Deck in a Day
Last year we DIY built a big ol' garapa deck that I said we were going to knock out in a week but that ended up taking about 3 months. It's chronicled in the link below (though GW irritatingly "lost" the last month's worth of posts).
Anyway, in a bit of an attempt to redeem myself from that estimating gaffe, Mr. Weedy and I rebuilt a friend's deck yesterday. Yes, in a single day. Granted, it was much smaller and simpler than ours, but we were still pretty happy with our rapid pace. The homeowners did provide some helping hands when needed.
It started out as a blue 10x10 deck 5 feet off the ground. This photo wasn't taken until after the decking and railings were removed, but the railings. were top and bottom rails with big X's across the openings.
Count the other violations of current code: the 4x4 posts were sitting bare on the concrete without separation, anchor, or support. It was put together with nails only: no screws, no metal ties of any sort. There was a ledger board attached to the masonry wall, and when we removed it, found that it was only held onto the house with a single tapcon screw. Talk about an accident waiting to happen! Not to mention that people going down the 2-stringered, riser-free stairs were at risk of hitting their head on the protruding eave.
Anyway, we dove in, and had it framed and decked by lunchtime.
And we added the railings and stairs in the afternoon.
We did end up short 2 2x4s for the bottom rails on the stairs, and rather than make one more run to the hardware store, we opted to go back next weekend and take an hour to screw those in and add the ballusters all the way down.
It felt good to yank out a decrepit safety hazard and give the happy homeowners somethings safe for them and their young kiddos. It's got plenty of metal and screws connecting everything, no openings bigger than 4" anywhere, triple stringers, diagonal bracing, and some L-brackets holding it against the house, though it's plenty stable without them.
And we really built this thing in a day! Woo hoo!
Here is a link that might be useful: Garapa deck