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Just finished my summer long project. We just built this house last year and I got the walkout basement I always wanted. We quickly realized that we could not deal without the ability to go out the back door. With requirements to have a patio at ground level, the ability to grill at the 1st floor level and stairs to connect the two levels we went through several different design concepts. Most of our ideas were cost prohibitive. The deck is only 7X10. Just big enough for the grill and a landing for the top of the steps. For such a small project, it managed to drag out all summer long. Here is a few pictures of final project. IMG_3609.jpg IMG_3612.jpg IMG_3611.jpg IMG_3623.jpg IMG_3627.jpg
 

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WOW that looks awesome! What material did you use for decking and railings?
 

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It really pains me to say this....your deck is bigger than mine.:cray: :lol:
That looks great! I can tell there was alot of work in that . I really like the balusters....that was a lot of mortises!
Thanks for sharing!!
 

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For such a small project
Really? That looks to me like a summer long project, especially with all the detail. I like the handrail returns.
 

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Very nice work.

I put a ton of time into designing my pool deck so that it provided the function I needed at a cost I could live with. I wanted composite until I realized that it's a very poor choice for a pool deck (darker colors get very hot in the sun, and it's very slippery when it's wet). So, I went all pressure treated and used deck boards for the decking itself. My deck was pretty straight-forward (two wedge-shaped pieces to keep with the shape of the round pool and a staircase) and it took me all of last summer and a bit of this one (and, technically, it isn't done yet).

One thing I will caution you about - grilling on the deck. You have two major things to be concerned about.

1) Spills. Get a grilling mat to put underneath so that nothing that spills from the grill will end up on the deck. This will prevent staining and could also prevent more significant materials damage.

2) Fire/Heat plus vinyl siding = Melt. Be very careful about how the grill is situated in relation to the house so that heat and/or fire will never catch the house on fire or melt the siding (it happened to a very good friend of mine, and it took exactly 30 seconds to occur). Also, you may want to consider some sort of fireproof material between the grill and railings to ensure those are not damaged.
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
Very nice work.

I put a ton of time into designing my pool deck so that it provided the function I needed at a cost I could live with. I wanted composite until I realized that it's a very poor choice for a pool deck (darker colors get very hot in the sun, and it's very slippery when it's wet). So, I went all pressure treated and used deck boards for the decking itself. My deck was pretty straight-forward (two wedge-shaped pieces to keep with the shape of the round pool and a staircase) and it took me all of last summer and a bit of this one (and, technically, it isn't done yet).

One thing I will caution you about - grilling on the deck. You have two major things to be concerned about.

1) Spills. Get a grilling mat to put underneath so that nothing that spills from the grill will end up on the deck. This will prevent staining and could also prevent more significant materials damage.

2) Fire/Heat plus vinyl siding = Melt. Be very careful about how the grill is situated in relation to the house so that heat and/or fire will never catch the house on fire or melt the siding (it happened to a very good friend of mine, and it took exactly 30 seconds to occur). Also, you may want to consider some sort of fireproof material between the grill and railings to ensure those are not damaged.
I have the grill spaced away from the house, but your concern about the railing is on my radar. With that top cap being made from the composite decking, I don't want to cook it.

As for stains, this was something that gave me a lot of challenge in my shopping for composite. Many of the "first generation" composite deck materials have a terrible reputation for staining. In addition to food stains, they have had huge issues with mold spots. There is a class action suit againts Trex for this very issue. I was looking at 100% PVC options but they only come in a solid color and are quite pricey. The one we settled on is capped with a recycled composite core. The claim (and initial impression) is that this coating will be very stain resistant. But, as you mention for your pool deck, it is also slick when it is wet. I spent so much time on this project trying to weigh the various options. For the price of the upper grade composites, you can also go with one of the exotic hardwoods (like Ipe) and since the deck is small (I only used 190 sf of decking for the deck, landing, steps, railing caps, and even trim around the decks) I even considered that option. Ask me in a few years if I made the right choice!

Lee
 

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Very nice. With my carpentry skills, that would be a 5 to 10 year project.
 

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Lee,

That came out great! As others said, it may be a "small" project in the footprint it has, but it certainly took a lot of hours to complete, and it shows in the final product. I like how it turned out. The multiple levels make it more interesting to my eye.
 

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I have the grill spaced away from the house, but your concern about the railing is on my radar. With that top cap being made from the composite decking, I don't want to cook it.

As for stains, this was something that gave me a lot of challenge in my shopping for composite. Many of the "first generation" composite deck materials have a terrible reputation for staining. In addition to food stains, they have had huge issues with mold spots. There is a class action suit againts Trex for this very issue. I was looking at 100% PVC options but they only come in a solid color and are quite pricey. The one we settled on is capped with a recycled composite core. The claim (and initial impression) is that this coating will be very stain resistant. But, as you mention for your pool deck, it is also slick when it is wet. I spent so much time on this project trying to weigh the various options. For the price of the upper grade composites, you can also go with one of the exotic hardwoods (like Ipe) and since the deck is small (I only used 190 sf of decking for the deck, landing, steps, railing caps, and even trim around the decks) I even considered that option. Ask me in a few years if I made the right choice!

Lee
You made the right choice. You got the project done at a cost you could manage. You have your "function", design and expense all handled. In five years, you may look back and see some things that you would differently if you were to do it again, but you won't pull it all apart any time soon.

You might want to look into making some stone "panels" like you would build for a stove hearth in the house. One behind that's tall enough to cover the rail would do a great job at protecting all of that work.
 

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Very nice. With my carpentry skills, that would be a 5 to 10 year project.
That's what I'm talkin about. Sounds like me. I'm slow but do good work, just ask me.
 
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