Ideas for a very tall 50 foot deck?

panamamikeMarch 7, 2010

I'm looking at the possibility of having to rebuild a 50 foot tall deck. I'm looking at potential options at the moment, but If I do need to build it, I'd like to get some ideas of what I can do.

Thus far a pressure treated deck looks like the lowest cost option. I'd like to get something a bit nicer but the budget may not allow.

I'm currently thinking I should have at least the first twenty feet of the base deck support be made of steel or something of the like. If in the future I'd have to replace it, at least having steel would help me avoid having to replace the whole thing. I'd also like it for more rigidity due to the height in question.

I'd like to know where I can find the best deals on materials and get some thoughts on steel vs. going pressure treated.

Regards,

Mike

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john_hyatt

50' high is intersting.

I am thinking its on a sharp hill side. More info on what is there now would help. J.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2010 at 6:22PM
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panamamike

Yes, it's on a hill side. There is an existing deck, but the posts are rotting and will eventually need to either be replaced or repaired. I don't know that the wood rot repair stuff will work.

The house itself is tall, 3 to 4 stories, part of the house is higher than the other. The good news is the house isn't right against a cliff, there is a bit of a yard between the house and the next slope down. Part of the challenge is the fact that the house is kind of in a hole, this is part of the reason it was built so tall, in order for it to have the upper level even with the road.

Mike

    Bookmark   March 7, 2010 at 10:44PM
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john_hyatt

About the deck,how big is it,what makes up it's 50' tall frame work,and are you going to try to rebuild this project yourself??? J.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2010 at 7:56AM
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sierraeast

Time for a consult from a reputable, licensed structural engineer as well as a soils engineer!

    Bookmark   March 8, 2010 at 10:36AM
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john_hyatt

I agree Bro, the wood rot repair thing pretty much says its time to call a Contractor. As much as I hate Folks calling me just for ideas I make the visit anyway and that would be a good place to start. J.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2010 at 1:12PM
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sierraeast

Good that you check into them anyhow, J. An experienced set of eyes, the more the better, keeps homeowners and diy'rs out of trouble. It's when they dont ask for pros like yourself for advise is when they typically get in trouble!

How many messes have you had to go in and straighten out costing the homeowner way more than if they would have had you do it in the first place. Quite a few here through the years!

    Bookmark   March 8, 2010 at 2:33PM
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panamamike

O.K.,any of you have suggestions regarding how the deck could be built in order to avoid future rebuilds/rot issues?

I was thinking of having the first and tallest level of the deck made from steel, then the next levels up from wood. Does that buy me anything, or should I just go with wood? Looks like pressure treated would be the most economical way to go. Any thoughts on alternative materials or good sources for cheaper materials?

I was looking at a playground and wondered if some of those prefabricated parts, such as steel posts could be used to build a deck.

Maybe some recycled materials? I've head of people using left over oil well pump parts...

I'd want to get the most bang for the buck.

Regards,

Mike

    Bookmark   March 8, 2010 at 5:33PM
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john_hyatt

Mike my Man, your going from bad to really bad to pretty silly.

I have a lot of ideas far as deckbuilding goes,in fact I can build one that will out last your grand chillens, in fact the chillens will sell out and the new owner will still get out on that deck and have a Lone Star beer with a party of folks dancing to the blues 50' high.

This ecno,bang for the buck,play ground stuff has got to go if you want info over here. Now get with it, you already have a couple of pros telling you where to start. J.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2010 at 9:04PM
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panamamike

Mon, Mar 8, 10 at 21:04

This ecno,bang for the buck,play ground stuff has got to go if you want info over here. Now get with it, you already have a couple of pros telling you where to start. J.
***>>

John,

I don't have an issue with being told that I'm going down the wrong path. That's fine. I'm just throwing out ideas of some solutions that crossed my mind. If they don't make sense, that's fine, let me know that's the case and if you have some insight as to why it's a bad Idea, I'd like to know that too.

Apparently you have ideas of how it should be done. I'd be interested in knowing how you'd approach the problem.

I'm a bang for the buck kind of guy, I'd like to hit the diminishing returns curve at it's best yield point.

If it turns out that you're a money is no object kind of guy, unfortunately that won't work for me since my funds a limited.

Mike

    Bookmark   March 9, 2010 at 10:21AM
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john_hyatt

One more time just for you Man.

How big is the project,how is it framed right now,what is your budget, should people even get on this thing right now,what info have you from the local building permit store, what have the Contractors you have called out said. things like that.

If you cant go back as major as it is now a different plan might be in order. In any case asking about building materials now without a plan at all is Silly. J.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2010 at 11:24AM
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panamamike

>>How big is the project?:
If you mean dimensions, the deck is approx. 50 feet tall, with two levels. On at the very top and one at the next level. The first deck is approx. 44 feet wide and 10 feet deep. The second is 44 feet wide and 8 feet deep. The deck spans the entire length of the back of the house. It's covered at the top level by an over hanging roof. There are 5 6x6 pressure treated posts holding up the deck that go up into the over hang. the base of the posts sit on concrete pads. the bottom of each post has some sort of metal cap. There's potential for a 3rd level for the deck.
Ground is fairly level, mostly limestone.

>>how is it framed right now? I guess the above would answer that question. the deck sits right up against the house, tie into the house. there are a couple diagonal metal braces under the decking. Not sure what else to include.

>>what is your budget? This is the $64K question. I want to spend as little as possible. I haven't really defined a budget. I'd rather learn what option x, y, or z would cost before attempting to come up with this number.

>>Should people even get on this thing right now?
The deck doesn't look like it will suddenly collapse. The structural engineer that looked at it said it currently wouldn't meet code, but that is should be safe with just a few people on it. I felt this was more lawyer speak than being straight...

>>what info have you from the local building permit store
Nothing yet.

>>What have the Contractors you have called out said. things like that. If had varying opinions. Most just want me put up a new deck. Few would entertain fixing it. Seems most contractors aren't interested in deck repair work. One group flat out told me they don't even entertain deck repairs.

>>If you cant go back as major as it is now a different plan might be in order. Maybe, but I don't like the idea of minimizing the deck.

>>In any case asking about building materials now without a plan at all is Silly.
I'm not sure I understand your POV. Aside from budget, I'm not sure why talking about materials can't be done without a plan.

J.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2010 at 4:21PM
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john_hyatt

There is no material list without a plan.
reread

Agin.

If the local boys wont fix it ask for a removal rebuild plan.

Go to the permit store. Get an inspector out there ask him what you have to do to fix it/required work with a rebuild. You are already paying for this service use it.

The ground being mostly leval and on a hill side is intersting. You must have a retaining wall of some kind.

JonMon.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2010 at 7:45PM
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