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We're Not in Kansas Anymore...

GAINESVILLE: This project I believe is our 1st Gainesville project but before we knew we have two more...they really come in three's I suppose. Cresswind is 55 and over retirement community. The interior designs are awesome and spacious. 

Our homeowners were moving from Chicago and wanted to expand the current decks footprint and upgrade from wood to PVC decking and aluminum railing in addition to a couple of other things. 

The rendering above and the following is what we proposed and the homeowners approved. To the left is the new deck we were connecting to the existing deck. 

We love this view...

One very interesting challenge for us for levering the space under the stairs by converting to a "water-proof" utility room. We thought that was an awesome request from the homeowner & forward we charged!

This is what we had to work with but the vision was there. 

One of the very first things we noticed during our initial visit was the excessive amount of support posts. It didn't take long to realize that we were looking at TWO decks. Not sure why but that's how they were built. 

The disappointment is that there are way too many posts in the space. 

It took some ingenuity in removing just the inside of the deck framing considering there was a roof on top. 

What did we do about? #1: We replaced the 8' long deck joists with 16' long deck joists

#2: By replacing the short deck joists we eliminated the need for a center beam which made the center row of 6x6 posts obsolete. Click on the pic to enlarge view.

This was the original deck and in the background is Mac (our local AZEK/TimberTEch rep - our composite deck & PVC guy). One great advantage for us is having Mac not far from us. 

What you see here isn't composite decking. It's AZEK's capped polymer porch boards (pvc) made with a tongue & groove design for a tight fit. Includes a 30 year warranty that extends to fade & stain as well. AZEK - the Caddilac of PVC products.

Click our PayDirt blog to see all we did on this 10" slab. It's a process. 

(Blogs is under Concrete & Masonry)

After we pour the concrete and water the slab for a few days we built the framing for the new deck. (Need to be off the slab for a few days for it to cure correctly AND need to water it to prevent/minimize future cracking)

This is a huge picture moment here. Notice there's only ONE board per row? We don't like cut/staggered boards AND we don't like to waste materials. During our deign phase we made sure to build the framing to accomodate the 20'ers & 16'ers w/<1' waster per board. 

What you see are actual PVC deck boards. This Island Oak from AZEK's Harvest Collection (the porch boards were the same color). PVC boards cool off a lot quicker than traditional wood composite boards. They're much light too. 


This is what the side view looked like during our initial visit. The clients were very, very specific in what they wanted. The more we talk the better we can align expectations. 

Birds -eye view...the slab is done, the beams and posts to the left (these homes do not have traditional house bands & therefore decks are built "free-standing."

Here you can see a little overhang from the boards (the waste) and that's only b/c the 20'ers and and stairs forced some adjustments. But as I've mentioned, the waste was minimal. 

Now we're cooking. The aluminum railing comes from Fortress. Nice and easy to work with. 

Back to the's the original deck again. 

But this is what I wanted to show again. These nice 16' deck joists. It took two days just to replace the inside framing but we did it. 

This is what all our hard work looks like when we're almost done. 

This leads us to our most challenging phase of the project. 

Stairs are usually the most expensive piece of the framing pie. They require 2x12's while the rest of the deck is built with 2x10's. Landings have to be built like mini-decks per code. Labor is extensive b/c we cut the stringers on site. 

But once they start to come together they look nice. When we build with composite or PVC we like to build each stair tread with borders. A little more waste than desired but it sure looks great because every edge has a factory edge.

Here it is coming together. 

Beautiful. There are lights on the each post top. 

I didn't get to further elaborate on our most interesting challenge, it wasn't building stairs. It was making a WATER-PROOF utility room. It turned out awesome. Also installed a light & light switch for the inside. 

We built the barn-door on site, purchase the hardware from Home Depot and built the framing and plywood with pressure treated lumber for exterior use. 

Notice the lights on the pot tops AND stair treads? Looks great. 

We also installed AZEK fascia boards for aesthetics and to protect the 2x10 rim joists. 

We almost done at this point, doing some clean-up and punch-list items. The lights look great. 

Check out the utility room...looks like it's part of the home. We have a lot of siding experience as well. We installed JamesHardie fiber cement lap siding, & trim. We installed the motion-sensing light. 

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