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Building A 2 Story Deck With Repurposed Lattice | Tutorial

Here is how Zuki built the second story deck 
I designed for our home. 
No small feat for one person...

Step 1: Ledger

During the summer months most of our projects are for outside . . . like the greenhouse project and window well decorative surround. This project was a deck on the rear of our house. You can see from the pic it is up pretty high (11ft of the ground) and it is over the stairwell going into the basement (another 8ft).

The first step was to remove the siding. A definite must is a siding removal tool. Cost $6 and allows you to unhook the siding for removal.

Here I have all the siding removed and you can see the Tyvec underneath.

Next I had to attach the 2×10x12 to the wall. I attached two straps to it and while I slid it up the ladder, Colorful Canary held it in place from inside the door while I popped in a couple of long screws to temporarily hold it in place. I found the studs and then attached the ledger with countersunk 3 1\2 inch 5\8 galvanized lag bolts with washers.

I then attached the aluminum flashing over the board. I had this bent by a siding contractor who gave me a couple of tips on its installation. I then installed the J-trim around the flashing.

Then came the reinstalling of the siding. I measured and marked . . . measured again . . . measured one more time and checked my mark on the siding.  I only got one chance at cutting the siding as the stuff I removed is a little lighter in colour than new stuff/

All my measurement worked out, the siding went back in place and here is the finished stage one.

Step 2: Framing

I was off to Chester Dawe\Rona for some lumber for the deck. I had to pick through a whole bunch to find some decent stuff. I later remembered that they sell #2 lumber for #1 prices. I normally go to Home Depot, but I needed long stuff and Home Depot did not carry it.

My first task was to make a base plate for the 4×4s to rest on. After 5 years the bolts sticking out of the concrete were still good. I figured the tread would be rusted.

Here is the base laid in place. I have the holed elongated to give me a little room the slide it in and out to ensure the 4×4’s are plumb.

I framed out the deck and added the joist hangers. When I get the deck in place I will put in the joists.

Just a close up of how I attached the hangers. They were for 2×10’s so I had to trim the length a little.

Next I have to add the 4×4’s to the base and the frame, do a bunch of bracing and tip the deck in place.

I started by adding two more stringers. You will see why in a little while.

I’m not sure if everyone is like this, but when I’m working on an outside or rough construction work I like using scraps of wood as a notepad for jotting down measurements. This particular piece was left over from some xmas tree ornaments I made last fall.

Here is the frame all braced. Before bracing I checked it for square, expecting it to be out of square and thus needing a couple of knocks to make it right. However it was perfectly square . . . 78” from corner to corner.

Oh . . . I had to do a little caulking up on the ladder. The grass was a little damp. Perfect test for my anti-kick device (my own invention Colorful Canary will post later). Not sure if it worked or not as the ladder did not move. :-)

Its taking shape. Once this is braced sufficiently I will lift the deck end, using a jack and more braces . . . pivoting it on the base. When I get it about another 2 “ of the ground I will tie a rope on the deck, go upstairs in the door and “pull up” the deck into location.

The bolts in the concrete will slide into the mortises cut in the base plate and that will prevent it from slipping off the concrete. The 4×4s are attached to the deck using 3 1/2” 5/8 galvanized lag bolts.

Step 3: Uprising

Up inside the door I had a 4×4 36” long that is resting on either side of the door frame. It is kept 3’ off the floor with a strapping legs. I used this 4×4 as a place to tie off the deck as I tip it up. You can see the heavy duty tie down straps that I used to pull the deck into position. Also note the vertical 2×8s screwed to the deck.

I used my car jack to raise the deck 6” and then I relocate the 2×8s by dropping them 6”. I then release the jack, build up the base under the jack and raise the deck another 6”. I did this several times until the deck was about 3’ off the ground.

Here are a couple of lifting progress pics.

When I had it 3” off the ground I went upstairs and pulled of the straps. No go. Hmmmmmm. Colorful Canary then came outside and said “why don’t you use the come-along”. Doh . . . why didn’t I think of that. In the picture below you can see the red strap connecting the steel cable of the come-along. I had removed the vertical 2×8s.

Here I am ratcheting the come-along and rising the deck. The cable is about as far as I can pull it in at this point in time.

The bolts sliding into the mortises.

Another view of bracing the deck.

Here I have shortened the strap and reattached the come-along. You can see where the red strap attached to the steel cable.

After a little more ratcheting the deck fell into place. Here I am screwing in a lag.

Putting washers and nuts on the bolts that came through the mortises.

Looking up through.

I reworked some of the bracing and started working on the stringers. Next, I will have to add the back deck posts and start the decking.

Step 4: Decking

First on the agenda was to install the railing posts in the rear corners of the deck. Here is a pic taken from the upstairs door. And yes it’s a long way down.

I climbed up the ladder with the camera to take a pic installing one of the posts. The clamp held it in place while the short piece of strapping (screwed to the post) ensured that it remained at the correct height.

A view from the ladder across the deck.

The corner post in place. I used one heck of a lot of galvanized lag bolts. Thank goodness for predrilling and DeWalt 18v drill.

I decided on not giving a “board by board” picture review of the actual decking. Needless to say the first board against the wall was a little tricky as I had to cut the boards to fit around the 4×4s. The rest went down relatively easy. I put a ¼ space between each board. Here are a couple of shots from the ground.

And here are two from the deck. It was getting late in the afternoon and I was getting hungry and a little tired when I got to this point. The next couple of boards will have to be notched. In addition one of the boards that I picked up had warped so I had to exchange it.

Next steps are to finish of the decking and laminate the railing 4×4s across the front.

Step 5: Bits & Pieces

I finished the last two boards on the deck. I had to notch out around the posts. I must have made 30 trips up and down over the stairs. What a workout.

I then started on extending the posts. I was making the first cuts here. Cordless tools are great . . . when the batteries don’t die. Mine kept dying. I had to resort to a not overly sharp hand saw.

Close up of the cut. Its 1 ¾’ deep.

A finished post. Boy my arm was tired.

The finished cuts

This was my biggest worry . . . 
how to get down through the house covered in fine sawdust without Colorful Canary catching me.

Here are a couple of finished post pictures. I cut the posts to length and notched them to go over the cuts made earlier (see above). I put three lags in each post to hold it in place.

Next I will be working on the railing.

Step 6: Railing

Here was the lumber from which I made the railing.

I had to set up my table saw to do some ripping.

Here is everything dimensioned. The stack in the foreground of the short square board was for the rails while the remainder made up the frames.

I took all the short pieces and used a ½ round over bit in the router to get the following.

Here I am using my cheap block plane to round over the edges of the boards being used for the frame. I'm moving so fast that I made the camera blur. It was actually quite calming using the plane and watching the golden curls pile up on the floor.

I chucked up the 1 ¼ forstner bit in the drill press an drilled a whole mess of holes about 3/8 deep after spending a considerable amount of time marking their locations. This is the top plate and bottom plate.

Here is one of the railings coming together.

And here is one railing in its final stage waiting to be installed.

Next it will be installing the rails, bracing and making it look nice.

Step 7: Railing installed

Here I am admiring the railing. :-)

Four of the five pieces up.

This is the 5th piece.

I hoisted each one up using my handy-dandy tie down straps.

I tapped these blocks in place to ensure that all railings were a uniform distance from the flooring.

Step 8: Bracing:

Then it was off to the bracing. I removed the strapping and put in its place a 2×4x14. Got it at Home Depot and it was relatively straight. Those little Irwin clamps kept it in place while I shimmied along with the ladder and level and screws. Once held in place I lagged the brace. I must say I love those clamps . . . 4 for $20 at HD. Much better than the el cheapo ones hanging on my wall. These puppies will actually hold some tension.

Then it stated to rain . . . pretty heavy. I went in for a bit of lunch and ran back outside during a reprieve and snapped this progress pic. I was not finished with the railing nor the bracing at this point. Gonna have to be another day most likely.

Step 9: Finishing touches and re-purposed lattice

It's done. The last step was that I installed the top rail and finished the leg bracing then prettied it up a little.

A close-up of the finished railing.

Here is the prettying up. The metal panels we actually found in someone’s bulk garbage pickup and were the corners to one of those sun shelters...Much nicer than regular lattice - And free!

So as a recap we went from here . . .

To here . . . 

To here . . . 

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