing ones.
I back-filled all of the piers. Measured and double/tripled checked levels. I then nailed into the beams, through the U brackets, securing the beams. I then checked level again. All was good.
The following day it had rained nearly 1/2 inch. Again I checked level across all the beams and with the existing deck structure. All was still good. I then ordered the lumber for the joists (2x6x16) and the decking material (2x6x16). It should arrive at my house on Wednesday. I plan on starting work on the joists on Wednesday (provided it stops raining) after work and could possibly have the entire project done by Sunday. More likely it won't be done for another week because I'm rather lazy and would rather go hiking with the dog.
Modified by fsdks at 10:52 PM 7-27-2009