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It All Started when...
Back in Black
Hey! You Guys Building Another Deck?
It Starts with a Vision
Something Soft...

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My Blog

It All Started when...








We're really glad to have been part of this small project. The homeowner is a great person. 






She wanted to update her master shower and tub tile and we did just that. 













We strip everything down to the studs and build new. Here you see the rubber membrane, then the mortar on the bottom right and the shower tile on the bottom left. 

















It's a cumbersome process getting rid of the old tile because afterwards there's prep work needed for the new tile. 



But it sure looks awesome when it's done. 

















Here's a view of the 2x4 studs where Fernando is getting ready for to install the membrane. 




The pic is the James Hardie BackerBoard sealed with shower mesh tape and liquid cement to prevent water from leaking out. 















A nice little before and after.















Very nice looking tile and excellent tile work. Pics don't do this project justice. 


 


(below) 
Done.  

Back in Black

Yes, we're thankful to do multiple jobs in the same neighborhood. We've done several in this one. We've painted a couple of houses, remodeled a basement, a master shower, retaining walls and decks.Write your post here.













It may not seem like a lot on this truck but it's about all the materials we need to build this huge 20x20 deck. 




















Back



in




Black


















Many people think that the posts go up first but that's not the case. 
 

First goes the frame, then further down the process the frame gets squared, then lots of digging. 













Hey! You Guys Building Another Deck?

We always appreciate referral business and it always makes us feel worthy  when it happens. 











This nosy fella couldn't believe we're back in his neighborhood again. 










This was a two-level deck that started out with a few damaged deck joists but the started never ended. 






Ultimately it didn't make sense anymore to repair the deck. 














We built it all new and installed beautiful 20' 2x6 deck boards. 20' boards means just ONE board per row. No split/cut pieces. No nail pops. 













The bottom was struggling and had rails when none were needed. 












The new deck was left opened for a much better view. The yard slopes down and let's the homeowner's see the that fella more often. 













We got the deck wet just for the sake of a better pic...haha. Not really, it's washed down before it gets stained. 















Here' she sits. Real purty. 




















Very similar but not the same. Can you see the difference? There are a few significant differences. 

























Like is never happened!! 

It Starts with a Vision




This home improvement project is driven by passionate vision that soon will come to fruition. 

As you can see it was a little unassuming split-level  that now has some serious curb appeal (and we've not even done yet). 


Gone are all the small windows that made this home feel small on the inside. 

We love the lights over the stone. Love the well lit porch. 












Nice 12' real tongue & groove ceilings. 



















How about this?!! 

We've installed re-purposed 5/4 deck wood for siding and it looks even better in person. 















Sorry, I love this. 
Looks sooo good!












The deck wood has what we call a Level Two finish. It's not the original surface from when we demo'd the deck, however, it still has a rustic finish by design. 













More of the tongue & groove ceiling. 

















Next is the concrete slab and sidewalk. 

Love the well it front porch. Particularly since the home is a good bit down slope from the street. 

Something Soft...





It's amazing how much work goes into a small 8'x15' patio. 

From selecting the flagstone, to getting it delivered to completion it's surprising.


















The weeds had to pulled and and the small concrete slab busted up. Look how much concrete just in that small area.  












We cleaned up the area, got the wrong substrate delivered. It created extra work but we made it happen. 















Here's Amrando (probably not happy with the crushed stone gravel) but he's doing a good job. 











Next we made an awesome bech/storage out of pressure treated lumber. We placed a PVC lid to make it water proof. 
















The finish is wood composite deck board from TimberTech. This product comes with a 30 year fade & stain warranty. 













The homeowner did a great job in softening the look and making it cozy. 

Poser

















I can't help it. 

Always Brighter Options


We're humbled and delighted to have a good referral base for our business. 
We met with a very nice home owner that had some of her rooms a pretty Natural Linen from Sherwin Williams (SW9109) and wanted to spread some paint around the rest of her home. 


We think it made a fantastic difference! 


Left: After
Right: Before















Foyer Bathroom

Left: After
Right: Before















Den

Remember the kids magazine Highlights? Can you spot the difference between the two pics? 
Hint (we upgraded the white to Sherwin Williams' ProClassic Pure White Trim)

Curb Appeal

ALPHARETTA: 

It's really awesome when we get hired right next door the a project we just completed. Lucky us!








This was is/was on the market but had issues with the front portico. The leaky roof ruined the framing framing and finish wood.








We started out with just one piece and off we went until we saw a lot had to be replaced. 












If you have a portico this is likely what yours looks like or very similar to. 












And this is what a water leak does to the wood. No bueno. 














We installed a heavy-duty self-adhesive roof roll. 













Here's the pre-painted finished look. 










Like it absolutely, positively, never happened. :) 

The House that Built Me...sorta

MARRIETTA: We most definitely love Nextdoor and of course the kind folks that share our name with the world. 
It really never ever gets old to get these phone calls. 








This house didn't build me nor did we built it. However, we sorta kinda helped from it caving in. 

We thought the homeowner made an EXCELLENT decision to remove these two load bearing walls b/c it really brought an enhanced appeal to the floor plan.


However, click on the pic and you'll see regular 2x10" lumber instead of the 2x14"  LVL (laminate, veneer, laminate) triple beams required to carry the load for such a large span. 




We start by providing our suppliers engennering depart the data they need (span, pics of the outside of home, detailed info about the floor above, joist span on both sides of the beam etc...then we build temp walls to keep things in place. 






Once the temp walls are up we removed the inferior beams 








Then I get as close as possible to Daniel to get the name of our company but I can barely see it. Click on the pic, maybe your eyes are better than mine. 









Here's the final view of the installed LVL beams. 
One word: Beautiful. 












Beautiful twice over. A total of SIX 2x14" LVL beams were needed to properly support the span. 

It's the Nuts & Bolts...and the rest of the Details

ALPHARETTA: 
Without a doubt we're always, always grateful for referrals. EQUALLY is rewarding is when the neighbors stop by & visit with each other to see our work first hand. Yup, our work speaks for itself. 


We built a deck not far from this home earlier this year and got a call to help with this deck to your right. Long story short, the deck was strugglin' (mostly b/c it lacked the right wood connectors (hardware). 





We start our day as usual, checking the merchandise & product. That small pile is a complete 12'x20' deck. 







To the point: 
Galvanized 4x4 bases keep the stair railing posts off the ground to prevent rot from pooling water. Base is secured with a .5" wedge (concrete bolt) to the concrete & Simpson Strong-Tie Structural Screws




A 6x6 galvanized base is secured with a 5/8 wedge & Simpson Strong-Tie Structural Screws. 








The stair stringers are secured with "stringer straps" with approx 12 Simpson Strong-Tie structural screws. 







TWO (2) .5"x8 thru bolts, one two nuts and FOUR (4) washers secured the rail 4x4 post to the main deck frame. The adjustable 6x6 post cap & S S-T screws secure the post to the main frame. 

TWO corner railing posts with a small bracket to help prevent the posts from separating (you'll see it better in the pic below). Corner 6x6 brackets to secure the 6x6 posts to the main frame.





Bam!! It's only a dollar bracket but it prevents aesthetic and safety destruction. 









Check out ALL that hardware....2x10 galvanized joist hangers. Each is secured with SIX (6) 1.5" & FOUR 2.5" Simpson Strong-Tie STRUCTURAL screws. TEN structural screws per joist hanger. 

The details? 
How about only ONE 2x6 top hand rail per section? NO CUT PIECES. 










Better yet, how about ONLY ONE TWENTY FOOT BOARD per row? Check it out. One board per row, not cut pieces not "nail pops."






BEAUTIFUL!!

Once stained or painted, you can't even notice the hardware. 









The top 2x6 handrail AND the two 2x4 top & bottom rails (the boards where the balusters are nailed on) are also just ONE long board. This keeps the deck rigid and safer. 




Lot's of details in this otherwise kinda basic deck. 














Slabbin' it Up

Let me tell you that there's no better feeling than being highly recommended by a previous client.  








These homeowners are just awesome people. They really are. We ended up doing sooo much for them on this blog we're covering just the concrete slab. 





We demo'd the deck with plans to build a 16'x20' concrete slab











Our lead, Armando, as always committed to doing a great job. 









Here we are doing the prep work in order to set up the proper concrete forming frame. 










Forming is almost complete and believe it;s a lot of work in itself. 














It's really a process. Maybe not complex per se, but it's not something as easy as 1-2-3 either. 












And here's what proper forming looks likes. You have your wood framing and support. Everything is leveled along with the welded mesh wiring. 










The day we started pouring concrete the clouds started pouring rain.









Here;s our man Erik doing his thing making all this concrete look pretty. 











Just this last corner and we're done...













Yup, it's pretty cool to see this process end up as nice as it does. 
This was like a 10" concrete slab. We poured ready mix concrete with fiber mesh in the mix itself. 
The welded mesh and fiber mesh all help the concrete stay strong and not crack. 

Yes, we built this beautiful deck, & roof AND we replaced all the siding, 45 windows & painted. 
 

Tile for Days

Once again we were very fortunate to have been recommended thru Nextdoor. It never gets old. :)












We're out of Alpharetta and this is a road I always cross but have only be on it once before this job. Isn't that wird?








The homeowner did a good job and bought all her tile from the good people at Floor and Decor. This small pallet weighs a ton (no pun intended) 






One of our concerns is always protecting the flooring, particularly on demo day. 










Here's part of the original bathroom...pretty typical for the area and age of the home. It was time for a an update. 







We demo'd just about everything including vanity you see in the pic. 







Here's our lead, Fernando, making it happen. We only use James Hardie BackerBoard, not fans of Duroc. It's a .5" fiber cement board, seal with cement board mesh tape and Red Gard liquid cement on the joints to prevent leaks.





And what you see here is BAM! This bathroom had a TON of tile (haha, get it?). 




















I think the homeowner did a great job with her vision and tile selection. It really feels like a far away Calgon moment. 


















This is the "before" - notice the window wall?












Bare bones...the window wall now has James Hardie Backer Board instead of drywall for a good reason. 












Oh my goodness...











BAM BAM! The window wall has beautiful tile! Click on the pic for a closer look. 

Beautiful. 


Neighborly Love

EAST COBB: Have we ever mentioned that Nextdoor is the Next Big Thing? 
















Because of Nextdoor we did repairs and painted the entire house below in this neighborhood. 








The homeowner on the left referred us to the his neighbor across the street (below)








...and this is where we start our blogstory. 











The homeowner was listing his home and needed a lot of trim and siding replacement as well as pressure washing and painting. 










And here's the finished product after it was repaired and painted. 







The trim installed was really MDF (a type of cardboard trim used for inside work) and it didn't last long.







He we are replacing more siding with new JamesHardie siding. 











Yes, we were all over this house making things right. 










Bam!!  The new color matches the stone work much better than before. 








The old color with too much white. 












Nice home, nice job. Great homeowners. 

No Business Like Repeat Business

JOHNS CREEK: 
We love being referred and we love it even more when our clients call us back for more help. 













Last year we were glad we helped these homeowners with a very small deck repair job. 









This month they called us again not sure if they needed a new deck or just more significant repairs. 








A new deck was not needed but the lower decking and stairs had to be replaced and then of course a new color made it feel completely new. :) 





Here's our homeowner taking notes.
Notice the slanted deck boards?









Our deck lead, Armando, wasn't a big fan of the 45 degree boards and recommended nicer longer boards in standard fashion. 






The look is much nicer and I always love when our Red, White, and Blue makes the pic. 










Believe it or not, the stairs were the bulk of the work (they always usually are). Stairs surprisingly always take a lot of labor AND lumber. 












But they sure look good!!!














Repeat..get it? 










Mr. Homeowner was happy with our work as well...












...and so was Mr. Itsmyhelper.com  

It's Just Family Business

ALPHARETTA: 
We're always, always grateful for the kind clients, friends and family that refer us on Nextdoor. 











We got a call from a new homeowner to build a new deck for his family and we were glad to have won the bid. 









Every now and then my rug rat(s) like to have a "Take Daddy to Work Day." Here we are at PMC Building Materials in East Cobb. 






This is a fairly new subdivision, but like many homes I've observed, people love the natural look of a new deck and never stain it until unfortunately it's too late to save the lumber. Click on this pick & see the handrails. 



Every now and then my big rug-rat(s) help and on this day my son, a U.S> Marine now going to school, drove our mule to drop off some materials. 







Bam! Click on the pick to see all the hardware we install to keep your deck together and safe. 









Notice the plywood on top of the 2x10 deck joist? That's our water proof deck cover system. It's starts with pressure treated plywood.







We then cover the plywood with granular roof rolls (same stuff used in roof valley's on your home). The stips you see provide .25" clearance for water run-off. 







We then install a gutter and downspout for water control.









And just like that you have a dry underneath. Guess what? You can install fans, recessed can lights AND a finished ceiling!!
(psst...look at the hardware holding the 2x10 joist hangers)





More hadware...each joist hanger has TEN structural screws. 











A great thing from code standards is to keep your expensive 6x6 support posts above-grade and resting on a galvanized post base with EIGHT structural screws. 





Yes folks, hardware makes all the structural difference. Many, many times it's not the lumber that gives but more so the connections. 








These are beautiful TWENTY FOOT premium deck boards. Yes, ONE board per row. No cut pieces. 









We use Sherwin Williams SuperDeck stain... great stuff. 











One board per row...love it. Same goes for the top handrails. ONE board that helps maintain structural integrity.  










Here she sits....new and beautiful. 

The Oasis

ROSWELL:

We really enjoyed the project below. We built a deck, a retaining wall, and fence. 








The home owner decided on TimberTech's Tropical Collection: Antigua Gold for the main deck and Antique Palm for the borders. This collection has a beautiful real wood grain look. One of my favorites. 






Here's the design the home owner approved. 











Notice the fence in the back ground? We built it too.









It's amazing how compact all the materials are when delivered. 








One of our concerns from the initial visit is how low the deck sits. Low-lying decks are actually more laborious and challenging than a normal height deck. 






We certainly did not want to build the frame directly on the ground. But we didn't want to excavate too much of the Earth (none of it really) because we didn't want to create an issue with pooling water. 




This is what happens when lumber lays on the ground. It appears that some joist rotted and the fix was to "sister" (sandwich) the joist but it really did nothing. 







This stuff was so brittle and done. 










We loved the tree...the home owner said it can't be killed. It will grow back. 









More rotted lumber.... no bueno










It never dies, so off it went this tree. 









It was more than we anticipated. 











Finally a clear work site for us to start to figure out how to build the frame. 








We end up resting the lumber on concrete footings very similar to regular builds but with out the 6x6 posts. 









We did some excavating and it created an extra day of work.










We couldn't use the 2x10's like we like so we doubled up on smaller dimension lumber and spaced the joists at every 12" on-center instead of the normal 16" on-center we usually do. 




]It turned out awesome - notice the square concrete footings? 











Great looking deck frames. 













Missed it by that much! 
This was a beast to deal with. 












Remember that fence? There is is in the back ground left. 











Oh, here's the retaining wall the homeowner added to the project. The ground didn't even seem that high but it created a lot of dirt and two more days of work. 






But it was certainly the right decision to make. Over time the ground would've likely eroded towards the beautiful new deck. 











Finally some decking is making on to the deck. We're a happy bunch when that happens. 












More progress...this pic shows the grey conduit & junction boxes we use for the lights. 











Coming together nice. 












Back to the Future











It don't get no betta...you betta, you betta, you bet.









Simply beautiful...the pergola posts are 4x4 posts with COMPOSITE POST SLEEVES. Not only does it look great, but the posts never have to be painted. 












Can't wait for the tree to grow back,  











Almost done...












Here you have it...done with riser lights and post lights as well. We're proud of this job. 

Not Just Deck Builders

CUMMING: 

Lucky for us we can also remove walls and install beams/headers. Comes in handy on cold snowy days. 








We were fortunate to have been referred to these new homeowners. They wanted to remove this load bearing wall to make a more spacious open area. 







We opened it as much as we could. 













We also have to remove crown molding and baseboards. 










This is not a promo shot. 












Up goes the Laminate Veneer Laminate (LVL) beam.









Here you have it folks..."openness"













A two way street...













This was the first snow of December 2018. 

On Lake Lanier

LAKE LANIER: 
Some jobs we enjoy more than others, particularly on warm sunny lake days. HeeHee









We build a lot of decks with these folks....great products, awesome warranty's (30 years), better people. 





This was truly a unique build for us because we don't like waste. Particularly at $4.69 LF. As usual we designed the deck to maximize every LF and it's why you see sections. The product comes in 12', 16', & 20'.






Another main goal was to maximize the view for obvious reasons. 








The railing system was too robust for this view. 
The problem was that the 6x6 rail posts were part of the actual support posts (more on this down the scroll).








There was a screened in room that also required too many 4x6 posts. which further obstructed the view. 








Here was an early design but we still weren't too happy with keeping the 6x6 rail posts. 







So we said, "the heck with these posts!" Actually the home owner said it and we concurred. :)










We did a couple of things. We cut off the 6x6 posts....








...and we replaced the 2x10 outer rim joists. Why? They were too old and badly weathered. New 2x10's will not only extend the life of the support structure....






...but are better suited for new primer and paint. Old wood doesn't hold paint/stain well at all. 











This was a nice screened in room but it came a premium to the view. 










From way too many posts to two 6x6 posts.











Take a close look at the cut pieces. We left inches where poor design would leave feet per board on the floor. 











The decking turned out great. 
So what did we use? 
From AZEK's Vintage Collection the homeowner selected Cypress PVC main decking complemented with Mahogany borders. Nice!






The old deck










The homeowner is a hands on persona and really did a good job maintaining the wood deck. 











But as wood becomes obsolete for these applications (decks)....








The homeowner will never have to spend stain money, nor will he have to worry about wood rot or split. AZEK comes with a 30 year fade & stain warranty. On the lake that means everything just about. 









      Muy Nice
















Before












During 













Getting it done













Looking awesome. 















Repeat Clients

ALPHARETTA: 
For several reasons we don't usually work with investors. However, there a handful that we're comfortable working with. 







These clients are serious investors and by serious we mean investors that really make improvements not just patch work (we shy away from slap-it-together and sell it investors)







We painted the entire home - walls, trim, doors, ceilings...everything.









This home didn't require a lot of  drywall repairs but it did need some. 





















We too were glad to with the new color choices. 



















Kudo's to the clients for once again making good color choices. 

TimberTech All The Way


BROOKHAVEN: 

There is no better professional feeling than someone important to your success choosing you for their home improvements. 
Yes, it's a BIG deal for us. 






It's no secret that we're big supporters of TimberTech and AZEK products. Great products, better people. 







The old wood deck...it did a good job but wood for these these applications is almost becoming obsolete. 









The hot tub is still still cool. All we usually see are the old tubs; hopefully they've been modernized because rare is the occasion that people want to keep them.  









So we demo'd the old deck and before we move forward on the build we have to install new flashing so several reasons. 










Bare Naked Decks










BAM!! Awesome,,,,Pecan decking from TimberTech's Legacy Collection with Mocha Borders (Legacy Collection). 







The railing system is TimberTech Radiance Rails (all composite) - no painting, no splintering...













...just a bunch of LIGHTS!!












But seriously a well built deck is often determined by how well it holds up. 

Most of time when I inspect a deck it's the connections (the nails, the old way of nailing a deck together) that fail before the actual lumber does. 

We use Simpson Strong-Tie Structural Screws (#9's) as you'll see below. 





Here we're using Simpson Strong-Tie  heavy duty "triple-concealed joist hangers" with SS-T # 9's to connect the deck joist to the deck ledger board. 






These are also SS-T "hurricane ties" that keep the deck joists connected to the deck beam to prevent strong winds from lifting the main deck. Each hurricane tie has TEN (10) SS-T structural screws. We use easily 500+ screws per avg size deck build. 


Yes, it's all in the fasteners AND hardware. We don't do the old "toe nailing" system to connect wood. This is a "double shear" joist hanger with TWELVE (12) SS-T #9's. 





6x6 support posts no longer get buried into the ground. They sit on 6x6 galvanized bases above grade to prevent rot. The 6x6 post and base rest (secured with a 5/8 wedge screw) on these concrete footings.




Notice the hardware on the stair stringers. Glavnized and secured with a total of TWENTY (20) SS-T #9's. 









Get it done...















Composite Decking - Bam!
Composite Railing - Bam!
Post Cap Lights - Bam!
Riser Lights - Bam!
Flagstone Landing - Bada Bing!

















It's sooo much nicer in person....


















The Before















The During











The Almost Done












The Done












The Bam Bam!!
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